Metro Vancouverites unimpressed as TransLink hikes fares right after $479M funding injection

Apr 4 2023, 9:20 pm

TransLink is set to impose a fare hike on Canada Day this year, and the news comes after a significant funding announcement, which has upset some residents.

Last month, we learned that the Government of British Columbia would provide TransLink with a significant infusion in operating subsidies to cover revenue shortfalls totalling $479 million.

News of the TransLink fare hike came within weeks of the BC funding announcement.

There will be an average 2.3% fare increase for 2023, the maximum fare increase permitted by the provincial government in exchange for receiving provincial emergency operating subsidies early in the pandemic. The 2.3% annual fare increase limit is effective between 2021 and 2024.

One person who is “deeply disappointed and upset” is Suzie Mah with COPE Vancouver.

Mah has been advocating for free transit for students aged 13 to 18, who this fare hike will impact.

“This latest fare increase is going backwards, not forward and will harm youth.”

She adds that many teens rely on public transit to get to their part-time jobs and school, and paying more for the bus will mean “even less money in their pockets.”

Mah also suggests that the fare increase will “hugely impact lower-income families who are already struggling with having to pay their rent and put food on the table.”

In 2021, it was revealed that children aged 12 and under could ride transit for free, which aligned with a BC NDP campaign promise from the 2020 fall provincial election.

In reaction to the news, one user tweeted, “literally shaking my head.”

Others chimed in on the decision online, suggesting it goes against the BC NDP’s promise to make life more affordable for residents in the province.

Others were a bit harsher in their condemnation of the move.

In a statement, a TransLink spokesperson explained why the fare increases are important.

“TransLink’s annually scheduled fare increase helps pay for the growing cost of transit and is less than half the rate of inflation. We continue to have some of the lowest fares of any major transit agency in Canada.”

The spokesperson added that the increase only equates to about 5 to 10 cents per trip “for the majority of customers.”

“The recently announced provincial funding package is aimed to help TransLink deal with lasting effects of the pandemic and escalating cost pressures. It assumes previously scheduled fare increases proceeding as planned. The provincial funding package enables us to maintain current service levels until the end of 2025.

Amir AliAmir Ali

+ News
+ Transportation
+ Urbanized