Freedom Pass gives youth a chance to swim and ride MiWay for free this summer

Mississauga youth, aged 12 to 14, have an opportunity to ride MiWay and access both indoor and outdoor city pools from July 1 to Aug. 31 for free with a Freedom Pass. Last year, almost 7,000 youth participated in the program.

“With the Freedom Pass, youth can truly explore Mississauga during the summer months,” said Shari Lichterman, city recreation director. “In addition to visiting one of our seven outdoor and 11 indoor pools for a free swim, youth can use their Freedom Pass to get out to local events, parks and libraries.”

Ramp parks (for skateboarding, biking, scooters and inline skating), the mountain bike park, dirt-jump parks, basketball hoops and Celebration Square activities are among the activities kids can access with their passes. Kids are also encouraged to check the Youth Movement webpage for concerts, festivals, programs, classes and more.

Geoff Marinoff, city transit director, cites an additional benefit of the program.

“The Freedom Pass gives youth the chance to get familiar with MiWay as they travel to and from the city’s recreational facilities,” he said. “Using MiWay lets our young people gain independence while getting familiar with our transit routes as they transition to high school.”

Application forms for Freedom Passes can be downloaded and printed or picked up at any City of Mississauga community centre from now until Aug. 31. Signed and completed application forms can be submitted at a community centre, along with one piece of identification. Applicants will also need to have their photo taken by customer service staff to create a personalized Freedom Pass.

Another advantage of the program worth mentioning is its support in fighting climate change by reducing travel in single occupancy cars.

“With emissions from the transportation sector accounting for 32 per cent of all greenhouse gas emissions in the community, taking public transit is one of the most effective actions people can take to combat climate change,” said Michael Cleland, city environment division acting director. Studies have shown that MiWay buses take 11,000 cars off the road annually, which amounts to a reduction in 55,000 tons of CO2 (carbon dioxide) every year.

Visit mississauga.ca/freedompass for more information about the Freedom Pass. There are a limited number of cards available, so individuals are encouraged to apply soon.

Visit miway.ca for information about MiWay or call 905-615-INFO (4636) for route and schedule information.

Photo: Erindale Pool, courtesy of the City of Mississauga.

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