A recent Mayor-for-a-Day idea to allow youth, under the age of 18, to ride transit for free during the months of July and August was enacted by City council June 11. Although I applaud the initiative and am pleased to see young people are coming up with ideas to better the community, I question the rationale and timing of the decision. Airdrie is implementing ways to become a healthier community through the multi-million dollar Blue Zones Project, and allowing youth to ride transit for free is not in keeping with this vision.
I could see enacting this initiative during the winter months to help students get to school. Free transit during the summer months, when kids should be walking and riding bikes, sends the wrong message to the young people of the community as we need to encourage them to be active and participating in healthy activities.
In a city where seniors are not offered transit discounts, it is a shame youth can ride transit for free, giving them a reason not to participate in a healthy lifestyle.