VICTORIA — Students in Victoria will ride public transit for free next year.
The Victoria Regional Transit Commission unanimously approved a plan by the municipality to provide free bus passes to students who live in the city and are 18 years old or under.
Commission chairwoman Susan Brice says the city will use parking revenues to pay the estimated $857,000 annually for bus passes for about 6,350 students who are expected to be eligible.
She says the city recently started charging downtown parking fees on Sunday and those revenues will fund the bus passes.
Brice says the transit commission is studying the costs associated with providing free bus passes on a region-wide basis, but it isn't making any promises for students who live in other Victoria-area communities.
She says Victoria council members told the commission the free bus pass initiative is part of the city's plan to fight climate change by reducing harmful carbon emissions.