Demand for subsidized bus trips outpaces supply

Low-income earners use subsidized passes for work, personal use and appointments

Despite increasing demand from low-income earners in need of free bus rides, B.C. Transit will not be able to meet the growing need for its ticket assistance program this year.

The Community Social Planning Council, which represents 57 social service groups, recently asked to purchase 1,700 monthly passes and 136,000 bus tickets for the year, to allow more people to get to school, work and medical appointments.

The Victoria Regional Transit Commission has agreed to provide 112,500 tickets and 1,000 monthly passes, at a time when B.C. Transit must reduce bus service hours to save money.

Under the program, which dates back to 1997, the council purchases half the number of passes and tickets, and B.C. Transit chips in the rest for free.