(TransLink)

(TransLink)

Vancouver city council endorses free transit for youth

Mayor Kennedy Stewart will write a support letter to TransLink

Vancouver city councillors have voted to support an initiative to give free transit to kids and teens.

The motion was made by Coun. Jean Swanson at Wednesday’s meeting as part of the All on Board campaign. Swanson’s motion also called for an end to ticketing youth for not paying a fare “so we aren’t criminalizing poverty.”

The All on Board campaign focuses on affordable transit based on income, including free transit for youth up to 18.

Campaign organizer Viveca Ellis said young people who were in poverty or government care should get access to a public transit system meant to serve everyone.

“Our most vulnerable and at-risk youth are just trying to use our system of public transit to get where they need to go and they’re getting ticketed,” Ellis said. “It’s a $173 ticket, no matter what.”

Because the tickets are linked to the Insurance Corporation of B.C., youth who are ticketed cannot get drivers licences or car insurance.

“We are saddling these youth with debt, because TransLink sends this debt to a collection agency,” Ellis said.

However, in a letter penned to the council, TransLink CEO Kevin Desmond said fewer than 20 of the 681 tickets handed out to youth in 2018 were referred to ICBC.

Coun. Colleen Hardwick, the only one to vote against the motion, asked if the scope of the request to work out a plan could be narrowed down.

“There is no such thing as a free ride. The money’s got to come from somewhere,” Hardwick said, pointing to Desmond’s letter that said the move could cost $25-40 million per year in lost revenue.

“All kids under 18? Well, there’s kids who come from families across the income spectrum.”

Ellis said the idea is neither new nor radical, and that universal free transit for youth would lead to lifelong transit use in all teens, not just poor ones.

“It’s been implemented in cities across the world. Seattle just implemented free transit for high school students,” she said. “The city of Toronto has free transit from ages zero to 12.”

The All on Board campaign was presented to the Mayors’ Council on Regional Transportation last fall and has received support from New Westminster and Port Moody councils. TransLink staff at the time said they were in talks with the province about it.

VIDEO: Three former youths in care ask TransLink to give teens free rides

Vancouver Mayor Kennedy Stewart will now write a letter to TransLink in support of the initiative.


@katslepian

katya.slepian@bpdigital.ca

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

Two-year-old Ivy McLeod, seen here on April 9, 2021 with four-year-old sister Elena and mom Vanessa, was born with limb differences. The family, including husband/dad Sean McLeod, is looking for a family puppy that also has a limb difference. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
Chilliwack family looking for puppy with limb difference, just like 2-year-old Ivy

Ivy McLeod born as bilateral amputee, now her family wants to find ‘companion’ puppy for her

The old seniors centre is adjacent to Mission Leisure Centre, which will compliment programs, amenities, parking, and security for the youth centre. Google Maps image.
Mission’s old seniors centre to be turned into youth centre

Council approves renovation costs of $105,000; youth lounge budget increase of $66,000

Four members with Divers for Cleaner Lakes and Oceans were out at Cultus Lake on March 28 and 29 hauling trash out of the waters. (Henry Wang)
PHOTOS: Out-of-town divers remove 100s of pounds of trash from Cultus Lake

Members of Divers for Cleaner Lakes and Oceans hauled out 470 pounds of trash over two days

People stroll through rows of tulips in bloom during the Tulips of the Valley Festival on May 2, 2017. The colourful spring event, now called Chilliwack Tulips, opens on Sunday, April 11, 2021. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress file)
Chilliwack tulip attraction open this weekend after being closed last year due to COVID-19

More than 6.5 million bulbs in all at this year’s colourful Chilliwack Tulips event

web
Mission mayoral hopefuls quizzed by chamber

All six candidates participate in virtual question period

B.C. Health Minister Adrian Dix and Premier John Horgan describe vaccine rollout at the legislature, March 29, 2021. (B.C. government)
1,262 more COVID-19 infections in B.C. Friday, 9,574 active cases

Province’s mass vaccination reaches one million people

Emergency crews on scene after a small plane crashed in a grassy area on the northeast side of Boundary Bay Airport Saturday morning (April 10). A freelancer said the plane caught fire and one person was transported to hospital by BC Emergency Health Services. (Photo: Shane MacKichan)
1 taken to hospital after plane crash at Metro Vancouver airport

Plane appears to have suffered ‘significant’ damage, says freelancer

A vehicle that was driven through the wall of a parkade at Uptown Shopping Centre and into the nearby Walmart on April 9 was removed through another hole in the wall later that night. (Photo via Saanich Police Department and Ayush Kakkar)
Vehicle launched into B.C. Walmart removed following rescue of trapped workers

Crews cut new hole in parkade wall to remove vehicle safely

As of Saturday, April 10, people born in 1961 are the latest to be eligible for a COVID-19 vaccine. (Black Press files)
B.C. residents age 60+ can now register to get their COVID-19 vaccine

Vaccine registration is now open to people born in 1961 or earlier

A new saline gargle test, made in B.C., will soon be replacing COVID-19 nasal swab tests for kids. (PHSA screenshot)
Take-home COVID-19 tests available for some B.C. students who fall ill at school

BC Children’s Hospital plans to provide 1,200 kits to Vancouver district schools this April

Ruming Jiang and his dog Chiu Chiu are doing fine following a brush with hypothermia that saw several people work together to get them out of the Fraser River near Langley’s Derby Reach Park on March 25, 2021 (Special to the Advance Times)
Man finds men who rescued him from drowning in B.C.’s Fraser River

A grateful Ruming Jiang says he will thank them again, this time in person when the pandemic ends

The 10-part Netflix series Maid, which is being exclusively shot in Greater Victoria, was filming near Prospect Lake in Saanich last month. (Photo courtesy Fred Haynes)
Province announces $150,000 towards film studio, fulfilling B.C. NDP promise

Investment to fund movie studio feasibility study at Camosun College

Tyson Ginter, 7, is proud of his latest Hot Wheels he recently received by Quesnel RCMP Const. Matt Joyce. (Photo submitted)
B.C. Mountie handing out toy cars to light up children’s faces

‘A lot of times it will be the only interaction they have with the police,’ says Const. Matt Joyce

Chief Public Health Officer Theresa Tam speaks during a technical briefing on the COVID pandemic in Canada, Friday, January 15, 2021 in Ottawa. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Canada’s ICUs see near-record of COVID-19 patients last week as variant cases double

Last week, Canadian hospitals treated an average of 2,500 patients with COVID-19, daily, up 7% from the previous week

Most Read