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

Just Posted

‘We are all worried:’ Downtown hotel developers to meet with City of Nanaimo

PEG Developments say they’re pushing to break ground before Dec. 31 deadline

Police seek owner of ‘very old gold’ watch found in central Nanaimo

Nanaimo RCMP say women’s watch has phrase “Always with Love” engraved on it

Coats for Christmas organizes collection events at Maffeo Sutton Park

Youth-led charity drive takes place Friday, Dec. 6, and Sunday, Dec. 8

Beefs & Bouquets, Dec. 5

To submit a beef or a bouquet to the Nanaimo News Bulletin, e-mail bulletinboard@nanaimobulletin.com

Nanaimo Clippers holding Teddy Bear Toss

BCHL team has pair of home games this weekend, including charity event Saturday, Dec. 7

VIDEO: Federal Liberals’ throne speech welcomes opposition’s ideas

Trudeau will need NDP or Bloc support to pass legislation and survive confidence votes

Coins can add up to a merrier Christmas for kids

News Bulletin’s Coins for Kids campaign now underway

VIDEO: John Lennon’s iconic Rolls Royce rolls into Vancouver Island college for checkup

Royal BC Museum, Camosun College and Coachwerks Restorations come together to care for car

VIDEO: Rockslide closes part of Highway 93 in Fairmont Hot Springs

Geotechnical team called in to do an assessment after rocks fell from hoodoos

Petition calls for appeal of ex-Burns Lake mayor’s sentence for sex assault

Prosecution service says Luke Strimbold’s case is under review

Northwest B.C. wildlife shelter rescues particularly tiny bear cub

Shelter co-founder says the cub weighs less than a third of what it should at this time of year

BC firefighters to help battle Australian bushfires

Canada sent 22 people, including 7 from B.C.

B.C. NDP touts the end of MSP premiums

Horgan, James held news conference to reiterate that people will get their last bill this month

Oscar Hickes: Longest running hockey tournament on Vancouver Island cancelled

Patrick Murray, one of the organizers for the tournament, broke the sad news on social media.

Most Read