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

Saanich’s provisional police budget under fire

Grumpy Taxpayer$ of Greater Victoria question why budget requests are rising as crime drops

Victoria Guard Commander leads group of snowmen after ceremony cancelled

Lt.-Cmdr. Michael Irwin wasn’t going to let a bit of snow strip him of his duties

Number of adults living with parents has doubled since 1995

9 per cent of the adult population living with one or more parent

Beauty Day spreads ‘brightness’ at Our Place

Volunteer hairdressers, estheticians, even a tarot card reader took part in the Victoria event

VIDEO: Canada’s flag turns 54 today

The maple leaf design by George Stanley made its first appearance Feb. 15, 1965

Eight cases of measles confirmed in Vancouver outbreak

Coastal Health official say the cases stem from the French-language Ecole Jules Verne Secondary

Plecas won’t run in next election if B.C. legislature oversight reforms pass

B.C. Speaker and Abbotsford South MLA says he feels ‘great sympathy’ for Jody Wilson-Raybould

Workshop with ‘accent reduction’ training cancelled at UBC

The workshop was cancelled the same day as an email was sent out to international students

Former B.C. premier Gordon Campbell accused of sexual touching

Accuser went to police, interviewed by Britian’s Daily Telegraph

Man in Vancouver Island hotel shooting pleads guilty to second-degree murder

Brandon Tyler Woody, from Victoria, to be sentenced in late March in B.C. Supreme Court

Judge rules Abbotsford home must be sold after son tries to evict mom

Mom to get back down payment and initial expenses

Trump officially declares national emergency to build border wall

President plans to siphon billions from federal military construction and counterdrug efforts

Snow turns to slush, rain as it warms up across B.C.’s south coast

Some areas are already covered by more than half a metre of snow following three separate storms

Most Read