Scot writes:

Just received this text from my buddy in South Surrey:

There goes 1K.  Brakes and tires.  Easy go, easy go.  (Actually more like $1,200.)

My transport costs last year were $1,400 total: Evo, Modo, Compass Card.


Or to put it another way:



  1. A bit of urban arrogance above. Not everyone lives in an area well served by transit; I have to drive to get to a half hour bus service despite living in the highest transit taxed municipality. Nor do rental cars exist in all neighbourhoods. Until Vancouver looks beyond its borders and considers that possibly cheaper transit options rather than SkyTrain would benefit other areas by spreading the funds and transit more equitably, then car travel, congested as it is, is the only option for non-Vancouverites who pay taxes yet see only Cadillac transit and developer oriented subways for Vancouver. Look to Europe.

    1. Doesn’t matter if it’s buses, SkyTrain, light rail, gondolas or self-driving mopeds; at a time where TransLink’s being harangued as fiscally irresponsible, there’s really no point in providing more transit at a greater loss to service a shrinking population – not when the current level of transit is already relatively good.

      I’m assuming by “half hour” you take the 250 or 253 to/from Eagle Harbour? The 250 has the same ridership and cost-per-passenger as a fifteen-minute Vancouver bus like the #4, and the 253 even less (
      On the other hand, SkyTrain turns a profit, and so its surplus pays for your bus route at the same time that your taxes pay for SkyTrain. That’s how a network works.

      1. West van buses not subsidised by skytrain . West Van translink taxes are more than enough to pay for existing & increased bus services without user fees. The Skytrain OPERATING surplus is not a profit until interest & other capital costs are deducted.

        1. West Van population may be shrinking but its bus ridership is increasing #250 pass ups are not unusual.

        2. Not really. $19m+ of service divided by 42k residents (assuming 100% taxpayers) is $442+/person, and TransLink takes in roughly $347 apiece.
          The Expo and Millennium have already paid for themselves, and the Canada’s set to by 2020; the aforementioned half-hour bus is in the red and will continue to be until the end of time. It would seem that the former is a better ROI for taxpayer money.

          Assuming the 250 gets twenty-minute headways, that’ll make it around $2.88/rider (1.5 times as expensive as an inner-city line), give or take a few cents for increased ridership. Same cost-benefit rationale as the proposed B-Line ending at Dunderave – if we can’t justify making that go any further west, why do like OP suggests and waste money on anything more expensive?

          1. ( 1)West Vans translink property taxes are about 23 million ( plus hydro , gas taxes & bus fares ) of which — 19 .8 million is sent back to west van transit (2) # With 98% off #257 passengers going from Vancouver to the ferry terminal it is not a local service. Skytrain

          2. 2) We’re talking about the 250, a local bus with most of its traffic between Dunderave and Vancouver.
            The 257 has 50 boardings an hour, costs $2.26 a rider, and was given over to Coast Mountain because Blue Bus’ depot was “never built to maintain the number of buses that (they) currently have in operation.” ( It would appear that only a GVRD-funded depot can provide that level of service.

            1) If so, that’s $3.2 million a year. A diesel bus costs $700k. That’s four buses for a depot that’s close to bursting, costing about $1m of that surplus… to have one line come three times an hour instead of two? West Van’s hardly getting any further without TransLink than with it.

  2. It takes about 6k/year to keep a car on the road between depreciation, gas, insurance and maintenance. So you’ve spent 1.4k on transportation this year, lets just round it down to 1k for a gap of 5k/year.

    The difference in cost for a house within walking distance of a job in Vancouver and a house in translink zone 3 is what, maybe $500k on average?

    So in 100 years, you will have made up the difference, keeping in mind that having a car gives you a lot more options than not having one. People might not be doing what you want, but that doesn’t mean they are stupid.

    1. On average.

      To be fair, the average cost of a car is closer to $10k per year. But averages are deceiving. If you live where you depend on a car your costs are going to be higher than the average. You’re more likely to buy a more luxurious car since you spend so much time in it and you’re going to spend a lot more for gas and maintenance for the same reasons.

      Similarly you can probably buy a condo within walking distance of a job in Vancouver for the cost of a house way out there. Then you’d save a lot of money on repairs, maintenance and yard work too. Since most condos come with a parking space you can rent it out and cut your net transportation costs in half.

      And there are cars aplenty around Vancouver when you really need one. Thousands of shared vehicles.

      And don’t forget your time. What’s that worth? Let’s be conservative and add $5k in time per year.

      People might not be stupid. But they don’t always make rational decisions.

    2. Perhaps a house in zone 3 near a SkyTrain/WCE station? Best of both worlds right there – you can drive if you have to, or save $7.43/day if you don’t.

      1. Only if you work and play there – something I promote. There are a lot more than two worlds but if you’re commuting long distances it can’t possibly be the best of them.

        Curious how you got $7.43.

        1. Nothing wrong with working or playing in another part of the city; that’s half the reason why transit exists. It’s not like people hop in/on a vehicle and waste 30-60 minutes just for fun.

          $6k/year = $16.44/day, and $16.44 – $8.80 (two 3-zones) = $7.64. Did something else right after crunching the numbers and had “43” stuck in my head.

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