Since 1997, the Victoria Regional Transit Commission has set aside a portion of their bus tickets and more recently passes that can be purchased at a reduced rate if they are given free of charge to low income individuals with urgent transportation needs.
The Council, through an innovative partnership with social service nonprofit agencies, developed an efficient and effective model for accessing and distributing these tickets while doubling the number that are distributed at no charge to people living on low income in BC's Capital Region.
This program has grown since its inception, and supports the work of between 65 and 83 local agencies as well as enhancing the lives of hundreds of citizens. Agencies purchase tickets and passes through the Community Social Planning Council. Purchased tickets are matched on a 1:1 basis with free tickets from the Transit Commission (to a maximum allotment per year).
Participating agencies report on transit ticket usage throughout the year and participate in an annual meeting. The annual meeting provides a unique opportunity to focus on transportation needs, and gaps in the system in this region. This program has highlighted the importance of transportation to enable people to meet basic needs and to fully participate in community life.
Criteria for Participation
In order to participate in the BC Transit Ticket Assistance Program, agencies must:
- Have a mandate to work primarily with low income people;
- Provide assurance that the tickets are being distributed free of charge to assist people with low income with urgent transportation needs; and
- Complete the necessary Ticket Assistance Program reports and return them to the Community Social Planning Council.
Only agencies based in BC's Capital Region may participate in this program. Information provided by participating agencies is used to monitor the free distribution of bus tickets. This information contributes to a better understanding of transportation trends and needs within BC's Capital region.
*The Community Social Planning Council DOES NOT distribute BC Transit tickets or passes directly to individuals*
Hi! I'm Perkins and am one of the lucky people who got the Bus Pass Assistance. It really helped me a lot when it comes to my savings since I can ride a bus anytime anywhere, with free of charge. I got this pass from VIRCS and I use it a lot not just to go to/from work but also for me to travel and enjoy the beautiful Island of Vancouver. I am grateful and overwhelmed with the benefits that I am getting through this program. May you be blessed more. Thank you
- Perkins, BC Transit Ticket Assistance Program Recipient
The BC Transit Ticket Assistance Program has helped me get to places when I was having financial issues and had a new baby. I got the pass from VIRCS (Victoria Immigrant and Refugee Centre Society) and use it to get to and from work as well as get to and from appointments.
- BC Transit Ticket Assistance Program Recipient