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.


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Quilts for injured soldiers will be some of many on display at quilt show in Chilliwack

Chilliwack Quilters’ Guild brings its quilt show, Our Fabric Gems, to Chilliwack Alliance Church

‘Ballet Rocks’ brings a modern take on ballet at the Chilliwack Cultural Centre

Ballet Rocks pairs an eclectic mix of music with four Royal Winnipeg Ballet Alumni choreographers

BC Children’s virtual care sites open at Abbotsford and Chilliwack hospitals

Provincial initiative allows pediatric patients to see health specialists through video

Sardis Library escape room based on hit Netflix show Stranger Things

This is the second escape room in Chilliwack that the Sardis Library has put together this year

Chilliwack maternity ward gets bundle of new equipment

Breast pumps, small fridges for patient rooms and freezer for donor breast milk given to hospital

VIDEO: Langley woman’s security camera records its own theft

Langley family discovers early morning grab was recorded

Canadian Snowbirds plane crashes before air show in Atlanta

Pilot lands safely after ejecting from jet

Share crash data, private insurers tell David Eby, ICBC

B.C. monopoly makes drivers retrieve their own records

B.C. VIEWS: Wolf kill, not backcountry bans, saving caribou

B.C.’s largest herds turn the corner from extinction

Pearson nets shootout winner as Canucks clip Flyers 3-2

Vancouver picks up second straight home win

Map on Elections Canada website sends Nanaimo-Ladysmith voters to landfill

Address for polling station correct, but Google Map address differs

Man arrested in fatal stabbing at Surrey gas station

Victim pronounced deceased at the scene; RCMP cordon off area

Most Read