Mon 19 Jul, 2010 11:39 am
100-year-olds to get free transit
BY SARAH SIMPSON, THE CITIZEN JULY 16, 2010
Good news for those 100-year-olds out there, your days of paying to ride local transit are over.
The Cowichan Valley Regional District's board of directors made it official on Wednesday, July 14, voting unanimously for centenarians to receive a free pass good on the CVRD's handyDart and conventional bus systems.
The issue arose after it was learned the region's handyDart drivers had been footing the bill for a 100-year-old woman to ride the bus.
But the move for free transit wasn't without discussion.
"I would have to say that I have an ulterior motive because I'm looking forward to reaching that age myself," said Dir. George Seymour in support of the motion.
Seymour said the move was benign and a nice gesture, adding, "We're not likely to lose very much revenue."
Dir. Klaus Kuhn wasn't so sure about the financial implications.
With his tongue firmly in cheek, he admitted his fears about the idea.
"I think this motion will just encourage our residents to live longer, which will drain our social system so I have reservations about this."
When the laughter subsided, the conversation turned serious.
Pensioners who can afford the bus fare should not use their free passes, the Transport Secretary said yesterday.
Philip Hammond insisted those over 60 could help tackle the national debt by 'making a contribution' while using the bus.
Currently anyone born before April 1950 is eligible for a free annual bus pass that allows them free off-peak travel on buses throughout England.