Transit fees hit disadvantaged residents hardest: council

Oak Bay supports tax increase, seeks review of fare changes

Coun. Tom Croft

Coun. Tom Croft

Oak Bay heartily supports a two-cent raise in the transportation tax and just as vehemently opposes recent fare changes.

Council supported a fuel tax raise from 3.5 to 5.5 cents, as requested by the Victoria Regional Transit Commission in a letter.

About $125 million in capital expenditures are needed to upgrade transit exchanges, the fleet and operating centres for Greater Victoria over the next five years, said a letter submitted by the transit commission. This tax generates approximately $11.7M annually to help cover the local share of transit operating and capital expenses.

The request was made to the Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure in 2013 with the backing of the CRD, the Greater Victoria Chamber of Commerce and other organizations throughout the region. At a recent meeting with the Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure, the Commission was informed that the request has been forwarded to the Minister of Finance for consideration in this year’s budget.

Oak Bay offered its support.

“I support the gas tax increase, but believe we should write a letter asking the Transit Authority to review those most impacted,” said Coun. Tom Croft, who made the motion.

“The fee increases directly impact seniors, students and the disadvantaged in our community,” said Croft. “Increasing the single fare from $1.65 to $2.50 and eliminating the two-hour transfer opportunity will directly affect these groups’ ability to get out of the house, get to school (or) get to the doctor. A round trip will now cost $5, an enormous increase.”

Victoria Regional Transit Commission maintained the monthly pass for seniors and youth at $45 but discontinued transfers, the multi-month youth pass and the youth/senior tickets.

“I think everybody should be concerned,” Croft said after the meeting. “It’s absurd.”

For example, he said, in Oahu a bus pass for a senior lasts four years for $15 and then a $5 sticker for it each month.

“That’s the kind of thing we need if we want to actually get people in buses and out of cars,” he said.

“Seniors need to get out of their houses … They want us to age in place, but this is now restricting people from going to places they have always gone to,” he said. “And I’m hearing it from parents with students.”

Oak Bay will write to the authority recommending a review of the fee increase and the impacts on seniors, students and the disadvantaged.

 

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Oak Bay High Grade 10 students Oliver Wakely and Alex Joiner with the new scoreboard to soon be installed on the grass turf. Fundraising from the Oak Bay Barbarians rugby alumni and Oak Bay Fire Fighters Charitable Foundation. (Travis Paterson/News Staff)
Oak Bay High alumni buy new scoreboard

Scoreboard to be installed on grass field

Steve Smith’s image of two sibling adolescent grizzly bears playfighting in the Chilko River in the B.C. Interior earned him best of show at the prestigious Lion’s Gate Celebration of Nature club competition for 2020-21. (Photo by Steve Smith)
Victoria Camera Club captures top spot in prestigious nature and wildlife competition

Saanich Peninsula photographers part of award-winning team

Downtown Victoria and the Inner Harbour are part of a corridor that also includes much of urban Saanich that is part of the Greater Victoria 2030 District, a sustainable buildings climate initiative announced recently. (Black Press Media file photo)
Ramping up energy efficiency in Greater Victoria buildings goal of new group

Greater Victoria 2030 District part of North American network of cities working to reduce emissions

Victoria Hospice staff Brianne Ohl, left, Angela Chalmers, right, and Sandi Ogloff, at back, show off their buttons that show a picture of them smiling. Staff has worked hard to maintain the connections with patients despite the barriers of PPE and rigid COVID-19 protocols. (Victoria Hospice Photo)
Hospice provides compassion in a time of COVID

Victoria Hospice 40th anniversary on pause during pandemic

Terrance Josephson of the Princeton Posse, at left, and Tyson Conroy of the Summerland Steam clash during a Junior B hockey game at the Summerland Arena in the early spring of 2020. (John Arendt - Summerland Review)
QUIZ: How much do you know about hockey?

Test your knowledge of Canada’s national winter sport

Jennifer Cochrane, a Public Health Nurse with Prairie Mountain Health in Virden, administers the COVID-19 vaccine to Robert Farquhar with Westman Regional Laboratory, during the first day of immunizations at the Brandon COVID-19 vaccination supersite in Brandon, Man., on Monday, January 18, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Tim Smith - POOL
Top doctor urges Canadians to keep up with COVID measures, even as vaccines roll out

More than 776,606 vaccines have been administered so far

From the left: Midway RCMP Csts. Jonathan Stermscheg and Chris Hansen, Public Servant Leanne Mclaren and Cpl. Phil Peters. Pictured in the front are Mclaren’s dog, Lincoln and Peters’ dog, Angel. Photo courtesy of BC RCMP
B.C. Mounties commended for bringing firewood to elderly woman

Cpl. Phil Peters said he and detachment members acted after the woman’s husband went to hospital

Dr. Jerome Leis and Dr. Lynfa Stroud are pictured at Sunnybrook Hospital in Toronto on Thursday, January 21, 2021.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Frank Gunn
‘It wasn’t called COVID at the time:’ One year since Canada’s first COVID-19 case

The 56-year-old man was admitted to Toronto’s Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre

An Uber driver’s vehicle is seen after the company launched service, in Vancouver, Friday, Jan. 24, 2020. Several taxi companies have lost a court bid to run Uber and Lyft off the road in British Columbia. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Taxi companies lose court bid to quash Uber, Lyft approvals in British Columbia

Uber said in a statement that the ruling of the justice is clear and speaks for itself

Nanaimo Regional General Hospital. (News Bulletin file photo)
COVID-19 outbreak declared at Nanaimo hospital

Two staff members and one patient have tested positive, all on the same floor

A long-term care worker receives the Pfizer vaccine at a clinic in Nanaimo earlier this month. (Island Health photo)
All Island seniors in long-term care will be vaccinated by the end of this weekend

Immunization of high-risk population will continue over the next two months

A 75-year-old aircraft has been languishing in a parking lot on the campus of the University of the Fraser Valley, but will soon be moved to the B.C. Aviation Museum. (Paul Henderson/ Chilliwack Progress)
Vintage military aircraft moving from Chilliwack to new home at B.C. Aviation Museum

The challenging move to Vancouver Island will be documented by Discovery Channel film crews

A video posted to social media by Chilliwack resident Rob Iezzi shows a teenager getting kicked in the face after being approached by three suspects on Friday, Jan. 22, 2021. (YouTube/Rob i)
VIDEO: Security cameras capture ‘just one more assault’ near B.C. high school

Third high-school related assault captured by Chilliwack resident’s cameras since beginning of 2021

Most Read