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TransLink recommends distance-based fare structure

Last Updated Jun 18, 2018 at 3:01 pm PDT

FILE PHOTO. (Photo by Dustin Godfrey for NEWS 1130)
Summary

TransLink proposes pricing by distance between SkyTrain, SeaBus stations and continued flat fare for bus

Proposed fare structure would replace existing three-zone system

Maximum fare under proposed structure would remain the same as existing three-zone fare

METRO VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) – Transit users may soon not need to worry about crossing fare zones on their morning commute as TransLink recommends getting rid of the the existing three-zone system and charging customers based on how far they actually go on SkyTrains and SeaBuses.

The proposed system would charge a base fare for the first five kilometres, then an extra charge for every subsequent kilometre.

That could mean a big difference for SeaBus riders or people traveling by rail between such stations as Joyce-Collingwood and Metrotown. Passengers wouldn’t pay the steeper two-zone fare for only going one or two stops.

“What we’re trying to do is just provide some more consistency and fairness, in terms of how we do price the system. So, what we’re trying to make sure is that customers that are travelling the same distance are all paying the same fare,” TransLink’s Andrew Devlin said, adding  the maximum anyone would pay is the current three-zone fare of $5.70.

“People who will be paying less will be those individuals that make a lot of trips that today happen to cross those zone boundaries. Customers and riders that may be paying more under the proposed system are those individuals that are making, for example, long trips that don’t cross zone boundaries.”

Metro Vancouver mayors still need to see the proposal and vote on it. If approved, TransLink says it could have the new system running by 2020.

The distance-based structure would also apply to future rail projects.

TransLink would also launch new distance-based bus passes, where users would pay more the further they traveled. If they go beyond their allotted distance, their account will be charged, similarly to the way it is done today.

Bus fares would stay at the same base price, no matter how far a passenger travels, just as they do now. Fares for the West Coast Express and HandyDART would also remain unchanged.

The transit authority says the proposed structure is intended to be revenue neutral, meaning it does not plan to raise fares under the new system.

TransLink has launched a online survey to gather public input on the new system over the next two weeks as part of the final phase of the Transit Fare Review.