$45 annual bus pass system ends September first
Disability rates for British Columbians are set to go up tomorrow by $77 per month.
But not everyone will enjoy the full increase.
While announcing the rate increase, the provincial government scrapped the universal, and mandatory, $45 annual bus pass for a new system where users with disabilities can choose to purchase a monthly bus pass at $52 per month.
Skye Ryan reports.
Sonja Grandahl is taking her last ride before her disability bus pass is taken away..
That’s the one there but as of tomorrow it’s being taken away
“Tomorrow well start walking.”
September 1st, the province is increasing social assistance rates by 77 dollars per month.
But at the same time it’s clawing much of it back.
Raising the cost of disability bus passes from $45 a year to $52 per month.
And with the rent increase Grandahl was just handed, she says the pass is out of her reach now.
52 dollars of that increase to keep their bus passes, money that says she already has to use to cover her costly rent increase
“I have to otherwise I won’t have any left over money.
“Yeah rents going up, food’s going up.
I’m not able to drive so.”
So today people with disabilities from across Nanaimo, came together
“Well as of tomorrow they’re not going to have a bus pass right.”
To plead the government to stop the new cost.
“Every day I get phone calls.
Mother of seven special needs children Delphine Charmley organized it.
“The bus pass is a means to stay in touch with their community.
It’s a means to get back and forth to their doctors to their physio appointments to their psychologists appointments to get out to get groceries.”
Her son Nick calls it his independence.
But tomorrow it’s being taken away.
“Riding a bus means to me is not only the transportation but it means a lot.”
Something Grandahl knows well.
The 43 year old challenges politicians to take a walk in her shoes to see what living life on disability assistance is like.
A walk that for her now will no longer include catching a bus to get around but walking now all the way on her own.