It’s been one year since public transit was made free for kids 12 and under across the Translink and BC Transit systems – and the province has no plans of reversing that policy.
BC Transit President Erinn Pinkerton says the program has been a massive success.
“This program has been a huge success, introducing more kids and their families to a more sustainable and green method of travelling throughout their communities,” says Pinkerton. “The Free Transit for Children 12 and Under program will continue to help grow young ridership, create life-long transit users and further reduce congestion on our roads.
The province estimates that just under 400,000 kids are able to capitalize on the program. They say the program has saved money for families.
“Families using the Kids 12 and Under Ride Free transit program can save hundreds of dollars per year in fares and monthly bus passes,” the province says in a press release. “For example, a family with one child younger than 12 is able to save $58.60 monthly on a TransLink pass and could save more than $700 annually.”
Translink estimates that in the Metro Vancouver area alone, over 3 million free rides have been taken by kids through this first year of the program.
Minister of Transportation Rob Fleming says he’s encouraged by the first year results.
“This is the first province-wide program of its kind in Canada and it’s great to see how successful free transit for kids 12 and under has been in its first year,” says Fleming. “These young people are the transit riders of the future and our government’s focus on improving transit infrastructure will ensure there’s an efficient, affordable and robust system for them in the decades to come.”