Infographics: What does $1.3 billion and $2.75 buy you from TransLink?

Photo Credit: Roland Tanglao

TransLink is often scolded in the media and at the water cooler for mismanaging public funds, out of control spending and constantly gouging taxpayers and drivers. However, TransLink is giving you a good bang for your buck, according to infographics produced by two local Vancouver bloggers.

Each year, TransLink’s revenues total $1.3 billion and 80 per cent of that comes from fares, the fuel tax and property tax. Paul Hillsdon of Metro 604 crunched some numbers and calculated a cost of $1.56 per day for each Metro Vancouver resident for transit services, bridges, road and cycling infrastructure. Not bad when you consider a medium double double from Tim Hortons costs you $1.65.

Vancouver’s transit fares have been criticized for being expensive and unaffordable, but Daryl Dela Cruz on his blog compared TransLink’s fares with the Toronto Transit Commission and Montreal Transit Corporation. He found transit in Vancouver is cheaper because the city and region receives more transit services than Toronto and Montreal for every dollar raised from fares.

For more, see their infographics:

What you pay for translinkThat equals justIn Return you getfor just $1.56 per person per day | Create infographics

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Allen Tung Trying to make it in an industry that has been pegged as dying by the very people who work in it. Interested in urban transportation issues and hockey.

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    The TTC operates the third most heavily used urban mass transit system in North America after New York and Mexico City. TTC doesn’t operate bridges, tunnels, bike paths- so I’d like to see percentage of revenue Translink spends on transit alone. I’d also like to see their revenue share, as you have done with Translink. Is the TTC also inconceivably attached to a gasoline tax? Which then makes for the paradox that the more people stop driving to take transit, the less money transit makes. Vancouver also chose the most expensive method of LRT with the Skytrain technology. Translink is run by a board of unelected CEOs with no background in transit. Also why only 3 cities? What about Calgary, Edmonton, Winnipeg etc? Translink destroyed Cambie Village. Translink only now just thought about recouping costs from fare evaders. Translink the bureaucracy is what concerns most people, this flashy graphic is nice, but it goes nowhere to address the real concerns people have- of which fares are only a small part.

  • J

    Don’t forget our transit system is totally not reliable. Skytrain’s system breaking down here and there. I’m not talking about 20 minutes delay, it’s HOURS of delays. Imagine you have meetings to go to or just being on time to work. You’ll get fired within 6 months.

  • mrza

    So we are better than Toronto and Montreal…yeeeeh! Now I can sleep better, telling myself that translink isn’t wasting as much money as they could have.

  • Ry Guy

    Translink didn’t destroy anything on Cambie… last time I checked I’ve spent 10x more time on Cambie now I can take a 3 min train ride there. PS you can sit on your LRT while it waits for the lights to change at Broadway and I’ll already be at Oakridge Mall on the Skytrain.

  • Rolan Liu

    This happens in Toronto and Montreal too! This happens in all the metros in urban cities!

  • yes…yes…

    No more zones…….

  • Daryl Dela Cruz

    Delays happen so infrequently in Vancouver that 96% of SkyTrain service is provided on time, to a 2 minute standard. This is higher than the Toronto subway, which provides some 94% of service (and dropping as of most recenftly) on time to a 3 minute standard. No matter what, delays just happen on all metros in urban cities. It happens in Toronto and Montreal as well.

  • Daryl Dela Cruz

    There are a lot of people who think that TransLink is like a tax drain and thus inefficient…. it’s just that they do more to keep transit affordable for fare-payers here 😉

  • mrza

    I’m all in for spending on transit facilities itself, there poor and short sighted planning is a serious concern. I still can’t get my head around the 160k per year transit police officers, single lane track for Canada line is most of Richmond and their planning of fare gates


    Do you even know what LRT means? Why would I be sitting at the lights?

  • AT

    Where else would you build an LRT that is not already populated? These LRT lines would have to go through the same roads as you already do in most cases and follow the same kind of traffic patterns.

  • David

    Cut the wages, lose the benefits and luxury pension (something most people – especially transit users will never get), lose the police, then remove the bridge tolls and lower the fares….all without having to raise more money. Problem solved.

  • emilywarren

    It matters not that eliminating the entire administration of TransLink (about 4 percent of its budget) would barely pay for a few more bus routes, much less a multi-billion-dollar rapid-transit line. – Gordon Price

  • Seth

    Nice stats. Here’s another interesting one:
    Price of me traveling around with my 9 and 11 year old for a day on daypasses: $24.75
    Price of me doing the same thing with my kids in Victoria: $5.00
    It’s 495% more expensive here than in Victoria.
    Our system is a good deal for single people traveling alone. Once you start having kids, renting a car for a day is almost cheaper.

  • Jackie

    Right…so riders are supposed to be thankful for our good fortune, and throw our hands up in praise to Translink?

    This is not about fare prices alone – the whole management of Translink funding has been misguided and run down from the very beginning. If anything, the impression I get from this article is that Translink has been doing more than it can afford. Don’t wear such a big hat if your head doesn’t fit in it.