TransLink fares (Vancouver): Wikis


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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 its neighbouring municipalities. As part of its mandate, TransLink is responsible for setting and administrating fares for regional public transit services.

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


Fare zones

The TransLink 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 zones travelled.

Zone 1

Zone 2

Zone 3

TransLink fare map (August 2009)
* Zones 2 and 3 overlap on Annacis Island in Delta.

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

Fare classes

A GoCard. This one is for Hugh Boyd Secondary School in Richmond, circa 2003-04.

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 to 13), secondary students (ages 14 to 19, with a TransLink GoCard), seniors (ages 65 and up), and disabled patrons (with a valid HandyCard). Children four years old and younger ride free when accompanied by an adult.

  • A GoCard is a TransLink ID used by high school students in Metro Vancouver to travel on TransLink 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 drivers license.

GoCards utilize the yearbook pictures taken at the high school and are often customized with the school's picture or logo. The typical GoCard includes the students' 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 while travelling, as well as allowing an attendant to ride for free. To receive the card, you must have a permanent disability that prevents you from using the public transit system without assistance.

Cash fares

A cash fare transfer ticket

Below are the fare prices in Canadian dollars, effective January 1, 2008:

Fare type One zone Two zones Three zones
Adult $2.50 $3.75 $5.00
Concession $1.75 $2.50 $3.50

Tickets are valid for a 90-minute period. To purchase on a bus, money is dropped into a farebox, which only accept coins. The farebox counts the money and depending on the time and amount of money, the driver will press a button on a control panel printing out a transfer for one, two, or three zones. At SkyTrain stations and SeaBus terminals, the electronic ticket dispensers in the lobby are used. TransLink buses accept Canadian coins only. Most electronic ticket machines on the SkyTrain and SeaBus systems also accept bills, major credit cards and Interac debit cards. The fareboxes and electronic ticket dispensers for TransLink are manufactured by Cubic Transportation Systems.

2010 Winter Olympics

Beginning December, 2009, limited edition transit pass for the 2010 Winter Olympics will be available for purchase. The pass will be valid for the entire duration of the Olympics & Paralympics Game (February 8, 2010 to March 21, 2010). [1]

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

In addition, an event ticket for the Games will give the holder unlimited access to all of TransLink’s transit services for the day of that event. [1]

West Coast Express fare

From Waterfront Station, effective January 1, 2008[2]:

Destination Port Moody, Coquitlam, Port Coquitlam Pitt Meadows, Maple Meadows, Port Haney Mission City
Adult fare (one way) $6.75 $8.25 $11.25
Adult fare (return) $12.50 $15.50 $21.00
Adult fare (Weekly) $52.25 $63.50 $87.75
Adult fare (Monthly) $161.00 $195.50 $269.00

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.

Pre-paid fares

Prepaid fares include FareSavers, FareCards, and DayPasses. They may be purchased at FareDealers throughout Greater Vancouver, including supermarkets, convenience stores, drug stores, and gas stations. Post-secondary student fares are acquired through the university or college. FareCards, U-Passes, West Coast Express 28-day passes, and the Employer Pass Program qualify under federal tax regulations for the Transit Pass Tax Credit.[2]


A 2 zone adult faresaver ticket
A 1 zone adult faresaver ticket

FareSavers are sold in a pack with ten (10) tickets. The tickets can be used individually and can be validated at a SkyTrain station by inserting it into the validator or on a bus, by inserting the ticket into the electronic farebox. Like cash fares, tickets last for 90 minutes. Concession tickets come in only one zone and are sold for $16. Below are the adult prices:

Concession One zone Two zones Three zones
$16.0 $19.0 $28.5 $38.0

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


The FareCards on TransLink

FareCards are monthly passes which allow you to unlimited travel within the month shown. On Sunday and Holidays, two adults (14 and older) and up to four children (13 and younger) may ride on one adult FareCard.[3] Concession FareCards are valid for three zones. Below are the prices:

Fare type One zone Two zones Three zones
Adult $73 $99 $136
Concession $42


DayPasses are three zone passes and are valid for one day all day. The prices are:

Adult Concession
$9 $7

Post secondary discounts

There are fare subsidies for many post secondary students, but eligibility for the reduced rates is varied;


U-Passes are discount passes for post-secondary students, in which all the students, by referendum, pay for and receive a mandatory transit pass. The price is reallocated across all students whether they use transit or not, resulting in the lower pass price. The Vancouver program is sponsored by the Vancouver City Savings Credit Union, and passes are currently only available to students at the University of British Columbia, Simon Fraser University, Capilano University, and Langara College. The fee is currently $26.75 per month for UBC students and $26.09 per month for SFU students. There are plans to expand the program to other area post-secondary institutions.[4]

FastTrax stickers

FastTrax stickers are available to students "attending approved, non-private post-secondary institutions".[5] The sticker is applied to the student ID, which must be shown along with a monthly FareCard when boarding the bus. This allows the user to travel anywhere in the three zones on a single zone pass.


The TransLink zone system, when combined with the geography of the Lower Mainland, leads to a number of quirks within the fare structure. The adjacent municipalities of Coquitlam and Surrey are both in Zone 3. However, due to traffic congestion, there is no transit service on the Port Mann Bridge, which links these two communities. Passengers must travel into New Westminster, which is in Zone 2, and then travel back into Zone 3 on the SkyTrain to reach Surrey, thus having to pay for two zones.

A similar situation occurs while travelling from Burnaby (Zone 2) into the District of North Vancouver (also Zone 2). The access route, over the Ironworkers Memorial Second Narrows Crossing, is located in Zone 1.

The #430 bus between Metrotown Station and Richmond Centre also requires a 2-zone fare to go from one end to the other. While both Metrotown Station and Richmond Centre are in Zone 2, the route travels through Vancouver.

SkyTrain crosses into Coquitlam (Zone 3) between Braid and Lougheed Town Centre Stations. As there is no station in Coquitlam, riders are not charged for this crossing. However as Braid Station is Zone 2 and Lougheed Town Centre Station is Zone 2/3, Coquitlam passengers wishing to use the SkyTrain between these two stations as a shortcut are required to pay for two zones.

Until recently, people travelling from Delta to Annacis Island were forced to pay a two zone fare, but now Annacis Island is in both zone 2 and zone 3, and only a single zone fare is needed.[6]

Finally, two-zone cash fares purchased in Zone 2 can be used to travel the entire system. However, two-zone monthly passes are zone-specific and as such cannot take advantage of this anomaly.


See also

External links

TransLink web site - transit fares


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