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.

 

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Illegal waste-dumping spikes in Regional District of Nanaimo during 2019

Last year the RDN collected 74 tonnes last year

Iconic white raven returns to Parksville Qualicum Beach area

Photographer John Domovich: ‘It blew me away when I first observed it’

Parksville’s Summer by the Sea event starts June 30

‘We are looking forward to providing a vibrant market’

Qualicum Beach man arrested over racist incident at Tseshaht First Nation

Port Alberni RCMP said the man turned himself in

VIDEO: B.C. dentist gets grand welcome home after two months in hospital fighting COVID-19

Michael Chow was given a surprise send off by hospital staff and ‘welcome home’ from neighbours

Friends, family mourn Salt Spring Island woman killed in suspected murder-suicide

A GoFundMe campaign has been launched for Jennifer Quesnel’s three sons

Facing changes together: Your community, your journalists

The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the world in ways that would have… Continue reading

‘Like finding a needle in a haystack’: Ancient arrowhead discovered near Williams Lake

The artifact is believed to be from the Nesikip period between 7,500 BP to 6,000 BP

Indigenous families say their loved ones’ deaths in custody are part of pattern

Nora Martin joins other Indigenous families in calling for a significant shift in policing

PHOTOS: Anti-racism protesters gather in communities across B.C.

More protests are expected through the weekend

Indigenous chief alleges RCMP beat him during arrest that began over expired licence plate

Athabasca Chipewyan Chief Allan Adam calling for independent investigation

Black Lives solidarity demonstration fills Nanaimo park

Anti-racism protest held at Maffeo Sutton Park on Friday afternoon

‘I’m pissed, I’m outraged’: Federal minister calls out police violence against Indigenous people

Indigenous Minister Marc Miller spoke on recent incidents, including fatal shooting of a B.C. woman

Most Read