New Westminster: After months of public consultation, research, and technical analysis, TransLink is proposing to move to pricing by distance between stations on SkyTrain, SeaBus and future rapid rail projects, with a flat fare staying in place for bus. This is the key recommendation being proposed in the Final Phase of the Transit Fare Review.
“TransLink has received over 55,000 responses through this review, many from people wanting a system where paying for transit is fair for more people, while also being affordable and simple to use,” says TransLink VP of Transportation Planning and Policy Geoff Cross. “Replacing our zone-system with pricing that is more gradual and incremental based on distance between stations is a way to do that.”
Under this proposed structure:
- The current three-zone system would be replaced with one that sees customers charged based on the number of kilometres they travel between stations, with more gradual price increments.
- The maximum fare would remain the same as the three-zone fare. Customers already paying the maximum fare would not pay more.
- Bus fare would be similar to how it is today – flat fare for bus travel system-wide.
- Monthly passes for adult riders would be updated to reflect new distance-based pricing. Concession monthly passes would continue to be a flat rate.
This proposed structure would help address many of the common complaints we hear about the current fare structure. For example, the high price of short trips across a zone boundary, steep price jumps across a zone boundary, and the arbitrariness of the zone boundaries. It’s also intended to be revenue neutral, meaning we are not expected to generate more fare revenue from the change to distance-based pricing.
We also propose expanding off-peak discounts to more times of day and look at options to work with senior levels of government to expand discounts and make transit more affordable for children, youth and low-income customers. Both of these proposed changes would require additional funding to apply.