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City of Airdrie announces changes for low-income subsidy program

Some changes have been made to the City of Airdrie's subsidy program for low-income residents to continue accessing public transit services and Genesis Place Recreation Centre at a discounted rate.
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According to Airdrie Transit and union officials, the surge in COVID-19 cases has not impacted staffing or service levels.

Some changes have been made to the City of Airdrie's subsidy program for low-income residents to continue accessing public transit services and Genesis Place Recreation Centre at a discounted rate.

According to a post on Airdrie.ca, the Airdrie Fair Access Program (formerly known as the Airdrie Participant Support Program or APSP) will now provide income-based subsidies to residents via a one-step application process.

Those who were previously on the APSP do not need to reapply and can continue using their current card to access eligible subsidies until the end of their term. 

The AFAP subsidizes access to Airdrie Transit services and Genesis Place. The subsidy applies to transit tickets, bus passes, and cash fare for all Airdrie Transit routes including Inter-City Express trips to Calgary and Hello-to-Go, as well as ACCESS Airdrie, which is a shared-ride, curb-to-curb para-transit service for those who cannot use fixed-route services.

As for Genesis Place, the AFAP provides discounted prices for drop-in fees, 10-visit punch cards, monthly, or annual passes. It also subsidizes aquatics and certification programs, such as swimming lessons, first aid and CPR courses, and all babysitting and lifeguard certification programs. While Kids Connection Preschool and day camps are eligible AFAP programs, regular drop-in or monthly child care are not.  

The City's post states that in order qualify, applicants must be residents of Airdrie and have a household income that is within 25 per cent of the low income cut-off before taxes. This cut-off is defined by Statistics Canada for census metropolitan areas of more than 500,000 people.

The Airdrie Fair Access Program (AFAP) has three subsidy levels, depending on one's household income and number of residents within that household. 

The first level provides a 75 per cent discount. The low income cut-off for this level is an annual income of $26,620 for a one-person household; $33,141 for a two-person household; $40,743 for a three-person household; $49,467 for a four-person household; $56,105 for a five-person household; $63,276 for a six-person household; and $70,449 for a household with seven or more residents.

The second level provides a 50 per cent discount. The cut-offs are the following: $29,282 for a one-person household; $36,455 for a two-person household; $44,817 for a three-person household; $54,413 for a four-person household; $61,715 for a five-person household; $69,604 for a six-person household; and $77,494 for a household of seven or more people.

Lastly, the third level provides AFAP applicants a 25 per cent discount to transit and recreation services. This level's low income cut-offs include $33,276 for single-person dwellings; $41,426 for two-person households; $50,929 for three-person households; $61,833 for four-person houses; $70,131 for households with five residents; $79,095 for households with six residents; and $88,061 for households with seven or more.

According to the City, if an adult is registered as a student in a full-time educational institution, they are asked to include proof of enrolment with their application.

Independent adults living in the same home, such as roommates, may be considered a separate “household,” and the City reserves the right to exercise discretion as to what qualifies as a household.

To apply for the AFAP or learn more about the program, visit bit.ly/3wsl6Nd

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