TransLink fares (British Columbia)

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TransLink is the transportation authority in the Metro Vancouver region of British Columbia. It was created in 1998 as a replacement for BC Transit in the city of Vancouver and neighbouring municipalities. As part of its mandate, TransLink is responsible for setting and administrating fares for regional public transit services.

On June 25, 2007, all Coast Mountain and West Vancouver Blue Buses were designated "fare paid zones", meaning that passengers are legally required on demand to produce proof that they have paid the proper fare.

Fare zones[edit]

The SkyTrain and SeaBus fare structure is based on a zone system. Municipalities are located in one of three transit zones, and fares are calculated based on the number of zone boundaries crossed on SkyTrain or SeaBus.

* Zones 2 and 3 overlap on Annacis Island in Delta, as well as at Braid Station in New Westminster and Lougheed Station in Burnaby.

The zone system applies only on weekdays from start of service to 6:30 p.m. on SkyTrain or SeaBus. Outside of these times, the entire system is considered to be one zone—on weekdays from 6:30 p.m. to the end of the service day, and all day Saturday, Sunday, and holidays.

As of October 5, 2015 the bus system is considered to be a single zone.[1] In other words, if your trip is solely on buses you only have to pay a 1-zone fare regardless of the number of geographic zones you cross.

Smart card and faregate project[edit]

Work on a new smart card system, the Compass Card, began in 2010, with the smart cards becoming operational in late 2013.[2] The size of a credit card, the card contains an embedded microchip and replaces previous forms of non-cash payment on all transit services in Metro Vancouver. Passengers "tap" on and off at electronic readers when they board or exit transit vehicles. To reload cards, passengers will be able to pay online or by phone. According to TransLink, this new system has "overwhelming public support" because of the additional security it provides.[3] The initial purchase of the card costs $6 and serves as a one-time overdraft in the event of insufficient funds for travel.[4]

Fare classes[edit]

There are two classes of fares on TransLink: adult and concession. Concession fares are less expensive than the adult fare. They are available for children (ages 5–13), secondary students (ages 14–19, with a TransLink GoCard), seniors (ages 65 and up), and patrons with disabilities (with a valid HandyCard). Children four years old and younger ride free when accompanied by an adult.

  • A GoCard is a TransLink identity card used by high school students in Metro Vancouver to travel on TransLink services at the concession rate. Students must present this card or pay the full adult fare. GoCards are often used by high school students as ID cards until they get their driver's license. A GoCard displays the student's high school yearbook picture and is often customized with the school's picture or logo. A typical GoCard includes the student's name, student number, home room number, and grade. At some schools, a bar code is also printed on the card.
  • A HandyCard entitles its bearer to pay the concession fare on TransLink services, as well as allowing an attendant to ride for free. To receive the card, an individual must have a permanent disability that prevents him or her from using the public transit system without assistance.

Cash fares[edit]

A cash fare transfer ticket

Below are the fare prices in Canadian dollars, effective January 1, 2013.[5]

Fare type One zone Two zones Three zones YVR AddFare
Adult $2.75 $4.00 $5.50 +$5.00
Concession $1.75 $2.75 $3.75 +$5.00

Tickets are valid for 90 minutes. To purchase on a bus, money is dropped into a farebox, which accepts only coins. The farebox counts the money and depending on the time and amount paid, and the driver presses a button on a control panel printing out a magnetic transfer ticket for one, two, or three zones. Although magnetic transfer tickets are valid throughout the system including SkyTrain and SeaBus, fare gates on SkyTrain and SeaBus stations are incapable of reading magnetic transfer tickets and the gate will not open even if the passenger has a valid magnetic transfer ticket.

At SkyTrain stations and SeaBus terminals, "Compass Tickets" are purchased from electronic ticket dispensers. Buses accept Canadian coins only but electronic ticket machines on the SkyTrain and SeaBus systems also accept Canadian bills, major credit cards, and Interac debit cards. The fareboxes and electronic ticket dispensers used by TransLink are manufactured by Cubic Transportation Systems.

The YVR AddFare came into effect on January 18, 2010 in order to help pay for the Canada Line. It applies to anyone using Compass Card Stored Value, or single-use fares or DayPasses purchased on Sea Island, who is travelling eastbound from any of the three Sea Island stations (YVR Airport, Sea Island Centre, and Templeton) to Bridgeport Station and beyond. Passengers with single-use tickets or DayPasses purchased outside Sea Island, monthly passes, U-Passes, and Government Bus Passes are exempt from the YVR AddFare.[6]

Prepaid fares[edit]

Prepaid fares include Compass Card Stored Value, DayPasses, and Monthly Passes. Monthly Passes and U-Pass BC passes qualify under federal tax regulations for the Transit Pass Tax Credit.[2]

Compass Card[edit]

Compass Card can be purchased and loaded with Stored Value, DayPasses, and/or Monthly Passes.[7]

Stored Value

The table below are the fare prices for Stored Value on Compass Card.

Fare type Zone 1 Zone 2 Zone 3 YVR AddFare
Adult $2.10 $3.15 $4.20 +$5.00
Concession $1.75 $2.75 $3.75 +$5.00

Monthly Pass

Fare type One zone Two zones Three zones
Adult $91 $124 $170
Concession $52

DayPasses[edit]

A DayPass is a three-zone pass valid for the entire day. These passes are convenient for people travelling from downtown Vancouver to a 3-zone city (such as Surrey) and people travelling many times a single day. The prices are:

Adult Concession
$9.75 $7.50

U-Pass[edit]

Main article: U-Pass BC

The U-Pass is a discount transit pass program available to all BC public post-secondary students should a referendum by each individual institution is passed to implement the mandatory transit pass. The cost is shared by all students whether they use transit or not, resulting in a lower price.

