Over the past year, the cost of living in Vancouver has skyrocketed by 7.7%. One expense that can be eliminated for them is the expense of transit.
This can be accomplished by extending the BC Bus Pass program, currently used by low-income seniors and residents with Persons With Disability (PWD) designation, to all low-income people in Vancouver – and eventually across the province.
There’s no logical reason why a 65 year-old person with a low income qualifies for a BC Bus Pass at $45 per year, but a 64 year-old with a low income has to pay $185.20/month for a 3-zone pass.
Of the 50,000 low-income people in Vancouver, 29% currently commute by transit. Providing them access to a low-income transit pass would cost TransLink only $16M in lost fare revenue per year.
Currently, people earning under $50k are paying 79% of the transit revenues collected by TransLink, while people earning over $100k are paying only 4% of transit revenues.
It’s time to reward low-income Vancouverites, who are already doing their part for the environment by taking transit in the highest numbers, with a $45/year transit pass.
The allonboard campaign won free transit for kids aged 12 and under, but the campaign's call for a low-income pass has not yet been taken up or implemented by TransLink or government.
Several other cities in Canada, including Waterloo, Kingston, Hamilton, Windsor, and Calgary, have already implemented reduced-fare bus passes for low-income people.
Read COPE's letter to the Minister of Social Development and Poverty Reduction
and the Minister Responsible for TransLink here.
Add your name: please sign the petition on the right-hand side of this page and share it on social media!
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We, the undersigned, call on the Province of BC to expand the BC Bus Pass to all people with low incomes, regardless of age.
This $45/year transit pass will help people leave their cars at home, reducing congestion and carbon emissions, while also helping people make ends meet.