A motion to offer low-income residents discounted OC Transpo fares is being debated at the city's transit committee today.

The cost of providing a discount to residents below the low income cut-off as defined by Statistics Canada would cost an estimated $3.3 million dollar per year. Instead of absorbing that cost, the city is hoping to get funding from the Ontario government.

A petition started to get a low-income pass already has an estimated 2,450 signatures. Advocates say the discount would increase ridership and decrease social isolation. 10 Ontario cities already have low-income bus passes.

The city estimates about 31,000 transit customers would benefit from some kind of a discount program. Approximately 145,000 people or 15 per cent of the population in Ottawa are either living below the low income cut-off or have a family member who does.

More to come.