BC Bus Pass Program

Overview

A bus pass for provincial transit systems is available to assist eligible individuals to participate more fully in their communities.

The BC Bus Pass Program is provided under the Employment and Assistance (EA) Regulation and the Employment and Assistance for Persons with Disabilities (EAPWD) Regulation. The Bus Pass Program has two components: a bus pass for low-income seniors and a bus pass for persons with the Persons with Disabilities (PWD) designation.  

Policy

Effective: September 1, 2016

The bus pass for low-income seniors is an annual bus pass provided as a supplement under the EA and EAPWD Regulations for a fee.

The bus pass for Persons with Disabilities (PWD) designation is an ongoing bus pass provided under the EAPWD Transportation Support Allowance. In some circumstances, the bus pass for persons with the PWD designation is provided under the Transitional Transportation Support. [For more information, see Related Links - Transitional Transportation Support].

 

Bus Pass for persons with the Persons with Disabilities (PWD) Designation: 

For those clients eligible for the Transportation Support Allowance (TSA) [for more information, see Related Links – Support, Shelter and Special Care Facilities – Policy] they can choose to receive the TSA as an in-kind bus pass. This bus pass is valid based on a client’s eligibility for assistance that is established each month. The in-kind bus pass is delivered under the BC Bus Pass Program. There is no fee to access this bus pass.

Transportation Support Allowance in-kind bus pass is provided to anyone who meets any of the following criteria:

  • BC Employment and Assistance (BCEA) applicants and recipients with the Persons with Disabilities (PWD) designation who are receiving disability assistance (includes room and board, special care and comforts) or receiving hardship assistance.
  • BCEA applicants and recipients with the PWD designation who meet all the eligibility requirements for the GIS (are 65 and over) except the 10 year residency and continue to receive disability assistance.
  • Persons with the PWD designation who live on a 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).

Note: Recipients with the PWD designation, who are receiving disability assistance and turn 65 years of age, begin receiving Old Age Security (OAS)/Guaranteed Income Supplement (GIS), and transition to Medical Services Only (MSO) can continue to receive a bus pass under the low-income seniors program. In the year they turn 65 years of age, there is no fee.

 

Bus Pass for Low-Income Seniors:

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
  • a spouse of a person who has a  PWD designation and is receiving disability assistance and:
    • is aged 60 and over,
    • receives federal Spouse’s Allowance to OAS or GIS or
    • is 65 years of age or older who meets all the eligibility requirements for GIS except the 10 year residency requirement. 

Effective: September 1, 2016

 

Bus Pass for Low-Income Seniors: 

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

 

Bus Pass for persons with the Persons with Disabilities (PWD) Designation

  • The ongoing bus pass is valid on a month by month basis.
  • Clients can switch to a bus pass at any time and the bus pass will be valid for a subsequent month.
  • Recipients who cease to be eligible for disability assistance may be able to keep their bus pass through the Transitional Transportation Support (TTS) or becoming eligible for bus pass for low income seniors. [More information on TTS eligibility, see Related Links – Transitional Transportation Support – Policy]
 

Fee

Effective: September 1, 2016

 

Bus Pass for Low-Income Seniors:

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 & Programs - 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.

 

Bus Pass for Persons with Disabilities (PWD) Designation: 

NO FEE

Note: Recipients with the PWD designation, who are receiving disability assistance and turn 65 years of age, begin receiving OAS/GIS, and transition to MSO can continue to receive a bus pass under the low-income seniors program. In the year they turn 65 years of age, there is no fee.

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.

Effective: September 1, 2016

The Transportation Support Allowance (TSA) is an ongoing bus pass that is provided under the EAPWD Act and Regulation for Persons With Disabilities (PWD) who are in receipt of disability assistance.  No annual renewal is required.

  • Recipients who are PWD can choose to receive the TSA as an in-kind (physical) bus pass or as $52 monthly by notifying the ministry by the 5th of the month for the change to take effect the following month.
  • EAWs are to record the recipient’s choice which will be processed by the system.
  • An urgent request that cannot be processed through batch jobs can be done manually by exception with approval from a supervisor. 

 

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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