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RDN looks at providing free transit service on election days

Standing request for free transit during poll days being considered
(PQB News photo)

The Regional District of Nanaimo will consider a standing request to provide free transit services during municipal, provincial and federal election days.

The RDN transit committee, at its regular meeting on March 28, approved this motion for recommendation to the district board for approval.

In past, the RDN has supported free fares on specific election days to encourage voting and to ensure residents without means to travel to voting pools could actively participate.

This year, the provincial general election is scheduled to take place on Oct. 19.

Providing free fares will help reduce the number of vehicles on the road during elections and greenhouse gases in the region, said Michael Getchell, manager of transit operations.

READ MORE: BC Transit approves bus link between Deep Bay and Courtenay

The estimated revenue loss for RDN to provide free transit service for the standing request on general voting days for municipal, provincial and federal election is approximately $5,675 for 2024. It includes conventional and custom transit services.

Approving the free transit standing service request would allow RDN staff time to prepare and promote the services earlier in collaboration with municipal partners and staff and BC Transit communications department.

If the RDN board does not approve, Getchell said it will be necessary to obtain board approval for the RDN to provide free service for all election days this year and into the future.

Michael Briones

About the Author: Michael Briones

I rejoined the PQB News team in April 2017 from the Comox Valley Echo, having previously covered sports for The NEWS in 1997.
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