FEDERAL ELECTION: RDN waives transit fees on election day

Daily transit fees collected are usually about $5,000

The Regional District of Nanaimo board decided to waive transit fares in the name of democracy for election day at Tuesday night’s committee of the whole RDN meeting.

“It’s a good gesture on our part to promote public transit and it’s good for us to get a better turnout (at the polls), especially the young people and the elderly people who have trouble getting around,” said Qualicum Beach Mayor Teunis Westbroek.

Regional District CAO Paul Thorkelsson said the cost associated with waiving public transportation fees is relatively low because many riders have pre-purchased transit cards. Thorkelsson said daily transit fees collected are approximately $5,000. While directors eventually agreed to offer free transportation all day to all riders, there was some debate about whether the free ride should be specifically to polling stations and whether or not people should need to show their voter ID to get the deal. Thorkelsson said to “slice” up routes based on where polling stations are located would make things too complicated and requiring people to show voter ID would put the onus on bus drivers to negotiate with riders, as many people don’t have voter ID cards and are planning on using regular identification.

Nanaimo Coun. Bill Bestwick pointed out, “not to be a stick in the mud,” voting closes at 7 p.m. and wondered if the free transit offer would have a time frame.

“If the board is interested in doing this opening it up is the best route to go,” said Thorkelsson. “The cost associated with this is relatively low … I think it’s a gain in terms of goodwill of the electoral process.”

RDN transit will be free of charge all day Monday, Oct. 19 in an effort to encourage voting in the 42nd federal election.

For more on Tuesday’s RDN committee of the whole meeting check next week’s paper.

 

Just Posted

Qualicum Beach on path to ban plastic bags

Bylaw will get legal advice prior to third reading

RDN to improve ways to deal with bylaw disputes

New system being explored that will be more efficient and effective

Hotel, restaurant and multi-use residential complex proposed for Resort Drive

Parksville could soon see more rental units, some zoned for commercial use

Inside the music: step behind the curtain at the venerable Vancouver Island Music Festival

Big Read: VIMF in the Comox Valley exemplifies the spirit of an Island summer music festival

ECHO Players’ 2018/19 season announced

Qualicum Beach theatre company to show Peter Pan musical, Enchanted April and more

All-Indigenous teams break new ground, making BC Games history

This is the first time there have been dedicated Indigenous teams at the BC Summer Games

POLL: Do you use the bus system regularly

Question of the week, July 17

Canada to resettle dozens of White Helmets and their families from Syria

There are fears the volunteers would become a target for government troops

Francesco Molinari wins British Open at Carnoustie

It is his first win at a major and the first by an Italian

Government sets full-time salary range for Justin Trudeau’s nanny

At its top range, the order works out to a rate of $21.79 per hour, assuming a 40-hour work week

Recovery high schools could help teens before addiction takes hold: B.C. parents

Schools could provide mental health supports and let parents discuss their children’s drug use openly

Haida Gwaii village faces housing crisis, targets short-term rentals

Housing is tight and the village is pretty close to zero vacancy

Evacuation numbers remain at nearly 1,000 as B.C. wildfires rage on

200 firefighters and 18 helicopters were working to increase the containment of the fires

B.C. VIEWS: Unions regain control of public construction

B.C.’s 40-year battle swings back to international big labour

Most Read