Ride for free on election day

In keeping with what’s become tradition, the Cowichan Valley Regional District’s board is offering up complimentary rides on specific days

In keeping with what’s become tradition, the Cowichan Valley Regional District’s board is offering up complimentary rides on specific days on Cowichan’s conventional and handyDART transit in the coming months.

The first ride-for-free day comes Oct. 19 — federal election day.

“The election day is all about doing what we could do at local government to make sure that people that want to vote can get to their polling place if they are within our transit system,” Regional Engineering Services Committee chair Ian Morrison said.

The committee considered extending the free bus offer to advance polling days but logistically it didn’t work as those locations have yet to be announced.

“It would have been extremely difficult to make that happen,” he said.

The second ride-for-free day comes on Remembrance Day, Nov. 11. The week before Remembrance Day (Wednesday, Nov. 4 through Tuesday, Nov. 10) will also be free for all veterans and armed forces personnel.

“Remembrance Day we’ve done for a number of years, and the extension of that for the veterans [and active armed forces personnel] for the week is a good thing to do,” Morrison said. “It’s supportive and it’s recognizing the people that have served and are serving.”

The decision came from the Aug. 26 Regional Engineering Services Committee meeting and was given the green light during the CVRD board meeting Wednesday night.

In the past, free rides were also given out around Christmas shopping time but that’s not going to happen this holiday season.

“We looked at the numbers from previous years and came to the realization that it didn’t increase ridership,” he said. “There wasn’t a net benefit of getting people out of their cars and onto the bus.”

He said they’ve received no complaints about that decision.

Visit www.transitbc.com or call 250-746-9899 for schedules and other information related to the Cowichan Valley Regional Transit System.