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City of Vancouver to launch reduced TransLink fare program for low-income residents

The pilot program will see anywhere from 50 to 100 people receive discounted TransLink Compass Cards in fall of 2021
Vancouver residents struggling to afford bus fare could soon be given a break. Photo: TransLink

Vancouver residents struggling to afford bus fare could soon be given a break on the cost of their commute.

On Tuesday, Vancouver City council approved a pilot program that see between 50 to 100 people be given single-zone TransLink Compass Cards, at a discount.

City staff outlined in a report that the lack of affordable transportation is “a major barrier that prevented people from taking action to lift themselves out of poverty.”

Priority for those considered for the subsidized pass will include "Indigenous and racialized residents – including children, youth, families, and people living in temporary modular housing,” the staff report reads.

“Because [residents in poverty] could not afford transportation they were unable to access job interviews, education, or services that would enable them to move out of poverty," according to the report.

The sample size of up to 100 people being offered the subsidized fares is part of a larger study, spanning across several Metro Vancouver municipalities, on reducing transit costs for those living in poverty.

The initiative – which grew out of the All On Board campaign which the council endorsed in 2019 – is to be funded by a $50,000 grant from the Union of British Columbia Municipalities.

The Compass Cards will be available in the fall of 2021, with analysis happening during spring before any broader rollout of discounted passes is available for low-income residents of Vancouver.