A pilot project that provides free public transit for youth in Kitimat

Hillary Johnson

A pilot project, that provides free public transit for students under the age of 18, was proposed by the District of Kitimat this week and is in its developmental stages. The project would be in effect for one year starting July 1st of 2020 and running through June 30th, 2021. Kitimat Mayor, Phil Germuth says, since the idea is in its infant stages, there is a lot of work to do to make this a reality.


"We're not sure if it's going to be, you know, they're just going to get a collection of passes they can use, it could be something on their school card but of course, starting in July, student won't be going back to school until September, were not quite sure. That's something staff will work out with BC Transit and make it, so it works."


As the project was a recent proposal of councils, there were not a lot of details yet finalized, but the Mayor provided some insight into the need to analyze the pilot's success.


"We are going to spread it over two fiscal years. It is the District that will be covering the lost revenue. We will have more details forthcoming as staff is going to be talking to BC Transit, and we are also hoping that someway, BC transit can gauge how successful this is."


Germuth says the purpose of this initiative is to introduce and encourage transit use to the next generation.


"The hopeful benefit is that maybe more kids will get into using transit instead of having their parents drive them around. We think that maybe just having it free will help parents also encourage their kids, say "hey go get on the bus" instead of having them being driven around. It would be nice to see the environmental benefits, of course, more people using transit instead of cars."


The Mayor encourages the citizens of Kitimat to come out to council meetings to keep informed on the community's development, budgets and projects.

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