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Kamloops council to discuss free bus passes for refugees

April 11, 2016 - 1:09 PM

KAMLOOPS - A Kamloops immigrant support group is asking city council to provide free transit passes or discounted passes for refugees.

In a letter to city council dated March 24, Kamloops Immigrant Society executive director Paul Legace cites a Ministry of Transportation cost estimation of $50,880 for one year if Kamloops receives 80 refugees, though he says the anticipated number of those needing bus passes is closer to 50, which would reduce that cost by half.

Legace writes his organization could manage requests and provide reports back to Kamloops Social Planning on how the program progresses. The letter includes a supporting document which discusses B.C. Transit and refugees in different B.C. communities — it also says Victoria has already moved forward with a similar plan.

A city administration response is also attached to the April 12 council agenda.

In it development director Marvin Kwiatkowski writes the fare impact estimation of $50,880 is the maximum estimation, assuming all refugees would purchase monthly passes every month. He suggests that is unlikely to be the case, and that if they do become regular users of transit while the pass is free, that may turn into regular use in the future as paying customers.

He says city staff have identified an efficient way to administer the program and deal with potential issues.


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