A combined $204 million will be given to BC Transit and TransLink in pandemic relief funding.
The announcement from the provincial government comes as TransLink reports ridership has recovered to around 67 per cent of pre-pandemic levels. BC Transit also reports a similar number at 70 per cent.
Of the funding, BC Transit will receive $28 million while TransLink will receive $176 million. The province says the funding is to help offset revenue impact as ridership rebuilds. They add it builds on $1 billion in funding provided in September 2020 to TransLink, BC Transit and BC Ferries.
They say the investment will be important to rebuild the economy, getting citizens reliable transport to commute to and from work.
“This $204-million support for transit will mean that British Columbians can get around in a cleaner and more affordable way,” said Harjit S. Sajjan, federal minister of international development. “As we continue our recovery, support like this will maintain good, middle-class jobs and sustain a critical service to the public.”
The BC Urban Mayors Caucus said in a statement Tuesday they welcome the funding as the province recovers from the pandemic.
“Affordable, reliable and accessible public transit is critical to the economic, social and environmental future of our cities,” said the caucus. “Investing in sustainable transportation has never been more important for economic recovery to ensure our residents can get to work, school and appointments.”
The funding is split between the federal and provincial governments. The federal government provided $102 million, which was matched by the province and brought the total to $204 million.