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

Transport pricing

What you need to know

In November 2020, City council approved the Climate Emergency Action Plan, which includes actions to significantly cut carbon emissions from our biggest local sources: burning gas and diesel in vehicles and using natural gas in buildings.

As part of the Climate Emergency Action Plan, we’ve developed 11 transportation actions that work together to create more options for transit, cycling and walking, and to create more walkable communities. To further encourage the shift to active transportation and transit, Council directed staff to assess the feasibility of transport pricing.

Transport pricing would be a fee for vehicles to drive into, and through Vancouver’s city centre. Over the next few years, we will do further analysis and work with the host Nations, the Provincial government, TransLink, the local and regional community, and stakeholders to explore a transport pricing model that would work for Vancouver. 

What's happeningTransport pricing study

The first phase of the study, “Explore”, is underway. Activities include:

  • Stakeholder interviews to understand and discuss interests, priorities, concerns, and potential benefits that should be considered as we explore transport pricing in the city centre
  • Technical analysis, including effects of COVID-19, traffic patterns, and equity considerations
  • Partnering with TransLink to consider regional implications and ensure alignment on shared interests

Timeline

  • 2020

    Council approves Climate Emergency Action Plan

    Includes direction to assess feasibility of transport pricing in the metro

  • 2021-2023

    Explore

    Stakeholder engagement on interests, priorities, concerns, and potential benefits, supported by technical analysis, including effects of COVID-19 and equity considerations. Work with TransLink and Metro Vancouver on regional alignment

    Present phase 1 findings and recommended phase 2 approach for Council decision on how to proceed

  • 2024

    Develop

    Develop transport pricing scenarios that include potential boundaries and pricing. Engage public to discuss effects, mitigation, and opportunities

    Present feasible transport pricing scenarios for Council decision on what to explore further

  • 2025-2026

    Refine

    Present refined transport pricing option and implementation plan for Council decision on whether to move forward, and prepare to implement transport pricing in Vancouver

    If approved, transport pricing for the city centre would be implemented by 2026 or later

Why we're doing this

Transportation accounts for almost 40% of Vancouver’s carbon pollution, which is why it’s critical we prioritize walking, cycling, and transit. 

By 2030, our goal is that two-thirds of all daily trips 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 (for example, bus priority lanes), and the new Broadway Subway, which will provide additional regional rapid transit access into the city centre.

Transport pricing is an important opportunity to reduce carbon emissions while making the city centre a better place for everyone. People come to Vancouver’s city centre to work, play, and access services. However, too many vehicles travelling into, and through the city centre creates congestion and delays, pollution, and takes up valuable, scarce public space.

A road use fee would reduce the number of vehicles on the road and: 

  • Enable more people and goods to move into, and through, the city centre with more reliable travel times
  • Reduce air and noise pollution and carbon emissions 
  • Increase the amount of road space for sustainable travel and help create new, vibrant public spaces

Resources

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

Our plan focuses on cutting carbon pollution from our biggest local sources: burning fossil fuels in our buildings and vehicles.

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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