COPE’s plan for creating affordable public transit is to work to extend the universal transit pass program to all residents of Vancouver for “a dollar a day.” That’s a transit pass for just $30 a month. The universal (U-Pass) program has been a success at colleges and universities by increasing ridership and reducing fares, congestion, and carbon emissions.
COPE will put a Vancouver U-Pass, in everyone’s hand.
THE U-PASS WILL MAKE TRANSIT MORE AFFORDABLE
TRANSIT FARES MUST BE REDUCED TO ACHIEVE A VANCOUVER EVERYONE CAN AFFORD. A DOLLAR-A-DAY VANCOUVER TRANSIT PASS WOULD SAVE THE AVERAGE TRANSIT RIDER $1,680 PER YEAR.
THE U-PASS WILL INCREASE TRANSIT RIDERSHIP
PUTTING A TRANSIT PASS IN EACH PERSON’S HAND HELPS THEM SWITCH FROM CARS TO TRANSIT.
THE U-PASS WILL REDUCE CARBON EMISSIONS
CARS ARE THE BIGGEST SOURCE OF GREENHOUSE GAS EMISSIONS IN VANCOUVER. AFFORDABLE AND ACCESSIBLE PUBLIC TRANSIT IS KEY TO REDUCING THE CITY’S EMISSIONS.
THE U-PASS PROGRAM WILL BE COST-NEUTRAL
LIKE THE U-PASS PROGRAM AT COLLEGES AND UNIVERSITIES, THE VANCOUVER U-PASS PROGRAM IS COST-NEUTRAL.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
HOW MUCH WILL THIS COST THE CITY?
The U-pass program is mostly cost-neutral, we just need to create a fund to pay for those who opt-out. That subsidy will be funded by rolling back Vision’s tax breaks on large corporations (not small and medium-sized businesses).
HOW MUCH DOES TRANSLINK COLLECT IN FARES FROM VANCOUVER RESIDENTS?
About $150 million per year. TransLink’s 2012 budget of $463 million in fare collection across Metro Vancouver, and TransLink estimates 30% of ridership is within the City of Vancouver.
If each working-age Vancouverite paid for a $30/month pass, how much revenue would that generate for the transit system?
Over $160 million per year. According to the 2011 census, there were 450,000 (75%) working age people living in the City of Vancouver.
ARE THERE OPT-OUTS, EXEMPTIONS, AND SUBSIDIES?
U-pass programs include opt-out and exemption provisions. For example, if you already have a universal pass, you can opt-out. If you suffer economic hardship, the cost of your pass could be waived. In both cases, this lost revenue would have to be covered by a subsidy. For purposes of comparison, UBC puts aside about $1/year per student for subsidies. Even if Vancouver put aside $10/year per resident to subsidize opt-outs and fee waivers, the cost would be only $5 million/year.