Metro Vancouver transit fares to climb 2.3% July 1

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The cost to take transit in Metro Vancouver will climb once again on July 1.

TransLink‘s board of directors approved the 2.3 per cent fare hike at their monthly meeting on Thursday.

“What this means to some of our products is depending on what zone is used, cash adult fares will go up five to 15 cents, stored value adult and concession will go up five to 10 cents, and monthly pass products for adults will go up $2.30 to $4.15 and concession will go up $1.30,” TransLink chief financial officer Christine Dacre said.

This will be the second year in a row that TransLink has increased fares by 2.3 per cent, with the last increase taking effect July 1 2021.

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TransLink had originally planned to raise fares by 4.1 per cent in 2020 and 4.6 in 2021, before the COVID-19 pandemic hit.

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The 2020 fare hike was scrapped, and TransLink agreed to cap future increases at 2.3 per cent until 2024, as a part of the Safe Restart Agreement with the provincial government, which saw the agency get $644M in emergency pandemic funding.

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The board heard that fare and program revenue for February remained 9.3 per cent below their budget, while ridership remained 6.2 per cent below budget.

System-wide boardings last week — the first week of spring break — were at 64.4 per cent of their pre-COVID levels, but TransLink CEO Kevin Quinn said boardings during the week before the break were higher, sitting at 68 per cent of pre-pandemic levels.

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For 2021 as a whole, ridership was up 2.3 per cent to 31 million journeys, while revenue was up 7.3 per cent to $414 million.

However, despite fuel tax, parking tax and development cost charges returning more revenue than expected, TransLink still ran $8 million below budget last year.

The federal government announced $750 million in national funding to cover transit revenue shortfalls in February, and the board heard TransLink was still in talks with the provincial government about how much of that money would make it to Metro Vancouver.

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