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Translink Buzzer Blog

Have your say in the final phase of the Transit Fare Review!

We’re in the final phase of reviewing our transit fares. The Transit Fare Review phase four is here and we’re ready to share our recommendations with you!

After months of public consultation, research, and technical analysis, we’re proposing a new distance-based fare structure on rapid transit with prepaid passes updated to reflect this change. Buses will be kept as a flat fare to ensure simplicity. We are also proposing recommendations for changes to how we price by time of day and discounts for customers.

“TransLink has received over 55,000 responses through this review, many from people wanting a system where paying for transit is fair for more people, while also being affordable and simple to use. Replacing our zone-system with pricing that is more gradual and incremental based on distance between stations is a way to do that.” —Geoff Cross, TransLink’s vice-president of transportation planning and policy

We're proposing a new transit fare structureHere’s a few more details on the recommendations we’re asking for input on (you’ll want to read the draft report on recommendations for full details!):

  • Distance: In previous phases, three-quarters of respondents told us the current zone-based fare system doesn’t work well and they’d like to see a system that prices fares more closely to distances travelled. Based on that feedback, we are proposing to:
    • Eliminate zones and shift to pricing by the distance between stations on SkyTrain, SeaBus and future rapid transit while maintaining a flat fare on bus. Under this system, the maximum fare would be about the same as a three-zone fare, meaning people travelling the longest distance on SkyTrain would continue to pay the same price as they do under the current system.
    • HandyDART would remain a flat fare and the West Coast Express price structure would remain the same.
  • Fare products: in previous phases, we heard strong support for a system that’s affordable for frequent riders. So we are proposing to update prepaid adult Monthly Passes to reflect the proposed distance-based pricing system. Concession Monthly Passes would remain a flat rate.
  • Time of day discounts: we are recommending that current time-of-day discounts be maintained in the near future and expanding off-peak discounts at targeted times and locations when funding is available in the future.
  • User discounts: we are recommending a number of changes and options for the future if funded through senior government, while maintaining current Concession discounts as they are today.

What do you think? Between June 18 and 29, we’re asking for the public to review our recommendation and have their say at

Have questions? Join the online discussion forum and send us an email at

How we got here

Through the first three phases of the Transit Fare Review, we heard from more than 55,000 people!

The key themes we heard from respondents was that they want to see a system that’s promotes fairness for more people, while also being simple and affordable. Three quarters of respondents said they’d like to see a structure that prices fares more closely to distance travelled.

What’s next

After we complete this phase of consultation, we will finalize our recommendation and present it to the Mayors’ Council and TransLink Board later this summer for endorsement.

Through June 29, review the draft report on recommendations and take the survey at!


  • By Sassi stephane, June 18, 2018 @ 3:40 pm

    Zoning is fine and fair rpoviding that it still is expensive and taxes already paid should account for that
    Simplicity should come before or after specific hours
    Week ends and after 5:30 all zones should become zone 1 the cheapest one
    Reductions on zones should be applied if monthly passes are bought only

  • By Dennis, June 18, 2018 @ 7:36 pm

    So, in effect, nobody’s going to pay less for the service they’re receiving, but many will pay more because of distance, especially if they are going from bus to Skytrain.

  • By Allen Tung, June 20, 2018 @ 4:38 pm

    Hi Dennis, if you take a look on page 7 of the draft recommendations report, you’ll see a chart on who might see a decrease in fares:

  • By BARNEY, June 19, 2018 @ 8:19 am

    Maybe, before you go ahead and impliment any new fares or changes in your million dollar compass card system you should look at Montreals transit system. There they have been using a card system since the 80’s with no problems, at least no where near what Vancouverites have had to endure. If the final plane is to go by a distance system, will it be where you get on and then get off? will it be determined by the route of say the skytain goe? Or will you look at distance as the crow flies, which would be an even better way of determining distance. Take some time and look at other Canadian cities who have had no where near the problems Trans link has had and is still dealing with on a daily basis.

  • By Ken Linklater, June 19, 2018 @ 8:43 am

    Leave the fares and zones as they are. The zone system has worked for many years without a problem .I wonder what the cost to change would be? Transit has many more important areas to work on i.e. routing,service schedules.I have used the system for many years ,the zone system is fine and definitely less expensive than driving

  • By SL, June 20, 2018 @ 10:38 am

    @Barney: Montreal had paper tickets and transfers until it launched its OPUS card system in 2008, so your 80’s claim is way off unless you’re referring to magnetic stripe monthly passes. The OPUS system is terrible: you can’t recharge your card online unless you buy a ~$15 gadget to connect to your computer, taps register slowly, and you have to pay $6 (non-refundable) for a new card every 4 years. Please inform yourself before claiming that the grass is greener on the other side.

