Student Pass Pilot Program

Students from four local high schools will be provided with a free annual transit pass under the new Student Transit Pass Pilot Program, to use on all Halifax Transit conventional buses, Access-A-Bus, and ferries during the 2021-2022 school year.

Participating schools and grades are:

  • Prince Andrew High School – Grade 10-12
  • Dartmouth High School – Grade 9-12
  • École du Sommet – Grade 9-12
  • École Mosaïque – Grade 9-12

The pilot program was approved by Halifax Regional Council on May 18, 2021. Pending an evaluation of this pilot, the goal of the program is to offer unlimited access to transit service for students from all high schools that can be accessed by public transit.

Common Questions

What is the Student Transit Pass Pilot Program?

Under the 2021-22 Student Transit Pass Pilot Program students from four local high schools will be provided with a free, annual transit pass to use on all Halifax Transit conventional buses, Access-A-Bus, and ferries during the 2021-2022 school year.

Participating schools and grades are:

  • Prince Andrew High School – Grade 10-12
  • Dartmouth High School – Grade 9-12
  • École du Sommet – Grade 9-12
  • École Mosaïque – Grade 9-12

Pending an evaluation of this pilot, the goal is to expand the program to all high schools that can be accessed by public transit.

 

How did the program start and why?

The program was inspired by transit agencies across Canada and was approved by Halifax Regional Council on May 18, 2021.

The program aims to provide convenient and accessible transportation for youth and educate students on how to become safe and respectful Halifax Transit riders for years to come.   

How will students use the pass?

Schools participating in the pilot program will provide annual passes to allow students free access to Halifax Transit services during the 2021-22 school year.

Students will be required to show the pass to the transit Operator when boarding the bus or ferry in lieu of paying fare or showing a monthly pass.

Will there be a Halifax Transit orientation for students? Is it important to attend?

Dependent on COVID-19 restrictions, Halifax Transit orientation sessions will be held on site at participating high schools in the fall. The orientation is an important piece of the program as it will teach students:

  • How to use Halifax Transit services, use their pass and plan a trip
  • Why sustainable, transportation choices are important from a young age
  • Transit safety, rules on board, and what it takes to be a great passenger
How long will the free, annual pass program be offered?
  • The program will be launched in the fall of 2021 and is expected to last until the end of the 2021/22 school year.
  • Pending a successful pilot, and the availability of funding, Phase 2 of the pilot would see the same program launched in three to six additional high schools after the 2021-22 year.
  • After Phase 2, the full program would roll out, with the objective to create a permanent program offered to all middle and high schools served by Halifax Transit.

The timing and distribution of the passes will be determined by each school

Why were these specific schools chosen?

Participating high schools were selected based on their proximity to existing transit routes and concentrated student population. More discussion on candidate schools can be found here

Why are Grades 9 through 12 eligible to receive the free Transit annual pass?

In consultation with schools, it was decided students in grades 9 through 12 would be a good candidate population for the purposes of the pilot, as this age is typically more independent, and younger students are not yet able to apply for a driver’s license.

How will students receive their pass?

Student Transit passes will be distributed at schools, and students will be required to sign the pass prior to using it.

Do these students have 12 months of free Transit service?

Students have access to transit services for 12 months to allow students to transition into the summer months and the following school year. Providing access for the entire year increases students’ access to recreational, cultural, and educational facilities, and various employment opportunities.

I do not wish for my child to receive a free Halifax Transit annual pass. What do I do?

Students who are not permitted by their parents to receive a free Halifax Transit annual pass can return their passes to HRCE or CSAP who will then return them to Halifax Transit.

Do the Student Transit passes provide access to Access-A-Bus?

Student Transit passes will provide students free access to Access-A-Bus services. Students who wish to become Access-A-Bus clients will need to apply to Access-A-Bus before becoming a passenger on this service. To register, complete the Access-A-Bus application form found here. Only those students who meet the qualifications to become Access-A-Bus clients will gain access to this service.

Please visit the Access-A-Bus website for more information. Or contact Access-A-Bus at 902-490-6999 or email contactus@311.halifax.ca.

What will happen if a student loses their Transit Pass?

If a student loses their Transit Pass, they should go to their school’s Admin Office to receive a replacement.

Additional Educational and Safety Information – How to Ride Halifax Transit

As part of our ongoing commitment to a create an accessible and inclusive transit system for all, we welcome you to enjoy How to Ride: A Guide to Using Halifax Transit, a collection of easy-to-follow guides and videos in multiple languages that cover information about how to:

•    Access bus route maps and schedules

•    Plan a trip on buses and ferries

•    Pay fares and transfer

•    Ride safely

This series of guides and videos have been designed to help familiarize new users with how to access the Halifax Transit network. Learn more here.

Feel free to also browse our Passenger Information pages where you will find Passenger Courtesy, Prohibited Conduct, Policies & Guidelines, and Safety Information.