BC Transit seeks feedback on fare changes for Nanaimo system

BC Transit seeks feedback on fare changes for Nanaimo system
BC Transit
A line of BC Transit Buses

BC Transit and the Regional District of Nanaimo (RDN) are conducting a fare review for transit services given the increasing cost of operation as well as demand for service with an ever-growing population.

They are seeking the public’s input on potential fare changes for the general system, Route 70 NCX Nanaimo – Cowichan Express and handyDART transit services. Additionally, the company is asking for feedback on how potential fare increases would affect ridership.

Currently, a single ride fare on the general system costs $2.50, on 70 NCX Nanaimo – Cowichan Express costs $7.50 and $12.50 for a registered user for 5 tickets on handyDART.

The survey on the BC Transit website asks users on their thoughts on fares for the conventional service rising to $2.60 or $2.75 for a single fare, or the impact an increase or decrease on a 30-day pass would have on transit usage.

For the NCX, BC Transit asks about a fare decrease for the single-ride fares or 30-day passes.

Changes to the handyDART fares include an increase to the single-ride of $2.60 or $2.75, then the 5-ticket fare to $13 or $13/75 and the 20-ticket fare to $52 or $55.

BC Transit says accessibility is a priority for the region and the RDN is looking for a significant level of expansion to improve this while addressing service demands.

In June 2020, the RDN replaced most of their old handyDART fleet with 15 new buses equipped with a lift system near the rear of the bus to provide safe loading and unloading of mobility aids.

Each small bus can carry up to 20 passengers and can provide flexibility for up to four mobility aids.

The RDN says a transit fare review is vital to maintaining and enhancing transit in the region to  establish fares that balance affordability, ridership growth and cost recovery in the coming years.

The public survey is part of this review process and will look to gather feedback to assess whether the existing fares meet the current needs or be increased or decreased to better serve the community.

This fare review survey will cover fixed route (conventional) Regional District of Nanaimo transit fares as well as Route 70 NCX Nanaimo – Cowichan Express fares. A separate section at the end of the survey will also look to gather feedback on handyDART (custom) fares.

The transit fare survey is now available on the BC Transit engagement website and will be open until May 31, 2024.

Paper copies of the survey will also be available for pick up and drop off at the RDN Transit Office, 6400 Applecross Road (entrance on Calinda Street).

Harry CorroHarry Corro

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