RDN to offer free bus passes

The plan is to help people below Statistics Canada’s low-income cut-off

The Regional District of Nanaimo plans to provide a limited number of free bus passes for families below the poverty line within the regional district.

Under Policy C3.2, Distribution of Complimentary and Reduced Fare Products, free transit passes will be distributed by non-profit organizations within the regional district, to individuals and families who fall below the low-income cutoff as defined by Statistics Canada.

The 2016 census data reported that in the RDN, there are a total of 12,960 people living below the poverty line. The RDN, however, is not in a position to fund free transit passes to everyone. According to Daniel Pierce, Director of Transportation and Emergency Services, if half the number — students, seniors and adults — is eligible to receive a complimentary monthly pass, it would result in a potential loss in revenue of $376,960 per month, or $4,523,520 annually. It would require tax requisition to recover the loss.

The Distribution of Complimentary and Reduced Fare Products Policy allows the RDN to set a maximum amount of $25,000 that would be distributed within a calendar year.

This would provide 1,100 sheets of 10 adult tickets to be distributed to people below the poverty line.

Staff recommended to the RDN Transit Select Committee to approve the $25,000 amount. The 2018 Transportation Financial Plan includes the loss of $25,000 to accommodate the policy.

In his report to the RDN Transit Select Committee, Pierce indicated that there is no industry standard when selecting a discount fare program.

Based on the 2015 low-income cutoff, which is the most recent data available, those eligible for complimentary fare are one-person households with a gross income of $20,822, two persons ($25,921), three persons ($31,866), four persons ($38,691), five persons ($43,883), six persons ($49,493) and seven persons ($55,103).

Send story tips to: michael.briones@pqbnews.com

Just Posted

Bodysculptors Fitness named top Qualicum Beach business

Chamber of Commerce hosts annual community excellence awards

Youths cultivate employment in agricultural sector

Career Centre debuts GoodSeeds training program pilot with class of 10 students

Dancers to perform for homeless footwear fundraiser

Qualicum Beach School of Dance supporting ShuGuy with annual event

VIDEO: Family builds eight-foot igloo in front of Parksville home

Sunday snowfall leads to all-day family activity

Duncan family says care home switched mom’s cat with robot cat

Staff alleged to have said they were taking cat for bath, then replaced her with robotic stuffed toy

VIDEO: Jazz performance ahead of Legally Blonde musical

Parksville students celebrated at fine arts night

New charges against ex-Trump campaign associates

More charges were laid Thursday against President Donald Trump’s former campaign chairman and his business associate

Man accused in death of Winnipeg teen Tina Fontaine not guilty

Raymond Cormier was accused of killing Indigenous 15-year-old and dumping her body in the Red River

Okanagan real estate agents brace for speculation tax impact

“There’s a real potential for a domino effect to hurt the market in Kelowna.”

Human remains found near Campbell River

Human remains were found in a rural area outside Campbell River, RCMP… Continue reading

Alberta drops B.C. wine boycott, Notley says Horgan ‘blinked’ on pipeline

B.C. government announces court reference on proposed diluted bitumen restriction

Tofino Bus will cover Victoria–Nanaimo route after Greyhound announces cut

Although its name says ‘Tofino’, this bus company serves all of Vancouver Island

UPDATE: Northern Health dealing with lack of 121 registered nurses

Auditor General says officials need to improve internal management, track effect of new policies

B.C. businesses say new health tax will raise prices for consumers

Province announced that MSP will be gone by 2020

Most Read