The City of Chilliwack is investigating the idea of providing free transit to youth. (Progress file)

Chilliwack pondering free transit for youth

Idea is under consideration as city observes pilot project in Victoria

Should kids get a free ride when it comes to the bus?

The idea is under consideration for the City of Chilliwack as a way to encourage alternative modes of transportation and get young people used to what can be an intimidating way of getting around for those unfamiliar.

“It seems pretty easy, but I think the first time a kid gets on a bus is pretty intimidating,” Coun. Jeff Shields said at the Aug. 6 city council meeting. “This a way get them into using that alternative type of transportation.”

Shields pointed out that using transit is second nature for most young people who grew up in major centres like Vancouver or Toronto.

“A kid who grows up in downtown Chilliwack, they really have no idea how to use a bus system.”

Shields is chair of the city’s Transportation Advisory Committee (TAC) that discussed the idea of free transit for youth at its June 20 meeting, the minutes of which were on the agenda at the Aug. 6 meeting. It was at the June meeting where Coun. Shields shared with the committee information gleaned from a recent Federation of Canadian Municipalities (FCM) conference he attended in Quebec.

• RELATED: More vision planning for Chilliwack transit underway

• RELATED: Summer service by bus from Chilliwack to Cultus Lake starting soon

The city of Kingston, Ont., started a transit high school bus pass project to encourage youth to get to school, work and recreation. That city also has a introduced a transit orientation program for youth to teach them about the cost savings compared to operating a vehicle.

A few communities in B.C. have implemented free transit for youth pilot projects, including Victoria which gives passes to those 18 and under in the Greater Victoria area.

Minutes from the June meeting show that a BC Transit representative, Lisa Trotter, who sits on the committee talked also about an outreach program to schools called “Kids Ride the Bus.”

The free transit for youth idea is a new one even in Victoria and it’s set to launch in September. Trotter told the committee she would bring back results of the pilot project’s first quarter results to the TAC in 2020.

At the Aug. 6 meeting, council endorsed the TAC’s recommendation to request BC Transit provide options and analysis for a seasonal and year-round youth free transit pilot and for staff to prepare a report to council.


@PeeJayAitch
paul.henderson@theprogress.com

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

Researchers at UFV looking into effects of pandemic on activity and mental health

Survey is online now to gather data from people of all backgrounds on physical activity changes

Cyrus Centre takes Easter dinner on the road for youth

Centres in Abbotsford and Chilliwack preparing to deliver meals to their youth and families

Disinfectant wipes and sanitizer being stolen out of cars in Fraser Valley

RCMP reminding vehicle owners to remove all valuables from cars, even cleaning supplies

Visitors reminded to stay away from Cultus Lake Park as long weekend approaches

Despite the warm and sunny weather forecast for Easter weekend, Cultus Lake Park remains closed

PHOTOS: Teachers send ‘we miss you’ message to students via school parade in Chilliwack

Central elementary was one of several Chilliwack schools that held a parade for its students

VIDEO: B.C. singer creates frontline workers tribute song

Cambree Lovesy’s song saluting those battling COVID-19 draws interest online

COVID-19 death toll reaches 50 in B.C., while daily case count steadies

B.C. records 34 new cases in the province, bringing total active confirmed cases to 462

Researchers to study whether plasma of recovered patients can treat COVID-19

Plasma is the liquid portion of the blood that contains the antibodies that protect against illness

B.C., Alberta health ministers urge public to stay home Easter weekend

Regional politicians, online petition calling for closure of provincial border to non-essential traffic

Human rights complaint over city’s Pride flag tossed out

Kari Simpson’s attempt to block Langley City’s flag raising has failed

Abbotsford prison has confirmed COVID-19 case

Pacific Regional Treatment Centre is the third prison in B.C. in one week to confirm case

B.C.’s COVID-19 rent supplement starts taking applications

$300 to $500 to landlords for April, May and June if eligible

Most Read