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CNIB National ID Card Now Valid on Public Transit in BC

September 15, 2004

To: CNIB Bus Pass Users

CNIB is pleased to announce a major change within our valued partnership with the Greater Vancouver Transportation Authority (TransLink), B.C. Transit and the BC Ferry Services Inc. The CNIB in concert with these three public transit providers, will soon be discontinuing the practice of distributing annual transit passes to persons who are legally blind residing in B.C.

Effective January 1st, 2005, these three corporations, and their subsidiaries will accept the CNIB National Identification card (NID) as a valid pass to travel on public transit (excluding HandyDART) throughout the province. It will also be accepted as a concession pass on BC Ferry Services Inc. and West Coast Express.

Webmaster's Note: In December 2004, West Coast Express introduced a further concession. See West Coast Express Extends Transit Pass Concession.

This change is a direct response to CNIB client and staff concerns regarding a pending requirement for transit pass holders to dip or swipe their current passes into electronic fare boxes in the Vancouver and Victoria regions. The CNIB NID card will be accepted by transit operators throughout the province as a "flash pass" eliminating any need for the pass holder to interact with an electronic fare box.

Webmaster's Note: We have included copies of BC Ferries', BC Transit's and GVTA/Translink's Operations Bulletins. See BC Ferries Bulletin, BC Transit Operations Bulletin and GVTA/TransLink Operations Bulletin.

To prepare for this change, all eligible clients of the CNIB who do not currently hold a valid NID card must complete the enclosed application form. Please send your signed application, along with a passport sized photo to your nearest CNIB regional office as soon as possible.

It takes approximately 8 weeks to process a NID card from time of receipt in CNIB's offices.

Clients with current NID cards should check, or have someone help them check, the expiry date on their existing card. If it is expiring in 2004 or the first 6 months of 2005, please complete the enclosed NID application form and send it in as soon as possible.

The CNIB issues NID cards at no cost to eligible clients. Acceptance of the NID card as a valid pass by public transit services will eliminate the current $10 cost recovery fee for an annual transit pass. PLEASE NOTE THAT TRANSIT PASSES WILL NO LONGER BE ISSUED AFTER JANUARY 1ST, 2005.

For those clients who choose not to possess a CNIB NID card may apply to the B.C. Ministry of Human Resources (BCMHR) for an annual transit pass. The current cost for eligible applicants is $45. BCMHR transit pass applications can be acquired by calling:

Attached is a summary of the parameters within which the CNIB NID card may be used to gain access to transportation services. We trust you will find this change to public transit and ferry services to be more efficient and practical for consumers.

On behalf of all CNIB clients we thank TransLink, BC Transit and BC Ferry Services Inc. for their support in implementing this significant change. We look forward to a continued longstanding and much valued partnership with these service providers.

Canadian National Institute for the Blind
Janet Hanevelt
Executive Director

Michael Rich
Chair - B.C.-Yukon
Division Board


Greater Vancouver Transportation Authority (TransLink)
(Conventional system includes bus, SkyTrain and SeaBus)
Transit Pass for Persons with a Visual Impairment

The Canadian National Institute for the Blind (CNIB) National ID card (NID), is a non-transferable photo ID card issued for a 5-year period by the CNIB. Valid for free travel at all times on GVTA buses, SeaBus and SkyTrain.


Available: To persons with a visual impairment according to the determination of the Canadian National Institute for the Blind (CNIB).

Applicable: To a journey made on regular scheduled service within the transit service area.

Fare: No charge upon presentation of a valid CNIB NID card.


CNIB NID Card: A non-transferable photo ID card issued for a 5-year period by the CNIB. Valid proof if entitlement for West Coast Express concession fare.

Concession Fares

Available: To all eligible passengers from ticket vending machines.

Applicable: To any person who is a child age 5 to 13 years, student age 14 to 19 who is in possession of a valid GoCard, or any person in possession of a valid CNIB NID card, Government of British Columbia Transit Pass, HandyPass, CareCard or War Amputee pass.


The CNIB NID card does not apply within the HandyDART system.

BC TRANSIT( includes Victoria Regional Transit System/Municipal Systems Program)

The Canadian National Institute for the Blind (CNIB) National photo Identification Card (NID) is valid for unlimited travel on all conventional and community bus services operated by or for BC Transit in the Victoria Regional Transit Service area, and on all conventional transit services operated under contract to a local government and BC Transit as part of the Municipal Systems Program. The CNIB NID card is available to all medically blind persons with a visual impairment as determined by the CNIB.

The CNIB NID card does not provide free transportation on HandyDART services funded by BC Transit.


Concession Fare - available to BC residents only in possession of a valid CNIB NID card or BC Ferries Disabled Status Identification (DSI) card.

Concession fare is at the posted Permanently Disabled fare for the eligible pass holder. When an attendant accompanies the eligible pass holder, the concession fare will apply to the second party as well.



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