City renews bus pass deal with government

The City of Whitehorse and Yukon Education have renewed a partnership to offer transit passes to high school students.

The City of Whitehorse and Yukon Education have renewed a partnership to offer transit passes to high school students.

The initiative is a continuation of a pilot project that was launched last year, in which 330 monthly passes were provided to some of the city’s high school students.

The project was so successful that it has been extended to students at all four Whitehorse high schools this year.

Over 350 transit passes have already been issued to high school students this month, a news release said on Monday.

The students have to request them at their school’s front desk. They also have to opt out of the school bus service first, in order to qualify.

Mayor Dan Curtis said he’s excited to see students taking public transportation all over the city.

“I love seeing so many students taking transit to school, after-school activities, part-time jobs and elsewhere,” he said in the release.

“This is an excellent opportunity for students and Whitehorse Transit. As ridership increases, our transit system becomes more efficient, which benefits everyone.”

The Department of Education buys the passes at a discounted rate from the city, which has a variety of group rates available, Transit Manager Cheri Malo said.

A high school student would normally purchase a child/youth monthly pass, for people 5-to-18 years old, for $40 per month.

A transit department quarterly report presented to the community services committee on Aug. 4 shows that transit numbers have been steadily growing in the city.

Transit ridership surpassed 520,000 bus trips in the past year.

In an interesting reversal of roles on Tuesday morning, some Whitehorse transit riders were picked up by a school bus.

That is because five of the city’s buses were temporarily down for minor repairs.

The school bus was used for a few hours while a final check was done on the transit buses, said Malo.

“These buses get a lot of wear and tear, they’re on the road a lot,” she said.

“When one has a problem it seems like they all do. They were minor issues, such as a faulty hose, that have since been repaired.”

Contact Myles Dolphin at

myles@yukon-news.com

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