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Transit free for those 12 and under starting Sept. 1

For the pre-teen segment of society Sept. 1 will herald the beginning of free bus service, part of the Get on Board program funded by the provincial government — BC Transit.

Nobody rides for free.

That is, unless you are 12 and under on BC Transit or TransLink service buses.

For the pre-teen segment of society Sept. 1 will herald the beginning of free bus service, part of the Get on Board program funded by the provincial government.

Anyone who typically buys fares or monthly bus passes for children 12 and under will no longer need to do so, saving up to $420 a year.

The provincially funded and sponsored change will allow unaccompanied children aged six to 12 to ride public transit for free without requiring a fare product or identification.

However, BC Transit requires children aged five and under to be accompanied by a person 12 years of age or older.

While travel for children 12 and under will be free, parents and guardians “remain responsible for providing adequate provisions for the safety and care of their children whenever travelling on transit, including when travelling unaccompanied and determining if their children may take transit unaccompanied,” read a release from BC Transit.

It is estimated that approximately 370,000 children 12 and under throughout B.C. — including Nelson — will be eligible to ride for free when the program launches.

• Starting Sept. 1 children under 12 may apply to register as a HandyDART customer. To be eligible to register for HandyDART, children must be unable to take conventional transit due to a disability. Children on HandyDART must be accompanied by an adult.