VANCOUVER (NEWS1130) – TransLink is taking steps to make transit more affordable to those who can least afford it. The transportation authority has added that commitment to its major planning document.

This comes amid calls for TransLink to ensure the homeless continue to have access to free rides once Compass cards are introduced this fall.

TransLink is currently consulting on its Regional Transportation Strategy, called Transport 2040, and the latest version includes making affordability for the “economically vulnerable” a “near-term priority.”

Derek Zabel with TransLink says it’s important to make transit accessible to vulnerable groups.

“Of course, transit connects people to the community and helps them access resources such as medical care, treatment, job interviews, food, and shelter,” he says, noting they’re consulting with others on how to do that.

“Specifics as to how we’ll be able to accommodate low-income customers such as those in homeless shelters, all that is still being determined. And of course, further details will be available in the fall as the Compass system gets closer to that implementation.”

Vancouver City Council is among the groups urging TransLink to find a way to let the homeless ride for free once Compass cards are introduced.