This city councillor says kids should ride the bus for free

New Westminster’s Patrick Johnstone says free rides on TransLink will encourage more users

A New Westminster city councillor think it’s high time TransLink make transit free for its younger riders.

In a blog post, Coun. Patrick Johnstone said letting kids and teens ride without having to pay was the best way to develop lifelong transit users.

RELATED: TransLink fare increase coming July 1

“By making it easy for them to accompany their parent on a bus and the SkyTrain, kids are not only demonstrated that public transit works for many trips, but are also taught how to navigate the city using transit,” said Johnstone.

“Of all the incentive programs that TransLink could put in place to drive ridership, this could potentially have the greatest long-term benefits since the U-Pass program was introduced.”

The U-Pass system is a heavily discounted pass for university students.

Currently, youth between five and 18 years old can use discounted concession passes, and children under five ride free as long as they’re with an adult.

According to the latest statistics available, kids between the ages of 5-17 take an average of 2.6 transit rides per day. TransLink spokesperson Chris Bryan said that the company is looking at a variety of fare options as it conducts its fare review.


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