The kids on the bus will be saying yay-yay-yay as public transit is now free in B.C. for all children under 12.
Launched on Sept. 1, the program will help make public transit options more affordable and is aimed at encouraging more people to use public transit across the province. This includes buses, SkyTrain, SeaBus and the West Coast Express.
On buses, children 12 and under can board without any kind of pass, but children under five must be accompanied by someone aged 12 or over. For SkyTrain, and Seabus, children will need to be with an adult who can tap them through the fare gate, although the province said it’s working on a dedicated product for children which will be made available soon.
For HandyDart buses,
The province estimates that approximately 370,000 children will be eligible to ride public transit free of charge. Families who buy monthly bus passes for children will no longer be required to do so, saving the average family $57-per-month on TransLink passes and $35-per-month on B.C. Transit Children’s passes.
“By providing free public transit for children, we’re building the ridership of the future today, while making life more affordable for working families,” said George Heyman, minister of environment and climate change. “As our population increases, the need for climate-friendly forms of transportation continues to grow. Public transit reduces road congestion, supports our economy and offers a cleaner, low-carbon way of getting around that works for people and builds healthy communities.”
In a news release, the province emphasized that although children can now ride for free, parents are still responsible for providing adequate provisions for the safety and care of their children whenever they use transit.
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