VICTORIA -- The City of Victoria is readying its rollout of free transit passes for young people before the end of the year.

The Victoria Regional Transit Commission has voted to provide the city with 7,200 youth passes at a cost of $729,000, according to Saanich councillor and transit commission chair Susan Brice.

The passes will become available before the end of the month, when residents between the ages of 12 and 19 can visit Victoria City Hall to pick them up free of charge.

The passes will be valid for use from Dec. 1 until August 2020.

According to the transit commission motion which passed Tuesday, Victoria city staff plan to create a permanent program for free youth bus passes by September 2020.

City staff will continue to work to create a permanent steady-state program to be implemented for September 2020.

The cost of free transit passes is being offset by paid Sunday parking, which the city implemented in May.