British Columbia

TransLink seeking public input on transit fares

TransLink is launching its first comprehensive review of transit fares in 30 years.

The two-year fare review process will also include data gathered by Compass cards

Translink is launching a two-year review of its transit fare system. (Glen Kugelstadt/CBC)

TransLink wants to know what you think about transit fares and how they're structured. 

It's launching the first comprehensive review of transit fare policy in 30 years. The two-year process will compile feedback from transit users and data gathered from Compass cards.

"There is a big potential change on the horizon and we want to make sure that we're giving the customers the opportunity to provide their feedback," said TransLink's Jennifer Morland.

Morland said TransLink decided to launch the review now because of the data it can get from the Compass card.

"It offers us new technology that we can use in ways that we couldn't use before," she said.

The first phase includes a 10-15 minute online survey, with stakeholder forums, events and market research to follow.

Currently, transit fares are based on six parameters:

  • Distance travelled — the price increases depending on how many zones you travel across.
  • The kind of transportation used — the West Coast Express is at a higher price than bus, SkyTrain or SeaBus.
  • Time of travel — customers who travel off-peak pay less.
  • Fare product — single-ride tickets are more expensive than a day pass or a monthly pass.
  • Customer type — seniors, youth, people with disabilities pay less.
  • Journey time — customers can use one fare for multiple trips across transit for up to 90 minutes.

Morland said one of the things TransLink is looking at is the three-zone fare structure — something that hasn't changed since 1984.

She said distance-based pricing could be one replacement option, but peak-time pricing and duration-pricing might also be valid alternatives, adding "right now, everything's on the table."

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