The Province, TransLink and BC Transit are celebrating one year of providing free public transit for kids 12 and younger, as part of its investment in affordable, safe and sustainable transportation for people.
In Metro Vancouver, TransLink estimates that young transit users have taken three million free journeys on transit.
“We know families are looking for ways to get around their communities that are convenient, safe and affordable, and that reduce pollution,” said George Heyman, Minister of Environment and Climate Change Strategy and Minister Responsible for TransLink. “By providing free public transit for children 12 and under, we’re helping parents keep money in their pockets and encouraging families to take transit to help their kids get to school or around town. We want to make sure that more families benefit from this program so that we can encourage a new generation of regular public transit users.”
Greta, 10-year-old transit rider in Vancouver, said: “I love taking the SkyTrain and bus to go visit my friends and get around the city with my parents. Now that it's free, I take public transit all the time with my family for different trips we need to take. This summer, I had fun riding the SkyTrain and exploring parts of the Lower Mainland that I'd never been to before.”
The Get on Board – Kids 12 and Under Ride Free program was launched in September 2021 throughout the province in partnership with TransLink and BC Transit. It is estimated that approximately 370,000 children in B.C., including 200,000 in Metro Vancouver, aged 12 and younger are eligible to ride public transit free of charge.
“My family takes the SkyTrain and TransLink buses a lot more now that it’s free for me to ride,” said Munro, eight-year-old transit rider. “My favourite part about using public transit is that we don’t get stuck in traffic, and we’re helping the planet by not polluting the atmosphere.”
Families using the Kids 12 and Under Ride Free transit program can save hundreds of dollars per year in fares and monthly bus passes. For example, a family with one child younger than 12 is able to save $58.60 monthly on a TransLink pass and could save more than $700 annually.
Rob Fleming, Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure –
“This is the first provincewide program of its kind in Canada and it’s great to see how successful free transit for kids 12 and under has been in its first year. These young people are the transit riders of the future and our government’s focus on improving transit infrastructure will ensure there’s an efficient, affordable and robust system for them in the decades to come.”
Kevin Quinn, CEO, TransLink –
“We are proud to celebrate the success of the first year of this program, which is helping thousands of families move around Metro Vancouver more affordably by using reliable and convenient public transit. By providing free transit for kids 12 and under, we’re supporting more inclusive and sustainable communities for everyone.”
Erinn Pinkerton, president and CEO, BC Transit –
“This program has been a huge success, introducing more kids and their families to a more sustainable and green method of travelling throughout their communities. At BC Transit, we take pride in providing safe and affordable public transportation people can rely on, and the Free Transit for Children 12 and Under program will continue to help grow young ridership, create life-long transit users and further reduce congestion on our roads.”
For more information about the Kids 12 and Under Ride Free program, visit:
TransLink pricing and fare zones:
Learn to ride the bus with BC Transit: https://busready.bctransit.com/