    @Dennis: I think you haven’t read the draft report or have completely misread it.

  • By Jordan, June 20, 2018 @ 10:54 am

    Seems like a great proposal! So many short trips that cross a zone boundary will be cheaper. And if the biggest change is a trip from Marine Dr Stn to downtown is closer to a 2-zone fare, seems to make sense. Keep up the good work making our fares more fair :)

  • By Allan Locke, June 22, 2018 @ 5:57 pm

    So, folks who can’t afford to live in Vancouver have to go to Vancouver for school, or customer service work or whatever. We wait in the rain, stand at the stops, allow the extra time because it is what we can afford based on what we are paid. And you want to increase our transit costs by 100%? We can’t afford it. Folks making more than the minimum wage are getting by on 2% or less wage increases. And you have already raised fare prices by 5% in 2018. It would take me 23 minutes by car to get to work, and an hour and 15 minutes by transit. I like being Green, and I cannot affford to spend anymore. Why are you even considering this? Why are you hurting us? Maybe you will help a few riders, but you are going to seriously injure most commuters.

  • By Allen Tung, June 27, 2018 @ 8:53 am

    Hi Allan, thanks for sharing your feedback. I’ll just note that this only a proposal at this time and if you haven’t already, please do take the survey and include these thoughts. This way it can be incorporated and analyzed by our planners.

  • By Justin Davis, June 23, 2018 @ 8:53 pm

    As a concerned translink rider: I’d like to suggest to the translink fare review team, translink board and translink mayors council highly looks into keeping the current fare zones as there is today: the fare zone system works well and is simple to navigate, you go to the compass vending machine and buy a 2 zone 90 minute time based compass ticket if you’re going from North Vancouver to Metrotown and ride : the fare zones 1 and 2 work well and i ask for the board and translink to keep the fare zones 1 and 2 with the same pricing.

    I’d eliminate the third zone as it would make the most sense to eliminate the 3 zone boundary and have surrey as part the 2 zone area instead.

    For monthly Passes, please keep the current 1 and 2 zone monthly passes. I’d again eliminate the 3 zone pass and have only 1 and 2 zone passes for the same pricing as it is currently for a 1 and 2 zone pass.

    In regards to monthly passes: Having a 7 km, 13 km , 20 km pass is to difficult to understand: how much would a pass cost to get from North Vancouver to Metrotown or production way university stn? The new fare structure is too difficult to understand. The current 1 and 2 zone Monthly passes you just buy the monthly pass and ride, which is my reasoning for suggesting that translink keep the current zone passes.

    For low income people in all age groups up to the income bracket $30,000.00 let low income people buy the $52/month concession transit pass.

    I do not support a fare by distance or kilometres as it would make it cost a commuter more money to get from North Vancouver to Burnaby or to the airport under a new fare structure and is harder to understand. It’s to confusing this new fare structure translink is recommending. How would a rider be able to buy a compass ticket from the seabus with cash and know how much to pay to get off at Metrotown station? It’s too confusing translinks idea of a new system. The current fare zone system should stay.

    As a regular transit user I’d like to see the current zones stay with the elimination of the 3rd zone it’s simple and easy to understand . I’d also like to see the board and mayors council keep the 90 minute time based transfers. ‘

    I go from North Vancouver to Metrotown as well as lougheed town centre and production way university, sometimes i go to the airport via rav line. I’m not willing to pay twice as much to take transit: $140-173 for a monthly translink pass for 15 km to 20 km : when its a regular 2 zone transit fare or on a monthly 2 zone pass costs $126.00 as in your draft , which if i count from waterfront to production way university would cost $172 under this new fare structure that’s unfair, its always been a 2 zone fare and should remain a 2 zone fare at the same cost of a 2 zone bus pass:$126.

    $140-173 is far to high it is not well thought out at all this fare by distance is not well thought out translink. Please keep the current zone system and pricing.

  • By Allen Tung, June 27, 2018 @ 8:57 am

    Hi Justin, thanks for sharing your feedback to The Buzzer blog. If you haven’t already, please do take the survey and include these thoughts. This way it can be incorporated and analyzed by our planners. I’ll add that this only a proposal at this time. Have a great day!

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