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Pre-paid fares increase on April 1

Pre-paid fare increases taking effect on April 1, 2010. Click for a much larger version! [1]

Pre-paid fare increases taking effect on April 1, 2010. Click for a much larger version!

Well, there’s no easy way to say this, but the cost of most pre-paid fares will go up as of April 1, 2010.

I say “pre-paid fares” because single cash fares will stay the same. Increases will only be on pre-paid fares like FareCard monthly passes, FareSaver tickets, Employer Passes and more. (DayPasses won’t be increased though.)

You may have already seen the ads in the newspapers (or noticed when you bought your pass for April), but here’s a chart at right also showing the new costs for passes as of April 1.

West Coast Express will also see fare increases which aren’t in the chart — see this PDF for those fare changes.

This must come as small comfort, but the reason we are increasing fares is to pay for the expanded service we have put in place since 2004. The increase in fares is expected to bring in an additional $18 million per year in revenue.

A couple of things to bear in mind

If you have unused FareSaver tickets purchased at the pre-April 1 price, you won’t be required to pay an additional amount after April 1.

Remember that your monthly FareCards are tax-deductible, too!

For more info, you might also be interested in the TransLink Commissioner’s report [2]on these fare increases and his reasons for approving them. His “Order 10-01 [3]” on the page includes a great deal of background.

And here is the press release we put out about the pre-paid fare increase. It includes this note:

Even with the reduced discount, the price of pre-paid fare media is still a considerable savings over single-ride tickets. For example, a regular workday commute between Surrey and downtown Vancouver would cost $200 per month using single cash fares – 40 trips at $5 each way. With the Monthly FareCard, the break-even point comes at 30 trips, and since monthly FareCards are good any time, the economy increases every time a FareCard is used.

This break-even point is around the middle of the pack among major Canadian transit systems: passes in Toronto start paying for themselves at 40 trips and 33 in Victoria; Ottawa and Montréal have a shorter break-even period (27 and 25, respectively).