BC Transit bus not in service. (Keili Bartlett/News staff)

Victoria Foundation unwraps free bus passes for those in need

Just in time for the holidays, the Victoria Foundation offers a gift to those grappling with the cost of public transit. A grant of nearly $23,000 means agencies around Greater Victoria can provide more than 17,000 free bus trips for people struggling to make ends meet.

“The Victoria Foundation is very happy to be able to grant these funds, especially at this time of year when many people are more financially strapped than usual,” said CEO Sandra Richardson. “Our annual Victoria’s Vital Signs report highlights the importance of accessible transportation for all people to satisfy basic necessities and fully participate in society. The evidence shows an ongoing need to support vulnerable, low-income populations in our community so that they can get to and from work, as well as access services such as health care, food banks and other programs. The bus ticket program that this grant will go towards is an efficient and effective way of doing just that.”

READ ALSO: Victoria Hospice named in top 100 Canadian charities list

Since 1997, the Victoria Regional Transit Commission through BC Transit has provided bus tickets, and more recently passes, to the Community Social Planning Council to distribute through social service agencies. Agencies must have a mandate to work primarily with low income people and provide assurance that the tickets are being distributed free of charge to assist people with low income with urgent transport needs.

Last year, 65 agencies purchased more than 110,000 bus tickets to distribute. In the New Year, the council plans to provide 17,000 tickets. Funds will also be used to help offset a portion of the operating costs associated with running the program.

“The council is grateful to the Victoria Foundation and its donors for helping to expand this invaluable program,” said Heather Gardner, Chief Executive Director of the Community Social Planning Council. “We hear from many people that the cost of living is becoming more and more unbearable each day. Costs are rising well beyond wage increases. This program really makes a huge difference for so many people, and especially for families who have multiple activities each day.”


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Southern resident orca L41 considered missing and feared dead

The orca was last spotted in Aug. 2019 when photographed in western Strait of Juan de Fuca

WATCH: Sooke’s top stories

A round-up of this week’s top stories

Victoria becomes first municipality to endorse campaign for provincially-funded contraception

Council passes motion to support AccessBC campaign for no-cost birth control

West Shore Pickleball Association serves up idea for View Royal tennis court

‘We don’t have a place to call home’, says avid pickleball member

Indigenous youth arrested during 15-hour occupation to hold press conference Wednesday morning

The speakers are expected to condemn police, RCMP actions towards Indigenous people

VIDEO: Feds look to help 126 Canadians quarantined in China for coronavirus

China has confirmed more than 4,500 cases of the new virus, with more than 100 deaths

Off-duty Nanaimo Mountie takes down would-be ice cream thief

Suspect attempted to steal Dilly Bars from Dairy Queen location on Sunday

Nanaimo man hit with pole in dispute over off-leash dog

RCMP say no charges recommended at this time

Was there a tornado on Vancouver Island Monday?

Suspected phone app glitch gives eerie warning

Work has started on Malahat Skywalk, expected completion in 2021

$15-million project expected to open in spring, 2021

Sooke Minor Fastball to host coaching clinic

Clinic ideal for those planning to coach U6 to U18 teams

POLL: Are you concerned about the coronavirus?

The coronavirus which has sparked concern around the globe has now arrived… Continue reading

B.C. reports first coronavirus in Vancouver region

First patient visited Wuhan, China, reported symptoms

Most Read