On June 11th, Victoria Regional Commission approved free public transit for all students under 18 that live in Victoria. That got all transit users and students around Capital Regional District (CRD) saying they should approve for everyone in the region, such as Saanich and Oak Bay.
Global News reports that the city will not have any increase in taxes as the money for transit will be covered from the parking revenue in Victoria’s downtown, which recently became paid parking. The current bus fare for youth in Victoria is $2.50, and $45 monthly.
Victoria mayor Lisa Helps says the idea came from a campaign during last fall. She had a conversation with a teenage boy which added the idea to her platform to help youth financially and save extra money for families, and also help the environment by increasing transit ridership, “shifting people to modes of transit other than single occupancy vehicles to reduce emissions” due to the climate emergency.
The plan has people in other municipalities hopeful. According to the Daily Hive “over the Metro Vancouver, there were recently renewed calls by several municipal governments that requested TransLink to allow free public transit for youth further consideration.”
Victoria council is currently waiting to seek resolutions of support, says Vancouver Sun.