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

BC Ferries sailings filling up Family Day Monday

More than 20 sailings added between Swartz Bay and Tsawwassen for long weekend

Vikes coach joining Team Canada at Pan Am Cross Country Cup

Two-time Olympian Hilary Stellingwerff named to coaching staff

The Music of Cream touring band more than a tribute act

Ginger Baker’s son Kofi, Clapton’s nephew Will joined by rock stalwarts for 50th anniversary tour

Nainamo grew faster than Greater Victoria in 2019

Other Vancouver Island communities also recorded growth, but at lower rates

VIDEO: Kawhi Leonard wins first Kobe Bryant All-Star MVP award

Leonard scored 30 points and hit eight 3-pointers to lead Team LeBron to a 157-155 victory

Monday marks one-year anniversary of man missing from Langley

42-year-old B.C. man, Searl Smith, was last seen leaving Langley Memorial Hospital on Feb. 17, 2019

Amtrak warns of delays as railways from Seattle to B.C. blocked by Wet’suwet’en supporters

Coastal GasLink said it’s signed benefits agreements with all 20 elected band councils along pipeline route

Federal emergency group meets on pipeline protests as rail blockades continue

There’s mounting political pressure for Trudeau to put an end to the blockades

VIDEO: Minister reports ‘modest progress’ after blockade talks with First Nation

Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs say Coastal GasLink does not have authority to go through their lands

B.C. man released from quarantined cruise ship in Japan

Because Spencer Fehrenbacher has American citizenship, he was evacuated by the U.S.

PHOTOS: Victoria Cougars beat rival Campbell River Storm on Valentine’s Day

Cougars win 6-2 and continue to lead the VIJHL as playoffs approach

Henrique scores 2 as Ducks soar past Canucks 5-1

Vancouver tumbles out of top spot in Pacific Division

Trudeau cancels Caribbean trip amid pipeline protests across Canada

Protests against Coastal GasLink have disrupted rail service

Most Read