Tyler Brown, Regional District of Nanaimo transit select committee chairman, wants to explore free bus passes for secondary students in the Nanaimo area. (News Bulletin file)

Tyler Brown, Regional District of Nanaimo transit select committee chairman, wants to explore free bus passes for secondary students in the Nanaimo area. (News Bulletin file)

Idea of free student bus passes will come to Regional District of Nanaimo board table

Tyler Brown, RDN transit committee chairman, hopes to explore fully subsidized bus passes for youths

Nanaimo organizations that service youths hope the Regional District of Nanaimo transit select committee chairman’s plan to explore free student bus passes will bear fruit.

Tyler Brown, also an RDN director and City of Nanaimo councillor, is expected to introduce transit-related notices of motion at a regular board meeting Dec. 10, including one examining fully subsidized transit passes for high school students.

The notices would direct staff to compile a report and possible initiatives that would be applicable to the RDN. It is based on a model from Kingston, Ont., which saw ridership double within 10 years, according to Brown.

“It had a system that wasn’t performing or functioning well and they made a series of changes,” said Brown. “One of the significant changes was fully subsidizing transit passes for their high schools, Grades 9-12. But it wasn’t just that. It was sort of contextualized with a really robust education program around transit for those students as well.”

The idea is something both Nanaimo Ladysmith Public Schools and Nanaimo Aboriginal Centre support.

In an e-mail, Charlene McKay, school board chairperson, said free bus passes are in line with district priorities.

“The board of education recently wrote a letter of support for our Youth Climate Action Network (previously Green Network) students, who are advocating for free transit passes for youth,” McKay said. “While many of our secondary students take school buses driven by our CUPE members, many others utilize public transit to get to and from school each day rather than commuting with their parent or guardian.”

McKay said she hopes consideration will be given to support students’ vision of greenhouse gas emission reductions as well as through support of free or subsidized youth transit passes.

READ ALSO: RDN looks to provide year-round busing

READ ALSO: SD68 combining Jingle Pot-NDSS area bus routes

Ruby Barclay, aboriginal centre youth advisory council coordinator, said free bus passes “would make a world of difference” for Tsawalk Learning Centre students as it would offer avenues of safety, increased accessibility to resources and would benefit vulnerable students, especially those experiencing poverty.

“We have some great resources located all over Nanaimo,” said Barclay. “They’d be able to go and access medical resources, they’d be able to go and access wellness resources, they’d be able to access community-based resources, those kind of different things in the community and also be able to go and access recreation and different parts of Nanaimo in terms of being able to access nature … the rec centre, skating, the mall, shopping, there’re so many different things that having to pay for transit creates a barrier for them.”



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

Pat Kauwell, a semi-retired construction manager, lives in his fifth-wheel trailer on Maxey Road because that’s what he can afford on his pension, but a Regional District of Nanaimo bylaw prohibits using RVs as permanent dwellings, leaving Kauwell and others like him with few affordable housing options. (Chris Bush/News Bulletin)
Housing crunch or not, it’s illegal to live in an RV in Nanaimo

Regional District of Nanaimo bylaw forcing pensioner to move RV he calls home off private farm land

Heidi Sinclair, executive director of Nanaimo Community Kitchens, left, accepts a $13,500 donation from 100-plus Women Who Care Mid Island, represented by Nahanni Ackroyd and Shannon Gorgichuk. (Photo submitted)
Caring women in Nanaimo give generously to community kitchen society

100-plus Women Who Care Mid Island donate $13,500 to Nanaimo Community Kitchens Society

Nanaimo Regional General Hospital. (News Bulletin file photo)
UPDATE: Another COVID-19 case found as part of NRGH outbreak

Four patients tested positive for the virus in NRGH’s high-intensity rehab unit

Police cordoned off the block of Fifth Avenue from Burde Street to Bute Street in front of the Phoenix House sobering centre in the early-morning hours of Sunday, April 4, 2021. (FACEBOOK PHOTO)
Port Alberni stabbing suspect arrested in Nanaimo

