BC Transit bus pass for refugees program extended to end of 2022

BC Transit bus pass for refugees program extended to end of 2022
Nicholas Pescod/CHEK News

A program to provide refugees in Greater Victoria free bus passes has been extended to the end of 2022.

As part of the Refugee Pass Program, on a monthly basis, the ICA receives a pre-determined quantity of monthly passes to distribute to incoming refugees.

“As the cost of living in the Capital Regional District climbs, the bus pass program for refugees becomes even more important,” says Jean McRae, CEO of the ICA. “From their first days of arrival, we can help them build the independence to navigate their new community, get their children to school, and for parents to get to English classes and their first Canadian jobs. The program really highlights what a welcoming community we are.”

The Refugee Pass Program is a collaboration between BC Transit, the Victoria Regional Transit Commission, and the Inter-Cultural Association of Greater Victoria.

The program was first approved in late 2015, and Susan Brice, chair of the Victoria Regional Transit Commission, says it has been successful.

“This program is a proven success in helping assist with an ongoing need for resources for new Canadians in our community, and the Victoria Regional Transit Commission is pleased to approve its extension once again,” Brice said. “This collaborative effort between BC Transit, the Commission and the Inter-Cultural Association of Greater Victoria helps new Canadians create those important connections within the community by making transit the most accessible and convenient choice.”

Since 2016, this program has distributed more than 8,300 adult monthly passes and 4,600 youth/senior monthly passes for a total of more than 12,900 monthly transit passes.

“Calling a new country home comes with many challenges, and we want to do our part and help make their transition a little bit easier,” says Erinn Pinkerton, president and CEO of BC Transit. “Whether it’s helping these newcomers get safely to a new job, their school or to access resources, we recognize the important role transit has in helping them settle in to our thriving community.”

Laura BroughamLaura Brougham

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