A Splash and Ride pass would really contribute to making Hamilton the best place to raise a child.
By Thom Oommen
Published July 07, 2008
On vacation in Edmonton this summer, I discovered an amazing service offered by the city to its young people. Edmonton's Splash and Ride pass is for young people aged 17 or under. An affordable $87 pass lasts through July and August and entitles passholders to unlimited access to public transit and the city's fitness and pool facilities.
Edmonton's Splash and Ride Pass
This amazing program promotes transit use at an impressionable age, demonstrating that transit is fun, safe and affordable. Young people also learn to plan their own routes and build confidence as they explore their city on their own.
As a bonus, young Edmontonians are encouraged to use fitness centres and pools whenever and wherever they like over the summer. Why sit at home playing video games when you can be active and play in the sun?
Hamilton should learn from cities like Edmonton and develop its own Splash and Ride pass. Given our levels of child poverty many young people do not have the funds to take transit or even go swimming at city pools.
Without stimulating and affordable options, they may get into trouble while on school holidays. These young people could even use the pass to get to and from a summer job in addition to accessing pools and recreation facilities.
Childhood obesity is also a major public health concern in Hamilton. Every year more and more children are at risk of diabetes and other diseases due to physical inactivity. Therefore an affordable and targeted program that promotes fun physical activity should be encouraged.
Programs like these are essential to growing the next generation of transit users and would be a marvelous and positive way of promoting the Hamilton Street Railway (HSR) to the community. A Splash and Ride pass would really contribute to making Hamilton the best place to raise a child.
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