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TransLink moving in the direction of distance pricing, wants more feedback

Last Updated Nov 20, 2017 at 5:13 pm PST

(Photo credit: Dustin Godfrey for NEWS 1130)

VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) – As TransLink looks to overhaul the way you pay for its services, distance pricing has emerged as the most popular and viable option.

But after nearly two years and $1.5 million spent on consultations, the transit authority still isn’t ready to move on any changes just yet.

TransLink’s manager of policy development, Andrew Devlin, says one thing became clear in the previous rounds of consultations: People don’t like the three zones.

“Large, arbitrary zone boundaries; steep price jumps between zones; short trips across zone boundaries, paying two-zone fare — through this process, we’ve listened to customers and we want to try and find ways to address those issues.”

Devlin says TransLink has also considered charging a flat rate, but says, “It would require… a 20 per cent price increase for about two thirds of trips across the region. We just don’t think that’s a palatable option for the region and our customers.”

The transit authority is now gathering public feedback on two pricing options for buses — one where fares remain at a flat rate and another where bus trips, just like SkyTrain, are charged based on kilometre travelled.

Either way, the cost of a SeaBus trip would drop, as would short SkyTrain trips across existing zone boundaries.

TransLink could also choose to keep the current fare structure without any changes.

You have until December 8 to weigh in online on distance pricing.

EDITOR’S NOTE: A previous version of this article incorrectly stated that TransLink had decided on distance pricing for SkyTrain. NEWS 1130 apologizes for this error.