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.”


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

Comments are closed

Just Posted

City of Nanaimo paving work to alter traffic on Howard Avenue

Road rehabilitation work will re-route traffic in Harewood on Thursday

South Wellington Elementary demolition not taking place next school year

Nanaimo Ladysmith Public School trustees vote against razing south-end school in 2020/21

No injuries after SUV hits tree in north Nanaimo

Nanaimo RCMP and Fire Rescue respond to MVI on Hammond Bay Road, near Brigantine Drive

Nanaimo non-profits ask for volunteer receptionists

Nanaimo Disability Resource Centre and Volunteer Nanaimo have opportunities available

City of Nanaimo takes inventory of its land for official community plan review

Report recommends high-density residential development, identifies shortage of industrial land

The pandemic is widening Canada’s workplace gender gap

Gender pay gap is incentivizing fathers to work while mothers watch children, a new B.C. study has found

Indigenous leader Ed John pleads not guilty to historical sex charges

Ed John’s lawyer entered the plea by telephone on behalf of his client

Woman who talked to unconscious husband for 30 years gets solace from B.C. study

Ian Jordan suffered a head injury when he and another officer were on their way to a call in Victoria in September 1987

RCMP investigate threat against Indigenous totem poles on B.C.’s Sunshine Coast

Police describe the nature of the threat as ‘sensitive’

Ex-Okanagan Mountie forfeits 20 days’ pay after sexual misconduct review

A former Vernon RCMP constable made sexual comments, grabbed genitals of male officer in two incidents 10 years ago

Man found dead on Okanagan trail identified as Hollywood actor

GoFundMe campaign launched for man found dead at summit of Spion Kop

3 people dead in Prince George motel fire

Fire personnel believe the blaze was suspicious although investigation in early stages

B.C. sets terms to review police, mental health, race relations

MLAs to recommend Police Act changes by May 2021

Most Read