Transit Life

7 Ways to Save Money on Your Commute in British Columbia

Reading Time: 4 minutes

Transit Life

7 Ways to Save Money on Your Commute in British Columbia

Reading Time: 4 minutes

Has anyone ever been as excited for a year to come to an end? It’s been a wild ride, to say the least. But to say we’ve all been impacted by the pandemic in the same way would be wrong. We haven’t. Some people are struggling far more than others and can really use all the help they can get. 

So if there’s a way to keep some money in your pocket or show someone else how they can save some money, we should do that. And that’s really what we’re trying to do. Commuting to work is still a thing for many people, and if you’re currently commuting, there are things you can do to save some extra dollars.

How to save money on commuting costs in British Columbia

We really don’t know what’s in store over the next year, so although finding ways to save some money on your commute might feel trivial, it really can make a difference. 

Here are a few tips you can try to save money on your commutes in B.C.

1. Pack your food and coffee

Wow, Canadians drink a lot of coffee. We actually drink more coffee than we do water in this country. Most of that coffee drinking happens at home, but for those who choose takeout coffee, you’re spending about $1,100/year. If Timmy’s isn’t your thing and you’re dropping close to $5 a pop for Starbucks, then you’re spending closer to $1,600/year. You can get a pretty nice couch for that amount of money, or pay for an all-inclusive vacation when travelling is actually a thing again. Either way, you can save that money by making your own coffee at home. And while you’re at it, pack a sandwich or a salad in your knapsack. Your wallet will thank you, and who knows how important those savings will be.   

2. Check out low-income travel passes in your city

There’s a more direct way to save on your commute that doesn’t involve packing a lunch. A number of cities across Canada offer low-income travel passes, including parts of B.C. If you’re a low-income earner or your income has been reduced, you should check out the British Columbia Bus Program. If you’re in college or university, you might be eligible for the U-Pass for Students. Both of these programs are worth exploring if you’re trying to save some money. And why wouldn’t you be? We’re going to keep reminding you that every dollar counts, so take a minute and go check out one of those programs right now. Just remember to come back to this page because we have more savings tips.

3.  Take public transit

Consider it a privilege to live in a city with a robust enough public transit system to get you to and from work. It’s really a privilege you should be taking advantage of, especially with the recent increase in ICBC car insurance rates. Think of your commute on public transit as your time to zone out. Put on your headphones and listen to your favourite music or podcast while you commute. Catch up on a Netflix series you’ve been too busy to binge. Or just sit back, stare out the window and enjoy the scenes of the city. We don’t have to tell you how beautiful B.C. can be all year round.

4. Ask your employer about benefits and look into tax breaks

When thinking about commuter benefits, it’s not just about parking. You should definitely be looking into that also, but there are other benefits employers can possibly offer. The Canadian Payroll Association lists vehicle allowances as one of the top five benefits given by employers. Some companies will reimburse you for a portion of what you spend on your public transit passes. Other employers will take it a step further and provide you with allowances to purchase a bicycle. And if your employer doesn’t explicitly state that there are commuter benefits, don’t let that stop you from calling HR. After all, you will never know if you don’t ask.

5. Manage your errands

This will take a little brainpower and a bit more planning. Bus systems like Translink let you hop on and off the bus as many times as you want within 90 minutes of first swiping your pass. That’s an hour and a half to get as much done as you can before heading back home for the day. If you ask us, that’s enough time to do some quick grocery shopping, pick up your contact lenses and maybe, just maybe—squeeze in a stop at your favourite bakery. You know those chocolate croissants are worth it. All is possible if you keep things moving.

6. Consider moving

OK, we might be getting a bit ambitious here, but hear us out. We actually have some numbers to support this outrageous suggestion. Statistics Canada says the cost of commuting for the average Canadian is about $273/week. There’s some nuance to that figure, but the fact is that living closer to your workplace can save you money in the long run. We’re not suggesting you put your home up on the market right now, especially with the uncertainty caused by the pandemic. We’re saying that thinking long-term should be something you consider, especially if you’re fortunate enough to have a stable job (as stable as can be considering the times).

7. Rocketman!

Download Rocketman and check Discover for awesome offers that’ll help you save. 

Rocketman keeps you ahead of your commute 

No matter where in B.C. you’re travelling, Rocketman keeps you ahead of your commute. With real-time transit alerts, travel times and our new crowdedness feature, you’ll always be prepared for your daily commute. 

Download the Rocketman app to track Bus and Train times in Newfoundland:

Rocketman transit app for iOS

Rocketman transit app for Android

Learn more about cities that Rocketman transit app supports in Canada

This article offers general information only and is not intended as legal, financial or other professional advice. A professional advisor should be consulted regarding your specific situation. While the information presented is believed to be factual and current, its accuracy is not guaranteed and it should not be regarded as a complete analysis of the subjects discussed. All expressions of opinion reflect the judgment of the author(s) as of the date of publication and are subject to change. No endorsement of any third parties or their advice, opinions, information, products or services is expressly given or implied by Royal Bank of Canada or its affiliates.

