Transit fares are increasing annually over the next three years starting in July 2017.
Property taxes in Metro Vancouver next year will also rise to fund improvements to transit and transportation.
Revenues from the fare and tax increases form part of the share of TransLink in the $2 billion plan approved Wednesday (November 23) by mayors in the Lower Mainland.
The plan represents the first phase of a multi-year program adopted in 2014 by the Mayors’ Council on Regional Transportation.
“Confirming Phase One funding is a major milestone in delivering on the Mayors’ Council’s 10-Year Vision that will keep people moving across Metro Vancouver,” Vancouver mayor and council chair Gregor Robertson said in a media release.
TransLink is raising $1.3 billion as its share in the funding for the first phase of the plan. The balance will come from the federal and provincial governments.
In addition to fare and property tax increases, TransLink will sell surplus property and cut costs. A new regional development levy, which has yet to be legislated by the province, will also contribute to the regional transportation agency’s share.
For transit users, fares will increase annually for three years from 2017 to 2019.
A one-zone adult fare now at $2.75 will increase to $2.85 in July 2017. By 2019, that fare will cost $3.
For monthly pass users, the current one-zone fare of $91 will increase to $93 in 2017. That will cost $98 by 2019.
TransLink is conducting a transit fare review. Further fare increases may be expected in the next phases of the mayors’ plan for transit and transportation.
“Future phases of the 10-Year Vision will include any fare structure and fare product changes resulting from the Transit Fare Review,” according a discussion guide about the first phase of the plan.
For homeowners, they will see more than the annual increase in their property taxes due to TransLink of about 0.10 percent.
Under the first phase of the plan, there will be an additional $3 increases in taxes every year.
“For too long, transportation investments have not kept pace with population growth, but with this plan we can begin to address transit overcrowding and road congestion. We’re responding to what residents have been asking for: better transit service across the region and moving forward on important infrastructure like Surrey-Langley LRT,” said Surrey mayor and mayor’s council vice-chair Linda Hepner.
Transit and transportation improvements in phase one include a 10 percent increase in bus service. The others are: 15 percent increase in HandyDART service, 20 percent increase in rail service following delivery of new rail cars (Expo Line, Millennium Line and Evergreen Extension, Canada Line, West Coast Express), pre-construction and consultation on Broadway subway and Surrey-Langley light rail, new funding for improvements to major roads, and expansion and improvements to cycling and walking networks.