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Translink Buzzer Blog

Buy the right zone! 1-zone bus fares coming October 5th

Beginning on October 5, 2015, the bus-only 1-zone fare will apply for all bus trips.

This means all day, every day, whether you’re using cash, FareSavers, a monthly pass or a Compass product, you’re cruising on a 1-zone fare.

Why is this happening?

With the implementation of Compass, we will be tap, tap, tapping our fares and the majority of riders on the system travel one zone.

As we move towards the Compass fare transition for all riders, extending the 1-zone rate to all hours ensures that bus customers don’t pay more than they should if they don’t tap out as they exit their bus.

Don’t worry, no one will be paying more than they do right now for their rides. In fact, with this change, many riders will be paying less per trip!

Remember! If you’re transferring onto another mode in the system like SkyTrain, SeaBus and West Coast Express, the 3-zone fares still apply before 6:30 p.m (except weekends and holidays which are 1-zone).

This means that an AddFare is required for your ticket. You can purchase this upgrade at any ticket vending machine (TVM) located in all SkyTrain stations.

Take a look at this handy chart to help you buy right!

right fare chart

You can find more information at to help you transition to the 1-zone bus fare.

Questions? Ask away! Comment below or inquire with Customer Information on Twitter and by phone at 604.953.3333.

Author: Adrienne Coling



  • By Jordan, September 9, 2015 @ 9:13 am

    I’m having difficulty deciding how I feel about this one. Yes it’s good transit is getting cheaper for a lot of people now (the only 3 Zone ride that will exist now is from Surrey into Vancouver, and only on SkyTrain). Although I wish everyone got to enjoy the savings; it seems like the super cost-effective Vancouver bus routes will continue to subsidize the rest of the region.

    Ultimately, I hope Translink goes to distance fare pricing (say, base fare of $1 +$0.10/km). This actually works out to about $4.40 from Surrey to downtown Vancouver which is what a 3-Zone Faresaver is. Maybe cap it at $5? This also makes short trips (say on the 5 or 6) cheaper and more reflective of the shorter distance and lower operating cost.

    Also, why not switch right now to distance pricing on Skytrain? Seems like the zones are effectively defunct. I can also see the Seabus ridership plummeting and the 240 being much more attractive.

  • By John, September 9, 2015 @ 11:26 am

    Before October 5th, will your Transit Security still be issuing fines for zone violations on the buses?

  • By Nicki Rakitti, September 9, 2015 @ 8:55 pm

    I take the 157 to Lougheed and then the Skytrain to Metrotown for work every weekday. Currently, I buy a 2-zone pass and scratch 2/3 zones. Do I now buy a 1-zone pass and scratch Zone 2 without paying any add fares? Is a compass card available to me which I can auto-load online with my American Express card? I’m not a student or a senior.

  • By Andrew, September 9, 2015 @ 10:25 pm

    Nicki, yes you would by 1 one zone bus pass for October and scratch zone two. Keep in mind u will need to pay add fare on October 1 and 2 though. In November when u load the monthly pass onto your compass card, u will not have to indicate which zone. The benefits of compass is that if u do cross a fare zone boundary, it will automatically deduct the correct amount. Autoload is available if u register your card at however, its only Visa or Mastercard.

  • By Andrew, September 9, 2015 @ 10:29 pm

    Jordon, Translink has intentions to go eventually go with distance pricing however, their first priority is to get everyone using the compass system. Once that’s in place, they will collect data and make the necessary changes.

    Seabus ridership will probably decrease the first few months but will most likely rebound once ppl see that the time savings are significant compared to taking the bus in rush hour traffic

  • By Eli, September 10, 2015 @ 1:05 am

    How does this changes affect the student/child fares

  • By Anonymous, September 10, 2015 @ 8:50 am

    Eli, the concession rates remain the same so you would pay $1.75 for any bus since is all one zone. If you need to go across 2 zones on Skytrain or Seabus then it’s $2.75 and 3 zones is $3.75.

  • By Jack, September 10, 2015 @ 8:54 am

    I take the 340 to 22nd street skytrain, and then from there I take the skytrain to Gilmore skytrain station. I pass two zones on the bus, but remain in zone 2 for my ride on the skytrain. Does this mean I only need to pay for a one zone for my entire trip? Will my ticket reflect this properly, or will I run into problems if they check my ticket? Just a little unclear.

  • By Ric, September 10, 2015 @ 12:07 pm

    With bus travel being 1 zone, this puts me to wondering if most people who currently travel multiple zones using the train or seabus will switch to bus only travel if they have the opinion to do so

  • By Andrew, September 10, 2015 @ 2:07 pm

    Jack, that would be a one zone trip. Compass cards will automatically do the calculation for you when you tap in so there’s nothing to worry about.

    Ric, I think some people might switch to only bus travel initially but will likely switch back. Its faster to take the train and seabus than the bus during the rush hour.

  • By Leo, September 10, 2015 @ 4:43 pm

    What happens with the 160 and 190 bus? It covers three zones. Will this service continue?

