Free transit plan gets nod from Victoria council
CTV Vancouver Island
Published Friday, April 26, 2019 9:50AM PDT
Last Updated Friday, April 26, 2019 4:37PM PDT
Victoria council is moving ahead with a call to make transit free for all riders in the Capital Region.
At a Thursday meeting, council voted 8-1 in favour to endorse a resolution calling on BC Transit and the Victoria Regional Transit Commission to make transit free “as a form of climate action.”
It calls on the VRTC and BC Transit to start by implementing a pilot program in the 2020 budget that would eliminate fares for riders 18 and under before expanding the program to everyone.
Council would make up for the loss of revenue from transit fares with “adjustments to provincial transfers and the property tax requisition,” according to the proposal.
The resolution also calls for enhanced transit service levels and an expansion of BC Transit’s fleet to meet increased demand.
The lone vote against the proposal was Coun. Geoff Young. Coun. Charlayne Thornton-Joe excused herself from the vote due to a conflict of interest.
The resolution will also be sent to other councils within the CRD.
It was brought to council by councilors Ben Isitt and Sharmarke Dubow.
The VRTC, which is made up of various CRD politicians including Dubow and Victoria Mayor Lisa Heps, has ultimate authority over the transit funding model.