Man was also in possession of fentanyl: RCMP

Noel Brown, Snuneymuxw First Nation carver, observes the house post he carved, which now is situated in front of the Kw’umut Lelum centre on Centre Street in Nanaimo. (Karl Yu/News Bulletin)
House post representative of work of Kw’umut Lelum in Nanaimo

Snuneymuxw First Nation artist Noel Brown’s carved red cedar house post unveiled Friday, April 16

Noel Brown, Snuneymuxw First Nation carver, observes the house post he carved, which now is situated in front of the Kw’umut Lelum centre on Centre Street in Nanaimo. (Karl Yu/News Bulletin)
House post representative of work of Kw’umut Lelum in Nanaimo

Snuneymuxw First Nation artist Noel Brown’s carved red cedar house post unveiled Friday, April 16

Pall Bearers carrying the coffin of the Duke of Edinburgh, followed by the Prince of Wales, left and Princess Anne, right, into St George’s Chapel for his funeral, at Windsor Castle, in Windsor, England, Saturday April 17, 2021. (Danny Lawson/Pool via AP)
Trudeau announces $200K donation to Duke of Edinburgh award as Prince Philip laid to rest

A tribute to the late prince’s ‘remarkable life and his selfless service,’ the Prime Minister said Saturday

B.C. homeowners are being urged to take steps to prepare for the possibility of a flood by moving equipment and other assets to higher ground. (J.R. Rardon)
‘Entire province faces risk’: B.C. citizens urged to prepare for above-average spring flooding

Larger-than-normal melting snowpack poses a threat to the province as warmer weather touches down

Vancouver-based Doubleview Gold Corp. is developing claims in an area north of Telegraph Creek that occupies an important place in Tahltan oral histories, said Chad Norman Day, president of the Tahltan Central Government. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO)
B.C. Indigenous nation opposes mineral exploration in culturally sensitive area

There’s “no way” the Tahltan would ever support a mine there, says Chad Norman Day, president of its central government

Stz’uminus Elder George Harris, Ladysmith Mayor Aaron Stone, and Stz’uminus Chief Roxanne Harris opened the ceremony. (Cole Schisler photo)
Symbolic red dresses rehung along B.C. highway after vandals tore them down

Leaders from Stz’uminus First Nation and the Town of Ladysmith hung new dresses on Sat. April 17

A Western toadlet crosses the centre line of Elk View Road in Chilliwack on Aug. 26, 2010. A tunnel underneath the road has since been installed to help them migrate cross the road. Saturday, April 24 is Save the Frogs Day. (Jenna Hauck/ Progress File)
Unofficial holidays: Here’s what people are celebrating for the week of April 18 to 24

Save the Frogs Day, Love Your Thighs Day and Scream Day are all coming up this week

Local carpenter Tyler Bohn embarked on a quest to create the East Sooke Treehouse, after seeing people build similar structures on a Discovery Channel show. (East Sooke Treehouse Facebook photo)
PHOTOS: B.C. carpenter builds fort inspired by TV’s ‘Treehouse Masters’

The whimsical structure features a wooden walking path, a loft, kitchen – and is now listed on Airbnb

The Attorney General’s Ministry says certain disputes may now be resolved through either a tribunal or the court system, pending its appeal of a B.C. Supreme Court decision that reduced the tribunal’s jurisdiction. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)
Court of Appeal grants partial stay in ruling on B.C. auto injuries

B.C. trial lawyers challenged legislation brought in to cap minor injury awards and move smaller court disputes to the Civil Resolution Tribunal

A vial of some of the first 500,000 AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine doses that Canada secured. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Carlos Osorio
Canada’s 2nd blood clot confirmed in Alberta after AstraZeneca vaccine

The male patient, who is in his 60s, is said to be recovering

Most Read