  • By Andrew, September 10, 2015 @ 5:07 pm

    Leo, the 160 and 190 bus will both be one zone. The service will continue until at least the Evergreen Line opens in Fall 2016. After that, the Vanocuver and Burnaby portions of the root will most likely be discontinued as part of the Northeast Sector Plan.

  • By HaveToDrive, September 11, 2015 @ 6:39 am

    Does this mean Coquitlam passengers can now travel between Lougheed and Braid to board a Coquitlam bound bus with only a single fare?

    To be specific: Let’s suppose I board a 97 B-Line in Port Moody (Zone 3) and get off at Lougheed Station (Zone 2/3). I take a SkyTrain to Braid Station (Zone 2), then I board the 153 and get off on Brunette (Zone 3).

    What is my fare for this journey?

    Suppose I board a 152 on Austin in Coquitlam (Zone 3), transfer to the SkyTrain at Lougheed Station (Zone 2/3), get off at Brentwood Station (Zone 2), board the 25, transfer to the SkyTrain at Nanaimo Station (Zone 1), and get off at Waterfront Station (Zone 1).

    Is this really a one zone trip?

    How does the system calculate your starting zone to know what to charge for a multi-zone trip on SkyTrain? Does this mean that the only way to pay for multiple zones is to cross a zone boundary on SkyTrain or SeaBus?

  • By Andrew, September 11, 2015 @ 10:02 am

    HaveToDrive, all the trips you listed will be one zone trips. The cost with a compass card is $2.10, the same rate as faresavers. For Skytrain and Seabus, the system automatically reserves a 3 zone fare upon tap in. Once you tap out, the system will determine the number of zones you traveled and deduct the appropriate amount.

  • By Raymond, September 11, 2015 @ 9:20 pm

    so what day in October is compass released to the general public?

  • By Cheryl K, September 12, 2015 @ 8:08 pm

    What is happening with Handydart? Will I be able to use the compass card for those trips. The drivers don’t know what’s going on.

  • By Sheryl, September 12, 2015 @ 9:40 pm

    I am using monthly pass zone one. Can i still use it like if i travel using skytrain from main st. Terminal to waterfront since these areas are all in one zone?

  • By tracy, September 14, 2015 @ 12:37 am

    I live in surrey and i take the c73 to the skytrain and get off at Columbia station and then take the c9 up to my destination,do i.just buy a one zone and then add fare to Columbia station or do I just keep buying 2 zones as I mostly take transit in the surrey area when nor workin,


  • By oli, September 15, 2015 @ 7:47 am

    I buy a monthly 2 zone pass for travel in Zones 1/2 (Vancouver/Burnaby).
    My usual route is Lougheed stn Skytrain to VCC, then switch to Bus 84.

    I live in Coquitlam, however I don’t always need to travel in Zone 3 as I usually start/end my trip at Lougheed Station.

    However there are a few times a week when I do need to add fare to a 3 zone travel when I’m travelling on bus 156 to or from Lougheed Station.

    So will my 2 zone monthly pass (I keep it as zone 1/2, not scratching off) work for the ‘one zone’ bus system when I do ride the 156? meaning, I no longer have to add fare?

    Thank you,

  • By Andrew, September 15, 2015 @ 11:31 am

    Sheryl, yes will be able to travel from Waterfront to Main with your one zone monthly pass.

    Tracy, the cost of your trip will stay the same so continue buying two zone monthly pass.

    oil, yes you will be able to use two zone monthly for trips into Vancouver and Coquitlam without add fare. Zones only apply when you cross them on Skytrain and Seabus on weekdays before 6:30pm.

  • By Merri, September 15, 2015 @ 1:44 pm

    I still have a few 3-zone faresaver tickets, not the complete 10-ticket package. Now that we’re moving to 1-zone, can I sell the remainder back to Translink?

  • By Kevin, September 15, 2015 @ 7:26 pm

    For those of us who take a bus across 3 zones, and usually buy a 3 zone monthly pass, what do we do both before Oct 5 and after?

  • By Andrew, September 15, 2015 @ 9:12 pm

    Merri, hang onto those faresavers for now. Once they are phased out, bring them to compass customer service along with your compass card and they will be able to convert them to stored value for you.

    Kevin, in your case you should buy a one zone bus pass for October. For October 1 and 2 which is Thursday and Friday, u would have to pay add fare when travelling across 3 zones on bus. After October 1, you can ride the bus without having to pay add fare

  • By Andrew, September 15, 2015 @ 9:14 pm

    CORRECTION: After October 5, you can ride the bus without paying add fare

  • By Tanner Swift, November 2, 2015 @ 11:48 pm

    Ok currently I only take transit home as I carpool in the morning but I just bought a 1 zone compass card and travel from holdom to lougheed then get on the 97 to go to port moody now was this a good buy or do I need a 2 zone pass

  • By Robert Willis - Buzzer Editor, November 5, 2015 @ 10:52 am

    Hi Tanner: I’ve never made that trip, but it sounds like you did the right thing! The SkyTrain portion of your trip is within a single zone and even though your bus trip goes through two zones you only pay one zone on the bus now. Great!

  • By Ajit nagpal, September 1, 2017 @ 10:22 pm

    I live in surrey bc and work also in surrey bc , pls let me know which tansit monthly pass i need

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