Economy

Province to release more details about disability bus pass

Province to release more details about disability bus pass”

British Columbians with disabilities will have a little more money to help cover the costs of transportation in the new year.

The province is also creating an annualized bus pass for persons with disabilities (PWD), which will be available beginning on January 1, 2018.

"People have shared their concerns over changes made to the B.C. Bus Pass for people with disabilities, and fixing this has been a priority for our government..." says Shane Simpson, Minister of Social Development and Poverty Reduction. But at the same time they began deducting $52 per month for a bus pass, or $66 per month for a transportation subsidy, from that increase.

The B.C. government has announced a new monthly supplement for persons with disabilities.

Simpson said the new supplement can be used for an annual transit pass for people in Metro Vancouver and other places with transit service, or for any other objective, including paying a friend or neighbour to provide occasional trips for shopping and other trips.

People who have the Persons with Disabilities (PWD) designation will be eligible for the supplement without the need to apply.

"If somebody has chosen to take the bus pass it will list as a transportation supplement of a bus pass".

The B.C. Bus Pass can be used in both TransLink and BC Transit areas. In 2016, the Liberal government raised assistance for people with disabilities by $77 per month, but started charging $52 a month for a monthly bus pass.

It is expected to cost the government approximately $70 million annually.

Faith Bodnar, executive director of the advocacy organization Inclusion BC, said the new supplement is a welcome solution that is fair to people with disabilities whether they use transit or not. "And we're prepared and happy to arrange for those bus passes for people if they want the annualized bus pass, but it will all come on one cheque". "This, along with the increase in earnings exemptions, is an important step forward in providing people on disability assistance with the capacity to work, improve their quality of life without penalty and contribute economically to the province".



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