TransLink board of directors votes in favour of 2.3 percent annual fare increase

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      Transit passengers will soon have to start paying more to ride the system.

      That's because TransLink's board has approved annual fare increases averaging 2.3 percent, effective July 1.

      It means that a one-zone adult cash fare will rise from $3 to $3.05. Two-zone adult cash fares will go up from $4.25 to $4.35, whereas three-zone adult cash fares will jump from $5.75 to $5.90.

      One-zone conventional transit monthly passes for adults will go up $2.25 to $100.25. For two zones, this adult pass will rise $3 to $134, whereas the three-zone adult monthly pass will increase by $4.05 to $181.05.

      Adults travelling in only one or two zones will see their passes rise from $158.75 to $162.40 on the West Coast Express.

      Three-zone adult monthly passes are increasing from $208 to $212.80, whereas four-zone passes will jump from $251 to $256.75 on the West Coast Express.

      In a report to the board, chief financial officer Christine Dacre stated that earlier plans called for an average 4.6 percent fare increase in 2020 and a 4.1 percent hike in fares in 2021.

      However, the TransLink board deferred the 2020 fare hike due to the pandemic and plummeting transit ridership.

      This chart shows how much fares will increase on July 1.

      Under the B.C. Safe Restart Agreement, the province has provided $644 million to TransLink as a one-time grant.

      This was intended to support lower fare increases, according to the report.

      However, one transit activist told the TransLink board that it's going to be taken to court for imposing higher fares without public consultation.

      Nathan Davidowicz insisted that the TransLink board is required under provincial legislation to do this before imposing fare increases—something that he said was not done in connection with the recent hike.

      In the 1980s, several transit users, including current Vancouver councillor Jean Swanson, successfully fought a transit-fare increase in the courts for this reason, according to Davidowicz.