The Ministry of Social Development and Social Innovation is eliminating the $45 BC Bus Pass annual administration fee for people with the Persons with Disabilities (PWD) designation.
The fee – normally charged when people on disability assistance applied for, or renewed, their bus pass – will be eliminated as part of the Sept. 1, 2016, disability assistance rate changes.
Their bus passes will no longer have an expiry date of Dec. 31, 2016. The bus pass will be valid for as long as an individual wants to keep it.
This provides more flexibility. At any time, they can decide to opt out of the BC Bus Pass program and receive their $52 transportation support allowance on their assistance cheque. They can also opt back into the BC Bus Pass program in the future.
The decision to eliminate the administration fee responds to input from people with disabilities, stakeholders and advocates.
It also builds on the changes that take effect on Sept. 1 to correct an inequity in the ministry’s system of transportation supports. Currently, about half of the people receiving disability assistance do not receive any transportation support at all. Government has invested $170 million over three years to ensure all 100,000 people on disability assistance receive transportation support.
Beginning Sept. 1, people with disabilities will receive a rate increase of $25 and a $52 transportation support allowance. They will have the choice of receiving the transportation support allowance on their assistance cheque, or in the form of the BC Bus Pass.
Clients who receive the Special Transportation Subsidy worth $66 per month will continue to receive that support, plus an additional $11 per month.
People with the PWD designation who want to return their BC Bus Pass and receive the $52 transportation support allowance on their cheque can inform the ministry of their decision by calling 1 866 866-0800, or emailing the BC Bus Pass program at: SDSIBUSPA@gov.bc.ca.
For more information, visit the Bus Pass Program website at: www.buspass.gov.bc.ca