New compressed natural gas buses have been added to the Greater Victoria fleet. (Twitter/BC Transit)

Climate group demands free transit for all CRD youth

Group to make appeal to Victoria Regional Transit Commission

Climate Justice Victoria is demanding free transit for all youth.

During a Victoria Regional Transit Commission meeting on Feb. 25 the group plans to ask the commission to “prioritize climate action and social equity” by eliminating fares for youth 18 years old and younger travelling on regional public transit.

READ ALSO: More than 500 free youth transit passes picked up at Victoria’s City Hall so far

In a statement, Climate Justice Victoria spokesperson Ava Knutson says by eliminating fares as a barrier for youth and young families, the Capital Regional District (CRD) can “boost immediate transit ridership and build long-term ridership.”

“This will enhance social equity and community participation while reducing [greenhouse gases], air quality, and traffic congestion,” Knutson said.

The group also hopes growing transit ridership will put more pressure on the provincial government for transit service improvements.

The demand follows the City of Victoria’s implementation of free transit passes for City residents 18 and younger – a program paid for in part by the initiation of Sunday parking fees.

READ ALSO: Colwood mayor says increased service better option than free youth transit passes The Victoria Regional Transit Commission is made up of seven elected officials including mayors for Victoria, Saanich, Oak Bay, Colwood and North Saanich. The commission makes decisions on route configurations, transit service levels, fares, operating budgets, spending and the local share of the annual cost of transit service in the CRD.

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