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Community groups calling for free transit on election day

Several community groups are also calling on the City of Ottawa to implement fare-free offer on advanced voting days which take place on Oct. 7 and Oct. 14.
2018-02-28 OC Transpo bus3 MV
OC Transpo bus in downtown Ottawa. File photo

Several community transit groups are calling on the City of Ottawa to implement fare-free transit on the day of the municipal election on Monday, Oct. 24. 

Groups including Transit Riders, Horizon Ottawa and Free Transit Ottawa said in a release that transit should also be free of charge on advanced voting days on Oct. 7 and Oct. 14.

They added that other cities in the province like Cambridge, Kitchener and Thunder Bay have already implemented free transit initiatives on election day. 

The groups pointed to days of the year including Canada Day and Remembrance Day where public transit is usually free for Ottawa residents. 

This initiative will help residents without a vehicle or those who choose not to drive, to easily cast their ballots. 

"For many, fares are a cost barrier to using transit," said Nick Grover, a representative of Free Transit Ottawa, in the release.

"Removing them means greater access to the city and its services. I would hate to see anyone end up not voting because the $3.75 fare, possibly each way, to get to the polling location was too high. The city can, at least, close the fare boxes and open the gates for three days in the interest of democratic engagement."

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