Some changes are being made to transit fares that have been approved by city council, including no age-based discounts for cash fares. Monica Lamb-Yorski photo

Some changes are being made to transit fares that have been approved by city council, including no age-based discounts for cash fares. Monica Lamb-Yorski photo

No age-based discounts for transit cash fares in Williams Lake

In a move to encourage more people to purchase monthly passes, city council has approved changes for transit.

People paying cash or purchasing tickets to ride the bus in Williams Lake will no longer have access to age-based discounts.

The move comes after city council approved the change at its regular meeting Tuesday, which would mean discounts will only be for monthly passes.

It is thought the change will speed up the boarding process because people won’t need to verify age or student status and that it will provide an incentive for seniors and students to switch to monthly passes, the City’s director of development services Leah Hartley noted in a report to city council.

At the meeting, council deferred increasing fares and 10-strip ticket prices until September 2018, when the matter will be discussed at a committee of the whole meeting.

Presently the fare is $1.75 for everyone and free for children four years old and under.

Monthly passes are $43 for adults and $36 for students and seniors.

For low-income transit riders, the Ministry of Social Development and Social Innovation offers an annual bus pass that is valid for eligible riders on any fixed-route transit service.

For information on criteria for eligibility, visit www.buspass.gov.bc.ca or call 1·866·866·0800.

Read More: NDP adds $52 for disability transportation

Additionally, the Government of Canada offers a non-refundable tax credit to riders who use a monthly pass.

They must save their pass and receipt as proof of purchase.

In Williams Lake the buses run Monday through Saturday, except for holidays.

Presently there are four different routes, including one from Sugar Cane three times a day from Tuesday to Friday.

Last month three new buses rolled out in Williams Lake, that are smaller and all accessible.

Read More: Three new buses for Williams Lake

In December 2016, Nirmal Singh, the owner of Town Taxi in Williams Lake purchased an accessible taxi, after years of lobbying by the Williams Lake Accessibility Advisory Committee.

The taxi was involved in a collision earlier this winter and was out service for several weeks.

However on Friday, Feb. 2, it was back on the road and is available for bookings from noon until 9 p.m. daily.