A report submitted to city council shows that The Airdrie Fair Access (AFA) program, the city's subsidy program for low-income residents saw tremendous utilization in 2023.

The report surmised that in the program's inaugural year being expanded, the subsidies 'helped a far greater number of residents access quality services like summer camps and school-year day camps for their children.'

According to the council agenda report, in 2023, the program has grown by 70 per cent compared to 2022, with 653 households and 1735 residents now covered by the subsidy

aA report submitted to city council shows that The Airdrie Fair Access (AFA) program has seen tremendous utilization. (Graphic credit to City of Airdrie) 

"Usage of the subsidies has also increased greatly, with Airdrie Transit seeing a 128 per cent increase in the number of subsidized passes/ticket books sold, and Genesis Place seeing subsidized membership pass sales increasing by 39 per cent and subsidized program registrations increasing by 164 per cent."

The report stated that last year, the AFA program provided subsidy amounts of $39,366 for Airdrie Transit; the Province’s Low Income Transit Pass program covered approximately 45 per cent of this amount, while approximately $250,000 for Genesis Place, and $314 for Bert Church Live Theatre.

"Bert Church Live Theatre (BCLT) saw 17 subsidized ticket sales in the 2023 portion of their 2023- 2024 Theatrical season but did not see any subsidized program registrations. This could be a matter of timing based on when they were added to Airdrie Fair Access and when their registered programming runs; [though] BCLT has now begun to see subsidized registrations in 2024."

Last year it was announced that the city's subsidy program, the Airdrie Fair Access (AFA) program, formerly the Airdrie Participant Support Program would provide income-based subsidies to residents through a one-step application process. The changes were meant to improve access to services and make transit and recreation affordable for more residents.

Among some of the available services, are transit tickets, passes and cash fares for all routes including ICE trips to Calgary and Hello To Go, as well as the ACCESS Airdrie services, which is a shared ride, curb-to-curb, paratransit service for eligible residents that are unable to use fixed route services. Some of Genesis Place's programs are also within the list of services.

"AFA applications are processed by Community Links. Applicants are required to provide proof of residency and income criteria," the City says on its website.

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