New one-zone monthly bus pass won't work for first days of October

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Michael Chu via Flickr

When it comes time to purchase the October monthly bus pass, users will have to pay extra for the first few days of the month.

Starting October 5, TransLink is removing the three zone barriers for bus routes, meaning users will only need to purchase a one-zone ticket or bus pass if they plan on traveling primarily on the bus or across only one zone on the SkyTrain and Canada Line. Rail transportation and the SeaBus will still require multiple zone passes.

Those who don’t use the SkyTrain or SeaBus for their commute will luck out and only require a $91 adult monthly pass, but what happens during the first four days of October before the new zoning changes come into effect?

Many monthly pass users will only need to purchase a one-zone pass come September 30, but that pass alone will not be enough to take them across a two-zone commute for four days after the month begins.

TransLink has confirmed that monthly pass holders will have to pay add fare when needed from October 1 to 4, amounting to $1.25 extra per trip if traveling two zones and $2.75 if traveling three zones.

It seems that it would have made a lot more sense to implement the zone changes on October 1 rather than the 5th, but a representative from TransLink on Twitter says the company needed the extra weekend to change over their systems.

It may only be an extra $5 to $15 extra for those first four days, but the new price structure will require users to pay add fare much more often than currently.

For instance, someone who typically commutes from North Vancouver over the Lions Gate Bridge will be saving around $30 by only needing to purchase a one-zone bus pass come October 5, but if that commuter ever finds themselves needing to take the SeaBus into or out of the city, they must pay an extra $1.25 per trip.

Same goes for residents of Richmond who currently travel by Canada Line. After October 5 it will be much cheaper for them to take the bus into or out of the city, but should their bus schedule not coordinate with their travel plans, they will need to pay extra to take the train.

The new structure makes it more efficient for users of the Compass Card users who previously had to “tap out” when exiting a bus for the correct zone price to be charged.

That issue caused many possible problems, including line-ups to exit a bus and congestion around the exit doors, that pushed TransLink to implement the one-zone bus format. The new fare gates at SkyTrain and SeaBus stations will still require passengers to “tap out” when leaving, thus allowing the three-zone structure to remain on those modes of transportation.

All that being said, passengers should make sure to stock up on some loonies and quarters before the end of the month.

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Jill Slattery Jill Slattery was born and raised in Vancouver, where she also earned an Arts degree from UBC in English and Creative Writing. She is an avid TV-watcher and a shameless Taylor Swift fangirl. Jill is a Staff Writer at Vancity Buzz. Contact her at jill@vancitybuzz.com
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