The province is marking one year of free public transit for kids aged 12 and younger.
Photo by Jaana Björk
Free transit for kids rolls on for B.C. families
Published 10:33 PDT, Mon September 26, 2022
The province, TransLink, and BC Transit are celebrating one year of providing free public transit for kids 12 and younger, as part of an investment in affordable, safe, and sustainable transportation for people.
In Metro Vancouver, TransLink estimates that young transit users have taken three million free journeys on transit.
"We know families are looking for ways to get around their communities that are convenient, safe, and affordable, and that reduce pollution," said George Heyman, Minister of Environment and Climate Change Strategy and Minister Responsible for TransLink. "By providing free public transit for children 12 and under, we're helping parents keep money in their pockets and encouraging families to take transit to help their kids get to school or around town. We want to make sure that more families benefit from this program so that we can encourage a new generation of regular public transit users."
Greta, a 10-year-old transit rider in Vancouver, said: "I love taking the SkyTrain and bus to go visit my friends and get around the city with my parents. Now that it's free, I take public transit all the time with my family for different trips we need to take. This summer, I had fun riding the SkyTrain and exploring parts of the Lower Mainland that I'd never been to before."
The Get on Board - Kids 12 and Under Ride Free program was launched in September 2021 throughout the province in partnership with TransLink and BC Transit. It is estimated that approximately 370,000 children in B.C. aged 12 and younger, including 200,000 in Metro Vancouver, are eligible to ride public transit free of charge.
"My family takes the SkyTrain and TransLink buses a lot more now that it's free for me to ride," said Munro, an eight-year-old transit rider. "My favourite part about using public transit is that we don't get stuck in traffic, and we're helping the planet by not polluting the atmosphere."
Families using the Kids 12 and Under Ride Free transit program can save hundreds of dollars per year in fares and monthly bus passes. 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.
For more information about the Kids 12 and Under Ride Free program, visit gov.bc.ca/gov/content/transportation/passenger-travel/buses-taxis-limos/get-on-board