BC Bus Pass Program

Overview

An annual bus pass for provincial transit systems is available to assist eligible individuals participate more fully in their communities.  The bus pass is subsidized by Ministry of Social Development and Social Innovation and is available to eligible British Columbians at a reduced cost.

The annual bus pass is provided through the BC Bus Pass Program under the Employment and Assistance Regulation and the Employment and Assistance for Persons with Disabilities Regulation.

Policy

Effective: March 4, 2013

An annual bus pass (annual pass) for provincial transit systems is available through the Bus Pass Program at a reduced cost for persons who are residing in a valid transit service area where the annual pass is available and who meet any of the following categories:
 

  • persons who are receiving federal Old Age Security (OAS) and the Guaranteed Income Supplement (GIS)
  • persons aged 60 and over who are receiving the federal Spouse’s Allowance to OAS
  • persons aged 65 and older who meet all of the eligibility requirements for the GIS except the 10-year residency requirement
  • persons aged 60 or older who are receiving income assistance
  • persons aged 60 or older who live on a First Nations reserve and receive assistance from the band office
  • BC Employment and Assistance (BCEA) recipients with the Persons with Disabilities (PWD) designation who are receiving disability assistance
  • BCEA recipients with the PWD designation or persons aged 60 and over in special care, where the ministry is paying either the facility user charge on their behalf or they are receiving a comforts allowance
  • persons with the PWD designation who live on First Nations reserve and receive assistance from the band office (in these cases, the band office staff should deal directly with staff from the Bus Pass Program)

Effective: March 4, 2013

The annual bus pass is valid for one calendar year, from January 1 to December 31.

 

Fee

Effective: December 1, 2003

Eligible applicants are charged a low, non-refundable administrative fee for an annual bus pass.  The fee for an annual bus pass and for reissuing a lost pass is shown in Rate Table: General Supplements - Bus Pass Fees.  The ministry does not cover the cost of these fees.

There is no discount on the annual fee for a pass that is only used for part of the year or is purchased part way through the year.

Effective: March 4, 2013

Bus pass holders who lose their pass can request a replacement by contacting the  BC Bus Pass Program. [To request a replacement pass using the BC Bus Pass Program website or by telephone, see the Contacts section.] The fee for replacing a lost pass is shown in Rate Table: General Supplements - Bus Pass Fees.

Procedures

Effective: ​March 4, 2013

To apply for a BC bus pass, new applicants must contact the BC Bus Pass Program by one of the following options:  the BC Bus Pass Program website, telephone, fax, email or mail (the BC Bus Pass Program has no public access office). [For online application instructions, telephone number, email, fax and mailing address, see Contacts.]

To administer the application process, BC Bus Pass Program staff follow these steps:
 

  1. Determine if the applicant is eligible for an annual bus pass.
  2. If the applicant is determined to be eligible, the applicant is mailed the form which explains the process to pay for the bus pass.
  3. The applicant submits their annual administrative fee using one of the following payment options:

Online/Telephone Banking Payment (fastest method):  The applicant can make a payment through their financial institution by following these steps:

  1. Choose the payee name the financial institution uses for BC-BUS PASS PROGRAM.
  2. Enter their nine digit Bus Pass Program Account Number which can be found on their bus pass or the top right hand corner of their BC Bus Pass Program application payment form.
  3. Make a bill payment for the total amount to be paid.

Note:  The client is not required to submit the paper portion of the application when making an online or telephone payment.

Bank Payment:  The applicant can bring the bus pass application payment form and payment to most financial institutions to be processed.

Mail Payment:  The applicant can mail the application payment form and a cheque or money order payable to the Minister of Finance.

Note:  If at any time during the application process the applicant is determined to no longer be eligible, they will not be issued a bus pass and their administrative fee will be refunded.
 

  1. Once the payment has been processed, a BC Bus Pass will be mailed to the new client, usually within three weeks of receiving payment.

Effective: March 4, 2013

In mid-August, clients that hold a current year bus pass will automatically have their eligibility determined for the next year. If eligible, they will be mailed an application payment form that explains the payment process.

Each applicant is required to pay a yearly $45 administrative fee.  BC Transit clients receive a new bus pass card that is activated for use beginning January 1st the following year.  First-time TransLink clients receive a reloadable pass (compass card) which is reloaded with the benefits effective January 1st once the client has ‘tapped’ the pass to activate.

Authorities and Responsibilities

Effective: December 1, 2003

The BC Bus Pass Program is responsible for:

  • determining eligibility for the bus pass
  • issuing bus passes to eligible applicants

Frequently Asked Questions

For a list of frequently asked questions, visit www.buspass.gov.bc.ca.

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