Three transit-related motions that were expected to be debated at the Regional District of Nanaimo’s Dec. 10 regular meeting were referred back to the transit select committee. (News Bulletin file)

Report examining free student bus passes detours to RDN transit committee

RDN board votes in favour of referring bus-related motions to January committee meeting

A motion for a report looking into free busing for high school students will take a detour to the committee level before it returns to the board table.

Tyler Brown, Regional District of Nanaimo director and transit select committee chairman, introduced a motion at the RDN’s Dec. 10 meeting asking for a report examining transit in Kingston, Ont., which has free, subsidized transit for older students. Notices of motion were given to RDN administration in mid-November, but not in a meeting, and a slight majority of board members deemed it would be proper procedure to refer back to the committee.

Brown told the board the Kingston model was one that has garnered interest from the likes of the Federation of Canadian Municipalities and said the Ontario city has a transit system similar to the RDN. In the span of 10 years, Kingston doubled its ridership, according to a staff report.

RELATED: Free student bus pass idea coming before RDN

The motions couldn’t be brought to the transit committee meeting on Nov. 21, because it was cancelled, said Brown. Furthermore, there is no date or timeline and the motion is only acknowledging there are innovative transit-related happenings in Kingston, which the RDN could learn from and possibly adapt, he said.

“Let’s get a little bit more information and have that information presented to us when it makes sense as we do numerous initiatives in 2020,” said Brown.

Ed Mayne, Parksville mayor and director, spoke in favour of referring the motion to the committee level and said Kingston and Nanaimo may be similar in some ways, but there are differences.

“We’re comparing two different animals,” said Mayne. “We need to have staff with enough time to be able to look at this. Kingston, I know it very well, has three universities. The geographic area of the City of Kingston is about half the size of the City of Nanaimo, let alone the region that we’re covering … at the end of the day, we have to make sure we’re comparing apples to apples on this, so I think we take the time. As much as we’d like to all get it done and get it off the table, you need to take the time to make sure we’re making the right decisions.”

Stuart McLean, Don Bonner, Brown, Ben Geselbracht, Erin Hemmens, Adam Fras, Mark Swain and Brian Wiese were directors voting against referring the Kingston report motion.

Brown and McLean, Area H director, also introduced respective motions requesting meetings between the RDN, B.C. Transit and representatives from Cowichan Valley and Comox Valley regional districts related to connecting transit systems. Both were also referred.

The next RDN transit select committee meeting is scheduled for Jan. 16.



reporter@nanaimobulletin.com

Like us on Facebook and follow Karl on Twitter and Instagram

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

Just Posted

Iconic white raven returns to Parksville Qualicum Beach area

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

Vancouver Island’s current COVID-19 case count officially hits zero

Of the 130 recorded Island Health cases, five people have died, 125 recovered

Qualicum Beach man arrested over racist incident at Tseshaht First Nation

Port Alberni RCMP said the man turned himself in

COVID-19: City of Parksville announces gradual re-opening plan

Sports courts and playgrounds to open June 5

Search and rescue crews help locate 62-year-old Nanoose Bay mountain biker

RCMP: Man got lost on trail and did right thing by calling for assistance

MAP: Dr. Henry reveals which B.C. regions have seen most COVID-19 cases

B.C. health officials release a first look at how the novel coronavirus has reached all corners of the province

Pair accused of ‘horrific’ assault at Vancouver’s Oppenheimer Park at large

Police say Jason Tapp, 30, and Nicole Edwards, 33, did not show up to meet their bail supervisor this week

Facing changes together: Your community, your journalists

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

No charges to be laid against 22 northern B.C. pipeline protesters

Twenty-two people were arrested in February, but Crown has decided not to pursue charges

Parcel stolen from front porch, Nanaimo RCMP looking for suspect

Unidentified woman allegedly stole package containing $400 smart watch

‘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

Plan in place for BC Ferries to start increasing service levels

Ferry corporation reaches temporary service level agreement with province

B.C. starts to see employment return under COVID-19 rules

Jobless rate for young people still over 20% in May

Alert Bay resident carves tribute to his community kicking COVID-19’s butt

‘Our little village crushed the curve with love and commitment’

Most Read