The United Way Calgary & Area has become an advocate for youth transit passes and is hopeful changes in the requirements will help youth achieve their goals and get involved in their community.

Last year the charitable group released a report that surveyed 400 low income Calgarians and included a focus group of 70 youth.

The report showed that youth under 18 were not eligible for a youth or low-income transit pass unless they were enrolled in school.

The same study showed that youths felt the cost of an adult pass was a barrier to gaining an education and to getting and keeping a job.

The United Way shared its finding with the city and the city decided to change youth passes to include those teens that are not enrolled in school.

Teens who are taking part in the Discovering Choices program are being provided with the transit passes so they can attend classes.

“For young people, sometimes the barrier is like this and a buss pass can be a small barrier like this. For us it seems like a small barrier, but to a young person it can be a huge barrier,” said Lucy Miller, United Way of Calgary & Area President.

Every year the United Way pays for $32,000 worth of bus tickets and monthly passes.