British Columbia’s transit services are getting a share of relief funding, as they continue to face financial and operational challenges due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

TransLink, BC Transit and BC Ferries will share more than $1 billion under the federal/provincial Safe Restart Agreement announced earlier this summer, cost-shared 50-50 by both governments.

This one-time operating relief will help protect service levels and ensure services remain affordable.

“Our public transit systems are vital for people to get where they need to go – to work, to school, to shop or visit friends,” said Claire Trevena, B.C.’s Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure. “Efficient, effective and affordable public transit is an integral part of BC’s Restart Plan, and this funding demonstrates our commitment to that.”

TransLink will receive $644 million, BC Transit will receive $86 million and BC Ferries will receive $308 million.

As all three agencies have seen significant impacts due to the pandemic, the province says the funding will cover losses to date and those projected through the current and next fiscal years.

The province will formalize the funding through contribution agreements with each transportation agency.