May 9, 2019 5:26 pm

About 1,300 B.C. transit passes for low-income seniors, people with disabilities cancelled by mistake

Around 1,300 low income seniors and people with disabilities have been left without access to public transit after their passes were cancelled. The cards were mistakenly de-activated at the weekend -- and the majority of them are TransLink cards. Neetu Garcha reports.

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A never-before-seen error has affected more than 1,000 low-income seniors and people with disabilities who are part of the B.C. Bus Pass Program.

The province says about 1,300 B.C. Bus Pass Program holders had their cards cancelled by mistake with no advance warning, leaving some wondering why they couldn’t access public transit.

The provincial program is aimed at helping eligible residents participate more fully in their communities.

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The province says the issue stems from a computer error that happened during system maintenance. As soon as staff found out about the glitch, they started reaching out to those affected.

“Thirteen hundred bus passes were deactivated,” said Social Development Minister Shane Simpson.

“We’ve now contacted almost all of those people by phone, replaced a number of the cards with temporary cards, and all of the new cards will arrive by next week and they’ll be sent out to everybody.”

Affected customers can contact TransLink and get a temporary pass at the customer service office located at the Stadium-Chinatown station.

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B.C. Transit bus passengers were not affected by the error.

“This is a vulnerable group, and the program exists to assist people who may not be able to afford their monthly pass on their own,” TransLink spokesperson Jill Drews said.

“Taking transit is a way for people in that group to reach out to friends and family and make it to their job, really important things, a really important lifeline to the outside world, and we really want to make sure we can replace their pass as quickly as possible.”

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