Victoria youth will have access to free local transit starting Dec. 1 but for now, will have to renew the pass every month at city hall.
The City of Victoria’s youth transit pass pilot project kicks off next month, with 7,200 free passes available for residents aged 12 to 19 years old. Youth will be required to go to city hall and provide proof of address every month to pick up their passes.
In a motion to the Victoria Regional Transit Commission, mayor Lisa Helps calls the process “cumbersome” and “not the original intention of the program.”
“[It] will put a significant burden on city staff as well as parents and youth. City staff will continue to work to create a permanent steady-state program to be implemented for September 2020.”
Helps told Black Press Media Tuesday that the City is working closely with the the Greater Victoria School District to potentially combine student cards with youth transit passes by September 2020.
“This decision was just finalized today so our staff need a little bit of time to get a process in place,” she said. “Given the timing, there will be a clunky implementation for the first nine months.
“The thing is, if someone else is doing it, it must be possible,” Helps added. “UVic and Camosun have found a way to turn their student cards into passes.”
Help said the City expects a significant uptake on the passes, which will save parents money and offer youth more freedom.
In June, the commission voted to grant the City a subsidized pass system for residents 18 and younger, similar to those offered to University of Victoria and Camosun College students, except with the City footing the bill.
On Tuesday the commission approved the use of the region’s U-PASS fare of $11.25 per month for each youth pass, to be paid for in full by the City of Victoria from now through August 2020.
Helps encourages Victorians to watch the City’s Facebook, Twitter and website for updates on the passes.
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