Chilliwack council is offering free bus service on Oct. 20, municipal election day, to encourage people to do their civic duty and vote. (Progress file)

Free transit on election day in Chilliwack on Oct. 20

Chilliwack council decides to try for a better voter turnout by offering a free ride to the polls

There may be no free lunch, but there will be a free ride to the polls on October 20.

With the idea of encouraging a better voter turnout in Chilliwack for the 2018 municipal election, city council is following the lead of other B.C. jurisdictions in offering free bus service on election day.

“Whenever it comes to election time we’re always thinking of ways to make people think more about voting,” said Mayor Sharon Gaetz. “We certainly don’t want transportation to be a barrier.”

Voter turnout in Chilliwack was only 20.6 per cent in 2014, which was up from the dismal turnout of only 14.6 per cent in 2011.

“So if we can make it easier to get people out to vote, we want to do everything we can to make it possible for them to do so.”

Council voted Tuesday to approve free service on Chilliwack Transit buses on Oct. 20, municipal election day.

There is precedent. It’s increasing seen as a worthwhile expense by various governments to improve the numbers of those who show up to cast their votes.

“I haven’t heard if they increased the voter turnout this way, but it is something we will be looking at after the election,” said Gaetz.

Last year for the provincial election, six B.C. communities offered free transit.

During the last municipal election, four B.C. communities made the bus ride to the polls complimentary. This year, the City of Abbotsford, and the FVRD are considering offering free transit on on election day.

Staff estimated it would cost about $1,800 to offer voters free bus rides on that one day.

Free transit service may result in an increased voter turnout and encourage transit ridership at the same time.

READ MORE: 2014 election results

READ MORE: Online voting may become reality


@CHWKjourno
jfeinberg@theprogress.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

PHOTOS: Spirit of the People Powwow in Chilliwack

Family Day weekend powwow a colourful, vivid celebration of Indigenous culture

How much does your city spend per person on snow removal?

Black Press Media compares 2018 ice and snow removal budgets of various Lower Mainland communities

Lucas Mannes and Calgary Dinos through to Canada West basketball semi-finals

The GW Graham grad helped his Dinos drop the Winnipeg Wesmen in a playoff series last weekend.

B.C. BUDGET: Surplus $374 million after bailouts of BC Hydro, ICBC

Growth projected stronger in 2020, Finance Minister Carole James says

Chilliwack Chiefs end BCHL regular season with meaningless road trip

The regular season champs travel to Prince George this weekend with nothing on the line.

VIDEO: 8 things you need to know about the 2019 B.C. budget

Surplus of $247 million with spending on children, affordability and infrastructure

‘Bullet missed me by an inch’: Man recounts friend’s killing at Kamloops hotel

Penticton man witnessed Summerland resident Rex Gill’s murder in Kamloops

B.C. BUDGET: Income assistance raise still leaves many below poverty line

$50 per month increase included in funding for poverty and homelessness reduction

B.C. BUDGET: Indigenous communities promised billions from gambling

Extended family caregiver pay up 75 per cent to keep kids with relatives

B.C. BUDGET: New benefit increases family tax credits up to 96 per cent

BC Child Opportunity Benefit part of province’s efforts to reduce child poverty

B.C. BUDGET: Carbon tax boosts low-income credits, electric vehicle subsidies

Homeowners can get up to $14,000 for heating, insulation upgrades

B.C. man survives heart attack thanks to Facebook

A Princeton man suffered a heart attack while at an isolated property with no cell service

Abbotsford man sues Maxime Bernier’s People’s Party over trademark

Satinder Dhillon filed application for trademark same day Maxime Bernier announced the new party

New trial ordered over banning whales, dolphins at Vancouver aquarium

Park board’s appeal reverses previous decision that found it had no right to implement a ban

Most Read