Where’s my bus pass?

Authority BC Buss Pass Program, Ministry of Social Development and Social Innovation

John contacted us in late February and explained he had not received his annual bus pass. He said he had applied and paid for the annual bus pass in mid-November. He had written to the ministry in December, January and February explaining he had not received his bus pass but he had not received any responses to his inquiries.

We investigated whether the ministry had unreasonably delayed in providing a bus pass to John and whether the ministry had followed an unreasonable procedure by not responding to his written inquiries. The ministry’s manager of community relations and service quality reviewed the matter and confirmed that the ministry had printed and mailed the annual bus pass to John in late November. She said staff had attempted to respond to a letter John wrote in January by calling him. She said that because John did not appear to have a current telephone number, staff was not able to contact him.

The manager noted that another letter that John had written had come to their attention and as a result, staff had written to John to inform him that he would have to complete a form and pay a $10 replacement fee for the annual bus pass. The manager explained that if a person does not contact the ministry by January 31 about not receiving their bus pass, a $10 replacement fee is assessed.

In John’s case, the ministry had received a letter from John prior to January 31st and the manager agreed that John should not have to pay the replacement fee. She also agreed that staff should have written to John when they were not able to contact him by telephone. The manager agreed to send a letter to John by courier that day to inform him that a replacement annual bus pass would be printed and sent to him immediately with no replacement fee. In addition, the manager said she would follow up with supervisory staff to implement a protocol for communicating with their clients, including writing to clients when they cannot be contacted by telephone.

Category Driving and Transportation, Income and Benefits
Type Case Summary
Fiscal Year 2011
Location The Lower Mainland