Free bus service on the day of the coming federal election (Sept. 20) is being considered by the Regional District of Nanaimo. (File photo)

Free bus service on the day of the coming federal election (Sept. 20) is being considered by the Regional District of Nanaimo. (File photo)

Regional District of Nanaimo staff proposes free bus rides on election day

Goal is to provide more voters a chance to reach polling stations on Sept. 20

The Regional District of Nanaimo will again look to provide free transit service on general election day, Sept. 20.

The regional district in 2019 offered free bus rides to the public on the day of the federal election and BC Transit wanted to confirm the district will offer the service again.

Staff indicated the estimated cash revenue loss the RDN incurred by offering free service at the last election was approximately $5,500.

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Manager of transit operations, Darren Marshall, in a report that will be presented at the RDN board meeting on Sept. 7, pointed out offering the free service will allow all residents within the regional district to have an opportunity to reach polling stations and cast their ballots.

This incentive, Marshall added, will assist in voter turnout and reduce the number of vehicles on the roadway.

Most of the voting locations in the regional district area are on or near conventional bus routes or are clients of HandyDART transit door-to-door service.

Marshall has recommended the board approve the provision of free transit on election day.

— NEWS Staff

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