A good public transit system is essential to building strong communities that are more affordable for the people who live in them.
BC Transit provides public transit services in more than 130 communities outside Metro Vancouver. These transit services are funded by a cost-sharing partnership between provincial and local governments (e.g., the Victoria Regional Transit Commission in Greater Victoria).
The B.C. government’s budget for public transit outside Metro Vancouver in 2020 is more than $190 million. This includes $115.8 million in operating grants to make transit affordable for local governments and capital investments of $77.4 million.
Major funding programs and partnerships include:
BC’s Restart Plan
- Under the Canada-B.C. Safe Restart Agreement, BC Transit will receive $86 million in funding cost-shared 50-50 between the B.C. and the federal governments. This will help cover the incremental operating costs (including revenue loss) due to the COVID-19 pandemic for local governments.
- Under the agreement, BC Transit is sharing over $1 billion transit relief funding with TransLink and BC Ferries.
- The three agencies will receive one-time funding relief to help ensure service levels for transit and ferries are maintained throughout the province and that fares remain affordable over the next three years as part of BC’s Restart Plan.
Public Transit Infrastructure Fund/Investing in Canada Infrastructure Program
- Through the Government of Canada’s Public Transit Infrastructure Fund and Investing in Canada Infrastructure Program, the federal, provincial and local governments are partnering to fund $1.2 billion in transit investments over the next decade in communities served by BC Transit.
- This partnership will pay for new and replacement buses, including battery electric and compressed natural gas, smart technologies (including NextRide), advanced fare technology, new and upgraded transit facilities, new transit exchanges, park and rides, and new bus lanes.
- Transit services in northern B.C. have also been enhanced in support of the Province’s efforts to enable safe, affordable travel for Indigenous communities, residents and organizations through BC Bus North and the B.C. government’s Highway 16 Transportation Action Plan.
These combined investments will allow B.C. to support a growing population with a public transit system that is environmentally sound, affordable, accessible and convenient.