Evening view of traffic on the south side of the Cambie Street Bridge

Transport pricing

What you need to know

As part of 11 transportation actions the Climate Emergency Action Plan approved on November 17, 2020, Council directed staff to develop a transport pricing strategy for Vancouver’s Metro Core by 2025.

Transport pricing will be a fee for vehicles to drive into the Metro Core. Details such as cost, boundaries, and time of day when the fee will be in effect, will be decided through further research and engagement with residents and businesses, and in consultation with regional partners and the provincial government.

Transportation accounts for almost 40% of Vancouver’s carbon pollution, which is why it’s critical we prioritize walking, biking, and public transit. Transport pricing is one of the best tools cities have for shifting people to sustainable modes of travel and reducing carbon pollution.

By 2030, our goal is that two-thirds of all trips into the city will be made by walking, biking, or transit, and that we reduce our carbon pollution by 50%. These shifts will be supported by expansions to our walking and biking networks, bus-service improvements, and the opening of the Broadway Subway , providing additional regional rapid transit access into the Metro Core.

Over the next three years, we will do further analysis and work with the provincial government, TransLink, local and regional community, and stakeholders to develop the right fit for Vancouver. Staff will provide a pricing strategy update to Council in 2022 for their review and consideration for approval to implement pricing in Vancouver by 2025.

Why we're doing this

  • Transport pricing reduces driving during the most congested times, which makes car and bus travel; and goods movement, more reliable.
  • It creates more road space for transit, walking, and cycling.
  • It reduces pollution from vehicles.
  • Revenue from transport pricing will be used to invested in transit and active transportation options, increasing everyone’s ability to access essential services, work, shopping and recreation.

With approximately 100,000 new residents expected to live in Vancouver in the next 20 years, there will be a greater demand for people moving around the city. Without the ability to expand the road system, we need to find ways to move people more efficiently, using the road space we have through more reliable transit, walking, and biking options to maintain access for everyone. 

Additional transit options

There will be more bus and rapid transit options by the time transport pricing is implemented in 2025. The Broadway Subway Project will be complete and there will be more bus service to the Metro Core. The walking and biking network will also be expanded within, and connecting into, the Metro Core over the next four years.

Location

The Metro Core is defined by Burrard St to the west, 16th Ave to the south, Clark Dr to the east and Burrard Inlet to the north.

This is the general area we are looking at as a starting point, but we will define the actual transport pricing boundaries through additional study and engagement.

Pricing fairness

A pricing strategy that creates more space, and revenue to invest in transit, walking, and biking, will create a fairer mobility system. 

The effects of climate change impact vulnerable populations the most, so big moves like transport pricing, to reduce carbon pollution, help avoid these impacts.

At the moment there are no plans to exempt electric vehicles.

Supporting the Metro Core

Transport pricing has the ability to improve access to city centres, while reducing traffic, thus supporting business districts. In London, transport pricing resulted in 40% few vehicles but almost 25% more people coming into the city centre.

Reducing congestion also promotes the reliable movement of goods, which supports businesses and a strong economy.

Developing a regional approach

For Vancouver to meet its climate targets by 2030, we have to take action now. Starting with a core area in Vancouver can support a regional approach in the future, which has been a successful strategy in other major cities that have implemented transport pricing—they have started with a smaller area and then expanded it.

We'll study the feasibility of various options, including those that can be done within Vancouver authority and those that would require provincial enabling legislation. We'll collaborate closely with regional and provincial partners to explore all options.

Timeline

  • 2021

    Staff develop a plan for more detailed engagement with the public and stakeholders

  • 2022

    A transport pricing update with feedback from the community and more details on how pricing will work, will go to council

  • 2023

    A transport pricing strategy will go to council for final approval

  • 2025

    Transport pricing is implemented

Mobility Pricing – Is it time?

Lessons from London and Stockholm, SFU’s City Program, May 17, 2018.

Related plans and policies

Climate Emergency Action Plan

On November 17, 2020, Council approved the Climate Emergency Action Plan. Learn more about our work and how to get involved.

Transportation 2040 Plan

Our plan provides a vision for how people and goods move in and around Vancouver for the next 30 years.

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