TransLink fares set to increase on Canada Day 2022

Mar 23 2022, 12:59 am

The annual fare hike for Metro Vancouver’s public transit network on Canada Day will go ahead as planned this year.

TransLink’s board of governors is expected to approve on Thursday an average increase of 2.3% to all types of fares, starting on July 1, 2022.

This will increase all single-trip fares paid with cash or Compass Card stored value by between $0.05 to $0.10, depending on the number of zones traveled.

The daypass will see a hike of $0.25 for adults to $11.00, and $0.20 for concession to $8.65.

For monthly passes, one-zone passes will increase by $2.30 to $102.55, two-zone passes will go up by $3.10 to $137.10, three-zone passes will ascend by $4.15 to $185.20, and concession passes will go up by $1.30 to $58.60.

Separate fares for the West Coast Express will rise by 3.4% and 3.9% for concession two- and three-zone stored value, respectively. TransLink says this will result in the West Coast Express concession two-zone stored value rate being the same as the conventional transit system in 2022, while the three-zone stored value rate will be equal to the conventional rate in 2024.

Conventional fares

translink 2022 fare increase conventional

Conventional fare increase, starting July 1, 2022. (TransLink)

West Coast Express fares

translink 2022 fare increase west coast express

West Coast Express fare increase, starting July 1, 2022. (TransLink)

The average 2.3% fare increase across the network is below the 2022 rate of growth planned prior to the pandemic.

It also comes after the cancellation of the 4.6% fare increase in 2020 due to the pandemic, and it also follows the 2.3% increase that went into effect in 2021 — below the originally planned rate of 4.1%.

In exchange for receiving Safe Restart operating subsidy funding from the federal and provincial governments in late 2020, TransLink, BC Transit, and BC Ferries are required to cap their annual fare increases to no more than 2.3% through 2024.

As part of the 10-year Mayors’ Council’s vision, TransLink originally budgeted higher fare increases to help keep up with inflation and maintenance works, and to help support its expansion plan.

In September 2021, free transit was expanded to more children, now up to 12 years of age, for TransLink and BC Transit services. The expansion of free transit for youth is funded by the provincial government.

Fares typically account for about 80% of the 33% of transit-driven revenue collected by TransLink each year towards its operating budget.

Although ridership is improving, it is still below pre-pandemic volumes. Ridership recovered to 65% of pre-pandemic volumes in February, reaching a high of 73% over the Family Day long weekend. It is anticipated ridership will further recover to 80% to 90% of pre-pandemic volumes by the end of 2022.

TransLink says it is facing operating revenue losses of $216 million in 2022, and $200 million in 2023.

Kenneth ChanKenneth Chan

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