Advocate says new fares could be tough on seniors

Victoria Transit Commission’s newest fare structure will keep the cost of single fares at $2.50

Victoria Transit Commission’s newest fare structure has been well received from most, but it has overlooked seniors, according to Isobel Mackenzie of the Office off the Seniors Advocate.

The commission decided to keep single fare fees at $2.50, though one option was to raise them to $3. It also removed the transfer, but kept the cost of a day pass at $5. It discontinued discount ticket sales to youth and seniors (up to 18 and over 65), which were purchased in sheets of 10 for $15, and the six- and 12-month youth passes.

The new structure takes effect April 1.

“Given the timing and the information in front of them, I think the [transit] commission made the best decision that they could to support seniors,” said Mackenzie in a statement.

Currently, only seniors with an income less than $17,280 are eligible for B.C. Transit’s Guaranteed Income Supplement, which costs $45 annually. But many Greater Victoria seniors live at an income level that isn’t much higher than that.

“My concern is that if your income is just one dollar over the threshold, a senior immediately must pay the cost of the existing monthly bus pass, which at current prices translates to $540 yearly, and that is quite a gap,” said Mackenzie, who is hoping for a more progressive approach.

Saanich Coun. Susan Brice, who chairs the transit commission, said if the commission is going to create a ticket option based on financial thresholds it will likely look beyond seniors.

“I would think over the next three years there’s a number of things, a lot of riders regardless of age with financial challenges. We may need an even broader picture.”

Saanich Coun. Dean Murdock supports the commission’s decision to keep the single fare at $2.50.

“I am pleased to see they didn’t go to $3 across the board. It’s the right decision there, but I am concerned with the cost of a transfer doubling for people on a one-way trip.”

Though it isn’t a great portion of bus users, there are people who will now be forced to buy a day pass simply because they are on a one-way trip that transfers buses.

“I believe it will discourage some from using transit for a single trip.”

 

Just Posted

Famed Syrian artist displays paintings created while living in refugee camps

Farid Abdulbaki’s ‘Between Two Worlds’ exhibit will be displayed May 24-26 in Victoria

Mad Hatter’s Ball offers laughs in support of Boys and Girls Club

Annual fundraising event features improv performances at McPherson Playhouse May 24

Carbon dioxide at highest levels for over 2.5 million years, expert warns of 100 years of disruption

CO2 levels rising rapidly, now higher than at any point in humanity’s history

SidFest 7 ready to rock the Mary Winspear Centre

The Bankes Brothers and Madrona Drive headlining May 24 concert

Penelakut filmmaker Steve Sxwithul’txw finds success in film and TV

Cop-turned-storyteller reaches back to his past for Tribal Police Files

VIDEO: Horseshoe pitching association appeals to Greater Victora youngsters

Youth horseshoe pitching club offers fun for all ages, says GVHPA

B.C. VIEWS: Reality of our plastic recycling routine exposed

Turns out dear old China wasn’t doing such a great job

B.C. ferry stops to let black bear swim past near Nanaimo

Queen of Oak Bay brakes for wildlife in Nanaimo’s Departure Bay

Mother dead, child in critical condition after carbon monoxide poisoning at Shuswap campground

The woman was found unresponsive insider her tent and the youth was taken via air ambulance to hospital

Canada’s parole officers say correctional system has reached breaking point

About half of Canada’s federal parole officers work inside penitentiaries and correctional institutions

Montreal researchers create audible hockey puck for visually impaired players

Three years ago, Gilles Ouellet came up with the idea for a puck that makes a continuous sound

Vancouver Island MusicFest: ‘House bands’ from the golden age of rock and R&B

Some of America’s greatest session musicians are coming to the Comox Valley this summer

Former B.C. Greyhound bus drivers head to Penticton for goodbye party

Big bash runs until Sunday, funded by drink cans left behind on busses over the years

Boy, 12, arrested after allegedly pulling a knife on another child at a Surrey park

The child was later released into his parents’ custody as Surrey RCMP continue their investigation

Most Read