Petition for free transit on curriculum-based field trips sees hundreds of signatures
Posted Jan 28, 2023 04:30:00 PM.
Ceo of THEMUSEUM and organizer of a new petition, David Marskell, called his proposal asking for free transit on curriculum-based field trips, a “no-brainer”.
Marskell has been vocal on this topic for years, previously suggesting to Regional Council that students and teachers ride for free on curriculum-based field trips that use Grand River Transit (GRT). At the time, it was under consideration, until a staff report advised against it, putting the idea on the backburner.
As recently as May 2022, THEMUSEUM allowed students to come to their programs for four months at no cost, working with the school board to offer the project to lower-income areas.
Marskell said the pilot project cost them $100,000, and they're working at budgeting creatively and finding sponsors to bring the complimentary program back.
For now, Marskell's goal will be to adjust the cost of transit.
“A group had gone back to the region requesting some form of discount for seniors and children,” said Marskell. “That's when I popped back up to say that it's well and good that the region is trying to catch up with other communities, but wouldn't it be great if we could show leadership and start something new and allow students to go to arts and culture organizations across the region at no-cost, on off-peak times so it's not losing any revenue?”
He added that allowing free rides would not only help the organizations, but it would also make a smarter community by encouraging young people to use transit, creating life-long transit users, offering accessibility for groups and schools that can't afford buses, and promoting community integration.
In his interview with CityNews 570, he said he was not surprised to see over 375 signatures on the petition and he expects to have 500 by the end of the weekend.
“This is, in my mind, a no-brainer, it doesn't cost the taxpayers any money, students are not using the Grand River Transit to go to curriculum field trips at this point, so there's no loss, it's just all benefits and positive return for the community.”
It currently costs students $7 on GRT for a round trip to a curriculum-based program.