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June 28,2007 - Vancouver Sun

Basic fare up by 25 cents, monthly pass increases $4

Gerry Bellett, Vancouver Sun

Published: Thursday, June 28, 2007

TransLink directors approved a transit fare increase Wednesday for bus, SeaBus and SkyTrain passengers that is expected to raise $19 million a year in extra revenue.

The increases will see a single, one-zone cash fare rise to $2.50 from $2.25, and a monthly, one-zone pass increase to $73 from $69. The increases take effect Jan. 1.

With the exception of Port Moody Mayor Joe Trasolini, the board voted to increase the fares while faint chants of "stop the fare increase -- more buses now" could be heard from a group called the Bus Riders Union that was gathered outside the meeting, held at Vancouver's Robson Square.

Trasolini asked the board to consider cutting the proposed increase in half but there was no support for his motion.

Bus Riders Union members vehemently objected to the fare increase, saying it was an attack on poor people who need to use public transit for work, shopping or school but can't afford it.

Interruptions by the group led TransLink chairman Malcolm Brodie to end the public session and convene a private meeting in another room in the complex.

Brodie, who is mayor of Richmond, repeatedly clashed with protesters, some of whom made comments about fat, white men making decisions that affect people of colour who are poor, and low-income women.

Vancouver police officers were present but didn't intervene as the protesters hurled insults at the board members as they quickly left the meeting.

Vancouver Mayor Sam Sullivan was last to get away in his wheelchair and he faced a torrent of abuse, including being called a liar by some in the group for what they said was his abandonment of an election campaign promise not to increase transit fares.

When the meeting reconvened, Vancouver Coun. Peter Ladner succeeded in having the board support a motion asking staff to report on the financial consequences of increasing to 120 minutes the current 90 minutes that a transit ticket can be used.

On the street outside, Bus Riders Union member Yuly Chan said she supports any move that would extend the life of a ticket.

"It will make a difference. But people will still have to buy two or three tickets a day," she said.

She said that before the meeting she expected board members to rubber-stamp the fare increase proposed by staff but she expected them to change their minds once board members heard how much hardship fare levels cause poor people.

"After hearing all the testimonials and all the speeches and presentations, I thought there was no way they could still increase the fares.

"They have to be heartless to still go through with the increase. It's inhumane to listen to those needs and say 'okay we're still going through with it,'" Chan said.

The increase is part of a program that will see additional buses and SkyTrain cars added to the system and an expansion of services.


Most fare increases range between four and six per cent, but pay cash and you're looking at up to 15 per cent more.

Current Jan. 1 % Change

Monthly Pass 1 zone $69 $73 5.8%

2 zone $95 $99 4.2%

3 zone $130 $136 4.6%

Prepaid Ticket 1 zone $1.80 $1.90 5.6%

2 zone $2.70 $2.85 5.6%

3 zone $3.60 $3.80 5.6%

Cash 1 zone $2.25 $2.50 11%

2 zone $3.25 $3.75 15%

3 zone $4.50 $5.00 11%


Ottawa: $3.

Montreal and Toronto: $2.75.

Edmonton and Quebec City $2.50 (same as Vancouver after Jan.1, 2008)

Calgary and Victoria: $2.25

Winnipeg: $2.

Source: TransLink; Vancouver Sun

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