Fares will rise by 2.3 per cent on July 1, which will equate to a $5-10 cent bump in fare per trip for riders.
“TransLink’s annually scheduled fare increase helps pay for the growing cost of transit and is less than half the rate of inflation,” a TransLink spokesperson said in an email.
The scheduled increase is capped as part of an agreement with the province to “keep fare increases low.”
On March 15, the B.C. government announced $479 million in funds for TransLink to address “urgent financial needs,” which included keeping fares stable, supporting infrastructure, avoiding service cuts and enabling work on future projects.
“For both cash and stored value, the increase is only five to ten cents and concession monthly passes only increase $1.35,” Christine Dacre said, TransLink’s chief financial officer.
“Even after this increases, TransLink has some of the lowest fares of all major transit agencies in Canada. For example, TransLink’s one zone cash fare of $3.15, which is enough to pay for any bus trip, is less than Toronto, Ottawa, Winnipeg, Edmonton, Calgary, Montreal and Quebec City.”
Vancouver School Board trustee Suzie Mah said she is worried the fare increase will affect students and their families, increasing their monthly costs.
“We are trying to instill habits in young people to take the bus and that public transit is a good thing,” she told Global News. “And yet here we are … looking at making it harder, creating more barriers and taking away more money from families who need that money.”
Mah said the school board has been fighting to make transit free for students up to age 18, and the board did write a letter of recommendation.
“We unanimously adopted the motion to write a letter to all the different offices to request more funding to offer (this) free transit,” she said.
“I thought there was promise to move forward with all of this and when I found out there was a move to raise fares — I was shocked and discouraged.”
Mah said it does not seem fair to her that university and college students will be paying less for a monthly pass than a concession pass for youth.
Currently, children up to the age of 12 can ride TransLink’s transit system free of charge.