Low cost bus passes and new services available to low income British Columbians

Low income seniors and the disabled can get a break on bus fare.

  • Apr. 21, 2011 2:00 p.m.

Gazette staff

Low income seniors and the disabled can get a break on bus fare.

Eligible recipients are those who are receiving federal Old Age Security (OAS) and either the Guaranteed Income Supplement (GIS) or Spouse’s Allowance; Immigrants to Canada, who would otherwise qualify for OAS, and either the GIS or Spouse’s Allowance and are only ineligible for those benefits because they have not resided in Canada for 10 years; Those ages 60-64 and receiving BC Employment and Assistance; those receiving disability assistance under BC Employment and Assistance for Persons with Disabilities.

The annual cost of the discounted bus pass is $45 per calendar year or portion thereof and the pass is good for travel on the North Island’s Mt. Waddington Transit bus system.

Applicants need to provide their name, social insurance number and contact phone number to HSDBUSPA@gov.bc.ca by email or mail their application to Provincial Services Buss Pass Program, PO Box 9985 Stn Prov Govt, Victoria, B.C. V8W 9R6

Information on the bus pass program and other assistance programs for people in need are available online at www.hsd.gov.bc.ca/programs/other.htm

People with mobility issues can access two new programs for home pickup and drop-off, said Mary Mavis, transit coordinator for Mount Waddington Transit. Riders can be picked up at home for HandiDart trips that fit two narrow time pockets in each of two towns. In Port Hardy HandiDart trips are done between 9:36 and 9:25 a.m and between 3:25 and 3:40 p.m. In Port McNeill, trips may be arranged for 11:25 to 11:40 a.m. or 3:25 and 3:40 p.m. Any trips outside those pockets, for example, return trips, are provided by the Volunteer Transportation Network, VTN.

Regular fares ranging from 1.25 to 3.75 depending on length of trip are applied to the HandiDart service. The VTN service asks for donations. Users of both systems must register with Mavis at 250-956-3151 before booking trips.