Transit should be free for people who are homeless, say two Victoria councillors.
Coun. Sarah Potts and Coun. Sharmarke Dubow are bringing a motion to council Thursday seeking monthly transit fare funding for people sheltering outdoors.
“Those sheltering outdoors in Victoria are typically not close in proximity to survival services,” the councillors’ motion reads. “Providing access to transit is one way to address access to survival services including shower facilities.”
The councillors write that unhoused community members – in responding to engagement with the Coalition to End Homelessness – indicated that access to hygiene and transit are top issues.
“Co-locating shower facilities in parks or opening existing shower facilities that are not currently in operation has been a challenge in terms of physical infrastructure, park bylaws, and city staff capacity.”
An estimated 250 people are sheltering outdoors in Victoria.
Coun. Potts and Coun. Dubow asked for up to $10,625 per month for BC Transit Ticket Assistance Program, to be reviewed in six months time. The councillors note that the bus ticket subscription option, at maximum capacity, would cost about $2,800 per month.