TransLink Commissioner Martin Crilly has rejected a proposed fare increase of 12.5 per cent for 2013, saying TransLink needs to find new cost savings rather than tapping riders for more money.
Crilly, whose Regional Transportation Commission is the independent regulator of Translink, said TransLink should find $40 to $60 million in cost savings between 2013 and 2015.
And those savings can be found wihout cutting current services or projects, Crilly said.
The call for a 12.5 per cent fare boost came from a 2009 report from Metro Vancouver mayors.
Cash fares may still rise in 2013, as TransLink needs no approval to increase individual fares by two per cent annually.
Single-zone TransLink fares could rise to $2.75 from $2.50 in 2013, while three-zone fares may increase to $5.50 from $5. Single-zone fares were last increased in January 2008.
Crilly’s ruling, however, ensures the cost of FareSaver booklets will not rise in 2013.
“TransLink now seeks fare increases outpacing inflation. The farebox is a crucial and sustainable funding source, and there is much to be said in favour of the userpay principle,” Crilly said in a news release.
“The ruling limits fare increases to two per cent per year and sets targets for costsaving by TransLink — but without trimming or deferring service improvements.”