Students convince Vernon council to back plan for free transit to kids between the ages of 13 and 18

'Persuasive' show at council

Vernon students won out on Monday, as their request to make public transit free for youth was backed by council.

Following a previous presentation to council, students Haylee Andal and Jade Ha succeeded in convincing councillors that buses ought to be free for kids between the ages of 13 and 18. They presented on May 13, and learned on Monday that their project caught traction at the city.

Coun. Brian Guy said Monday the student presentation was “persuasive” in asking for council's action, particularly because the students were well researched. Coun. Kelly Fehr said the results were an example of how “advocating to your local government can work.”

Last month, Ha and Andal argued that bus fare should be free for youth. They cited research out of Ontario that free fare has been shown to spur lasting demand for public transit, and added that transit is a desirable form of transportation because of climate concerns.

Council promptly voted on Monday to support the students’ argument. Council agreed to send a letter to the province under the City of Vernon name, supporting the request that transit become free for youth aged 13 to 18.

This would serve to expand the Get on Board program, which provides free fare to youth under the age of 12.

Council also decided to send a resolution to the Union of British Columbia Municipalities asking it to lobby the provincial government to the same effect.

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