The program was previously sponsored by Vancity, but as of September 2010, the province sponsors the program and offer the same subsidized rates ($30/month) for all referendum-approved BC public post-secondary school students.[8]

Students using the U-Pass are required to print their name on the back of the pass and be in possession of their student card at all times. The U-Pass is not valid unless these conditions are adhered to. U-Passes are non-transferable, which means that only the student who the U-Pass was issued to may use it. Using someone else's U-Pass or using a fake U-Pass may result in criminal charges against the person.[clarification needed]

The inception of this program also saw the end of the FastTrax program, in which a sticker was applied to one's student ID, which must be shown along with a monthly FareCard when boarding the bus; this allowed the user to travel across all three zones on a one-zone pass.

West Coast Express fare[edit]

From Waterfront Station, effective January 1, 2013:[5]

Destination Port Moody, Coquitlam, Port Coquitlam Pitt Meadows, Maple Meadows, Port Haney Mission City
Adult fare (one way) $7.25 $9.00 $12.25
Adult fare (return) $13.75 $17.00 $23.00
Adult fare (weekly) $60.25 $73.25 $101.50
Adult fare (28-day pass) $201.00 $244.00 $335.75

West Coast Express fares can also be used as a three-zone fare on other TransLink services. The ticket expires three hours from the time of purchase.

Notes[edit]

The TransLink zone system, combined with the geography of the Lower Mainland, results in a number of quirks in the fare structure. For example, to travel from Burnaby (Zone 2) into the District of North Vancouver (also Zone 2), passengers must travel into Vancouver, which is located in Zone 1. This results in passengers having to pay a 2-zone fare if they travel by SkyTrain and SeaBus.

Fare enforcement is conducted by South Coast British Columbia Transportation Authority Police Service and officers from Transit Security. Persons caught in a Fare Paid Zone without a valid fare may be removed from the Transit System and fined $173. If fines are ignored, they increase to $213 after 180 days and $273 after 366 days. A person may not be able to obtain or renew a drivers licence or vehicle insurance if fines are ignored.

Discontinued fare products[edit]

2010 Winter Olympics[edit]

Beginning December 2009, a limited-edition 2010 Winter Olympics transit pass was made available for purchase. The pass was valid for the duration of the 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games (February 8, 2010 to March 21, 2010).[9]

Concession One zone Two zones Three zones
$63 $110 $149 $204

In addition, an event ticket for the Games entitled the holder to unlimited access to all TransLink services for the day of that event.[9]

Employer Pass[edit]

Employer Pass was a pass sponsored by an employer, which provided 15% discount on fares with a 12-month commitment. Program was discontinued on January 1, 2014 as part of its tariff review process.[10]

FareCards[edit]

The FareCards on TransLink

A FareCard was a monthly pass that entitles the holder to unlimited travel within the month shown. Until December 31, 2013, two adults (14 and older) and up to four children (13 and younger) were allowed to ride on one adult FareCard on Sundays and Holidays.[11] Concession FareCards were valid for three zones. The last price change were made on January 1, 2013.[5] The last FareCards were issued for the month of December 2015 and were permanently replaced by Compass Cards.[12]

FareSaver tickets[edit]

A two-zone adult FareSaver ticket
A one-zone adult FareSaver ticket

FareSaver tickets were sold until January 2016 in books of ten. Tickets were validated at a SkyTrain station or at a SeaBus terminal by inserting them into the validator or on a bus by inserting them into the electronic farebox. Like cash fares, FareSaver tickets were valid for 90 minutes. Concession FareSaver tickets were valid in one zone travel only. The purchase of an addfare is required for travel through 2 or more zones. Prices of FareSavers were frozen during the last round of fare increases; below are the prices as of January 1, 2013. FareSaver is being phased out completely by the end of January 2016 to be replaced by stored values on Compass card.[13]

Concession One zone Two zones Three zones
$17.50 $21.00 $31.50 $42.00

One- and two-zone FareSaver tickets can be upgraded for use in additional zones by adding the difference in the cash fare. TransLink calls this an AddFare.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "One-Zone Bus Travel". Retrieved 1 October 2015. 
  2. ^ "Compass Card FAQs". TransLink. Retrieved 3 January 2013. 
  3. ^ "Smart Card and Faregate Project moves forward". Retrieved 27 February 2010. 
  4. ^ Clearing up questions about TransLink’s Compass Card
  5. ^ a b c "Fare Changes". TransLink. Retrieved January 3, 2013. 
  6. ^ "Canada Line YVR AddFare". Retrieved September 17, 2016. 
  7. ^ "Compass Cards and Products". Translink. Translink. Retrieved October 15, 2015. 
  8. ^ UPass BC Program Introduction[dead link]
  9. ^ a b Transit Fares during the 2010 Winter Olympic and Paralympic Games
  10. ^ "TransLink announces fare tariff changes". Retrieved January 6, 2016. 
  11. ^ [1]
  12. ^ "Monthly Pass - Farewell FareCard. Hello Compass!". TransLink. Retrieved December 21, 2015. 
  13. ^ "Farewell FareSavers, Hello Compass". Retrieved January 6, 2016. 

External links[edit]