This time next year, transit users may be paying more to get around the Lower Mainland. TransLink has applied to raise transit fares on January 1, 2013. Something they say is necessary to maintain and improve the existing system (for example see the addition of fare gates), which is true. If the proposed changes go through, the 2 and 3 zone fares will see an increase of 50 cents.
TransLink proposes to raise all fares. For example, for cash fares:
a 1-zone ticket would rise by 25 cents, from $2.50 to $2.75
a 2-zone ticket would rise by 50 cents, from $3.75 to $4.25 and
a 3-zone ticket would also rise by 50 cents, from $5.00 to $5.50.
If the increases are approved for 2013, this will be the first fare increase since 2008.
For a very simple comparison, a similar 1-zone ticket costs $3 in Montreal and in Toronto. However, the systems are different, in the lower mainland we operate on a zone based system and many would argue that a distance based system should be implemented instead. I wouldn’t expect that to happen any time soon, as that would require a major overhaul and TransLink is already implementing fare gates and the introduction of the Compass Pass. Perhaps, when the dust has settled on those improvements TransLink may consider the change.
Here are some of the improvements the system needs over the next decade or so:
1. Finally build the Evergreen line. In my mind it’s not the number one priority, the UBC line should have been first. However, this has been talked about for a long, long time. Time to get it done.
2. UBC line. Forget the studies if a line is needed or not, that’s a waste of time and money. Just like the Canada Line, this line will be profitable and near capacity within a year. The future line will go through the second largest employment area in B.C., the Broadway Corridor and an already dense part of town. Plus it connects with largest University in B.C. and the thousands that live and work there. That is the recipe for a well used and profitable transit system.
3. Improve Bus service south of the Fraser. With implementation of both the UBC and Evergreen Line, many of the buses used on those routes will be available for use in Surrey, Langley, Delta etc.. Once transit use goes up, then talks of a rapid transit extension can be brought up.
Source: The Buzzer Blog