Has anyone ever been as excited for a year to come to an end? It’s been a wild ride, to say the least. But to say we’ve all been impacted by the pandemic in the same way would be wrong. We haven’t. Some people are struggling far more than others and can really use all the help they can get. 

So if there’s a way to keep some money in your pocket or show someone else how they can save some money, we should do that. And that’s really what we’re trying to do. Commuting to work is still a thing for many people, and if you’re currently commuting, there are things you can do to save some extra dollars.

How to save money on commuting costs in British Columbia

We really don’t know what’s in store over the next year, so although finding ways to save some money on your commute might feel trivial, it really can make a difference. 

Here are a few tips you can try to save money on your commutes in B.C.

1. Pack your food and coffee

Wow, Canadians drink a lot of coffee. We actually drink more coffee than we do water in this country. Most of that coffee drinking happens at home, but for those who choose takeout coffee, you’re spending about $1,100/year. If Timmy’s isn’t your thing and you’re dropping close to $5 a pop for Starbucks, then you’re spending closer to $1,600/year. You can get a pretty nice couch for that amount of money, or pay for an all-inclusive vacation when travelling is actually a thing again. Either way, you can save that money by making your own coffee at home. And while you’re at it, pack a sandwich or a salad in your knapsack. Your wallet will thank you, and who knows how important those savings will be.   

2. Check out low-income travel passes in your city

There’s a more direct way to save on your commute that doesn’t involve packing a lunch. A number of cities across Canada offer low-income travel passes, including parts of B.C. If you’re a low-income earner or your income has been reduced, you should check out the British Columbia Bus Program. If you’re in college or university, you might be eligible for the U-Pass for Students. Both of these programs are worth exploring if you’re trying to save some money. And why wouldn’t you be? We’re going to keep reminding you that every dollar counts, so take a minute and go check out one of those programs right now. Just remember to come back to this page because we have more savings tips.

3.  Take public transit

Consider it a privilege to live in a city with a robust enough public transit system to get you to and from work. It’s really a privilege you should be taking advantage of, especially with the recent increase in ICBC car insurance rates. Think of your commute on public transit as your time to zone out. Put on your headphones and listen to your favourite music or podcast while you commute. Catch up on a Netflix series you’ve been too busy to binge. Or just sit back, stare out the window and enjoy the scenes of the city. We don’t have to tell you how beautiful B.C. can be all year round.

4. Ask your employer about benefits and look into tax breaks

When thinking about commuter benefits, it’s not just about parking. You should definitely be looking into that also, but there are other benefits employers can possibly offer. The Canadian Payroll Association lists vehicle allowances as one of the top five benefits given by employers. Some companies will reimburse you for a portion of what you spend on your public transit passes. Other employers will take it a step further and provide you with allowances to purchase a bicycle. And if your employer doesn’t explicitly state that there are commuter benefits, don’t let that stop you from calling HR. After all, you will never know if you don’t ask.

5. Manage your errands

This will take a little brainpower and a bit more planning. Bus systems like Translink let you hop on and off the bus as many times as you want within 90 minutes of first swiping your pass. That’s an hour and a half to get as much done as you can before heading back home for the day. If you ask us, that’s enough time to do some quick grocery shopping, pick up your contact lenses and maybe, just maybe—squeeze in a stop at your favourite bakery. You know those chocolate croissants are worth it. All is possible if you keep things moving.

6. Consider moving

OK, we might be getting a bit ambitious here, but hear us out. We actually have some numbers to support this outrageous suggestion. Statistics Canada says the cost of commuting for the average Canadian is about $273/week. There’s some nuance to that figure, but the fact is that living closer to your workplace can save you money in the long run. We’re not suggesting you put your home up on the market right now, especially with the uncertainty caused by the pandemic. We’re saying that thinking long-term should be something you consider, especially if you’re fortunate enough to have a stable job (as stable as can be considering the times).

7. Rocketman!

Download Rocketman and check Discover for awesome offers that’ll help you save. 

Rocketman keeps you ahead of your commute 

No matter where in B.C. you’re travelling, Rocketman keeps you ahead of your commute. With real-time transit alerts, travel times and our new crowdedness feature, you’ll always be prepared for your daily commute. 

Download the Rocketman app to track Bus and Train times in Newfoundland:

Rocketman transit app for iOS

Rocketman transit app for Android

Learn more about cities that Rocketman transit app supports in Canada

This article offers general information only and is not intended as legal, financial or other professional advice. A professional advisor should be consulted regarding your specific situation. While the information presented is believed to be factual and current, its accuracy is not guaranteed and it should not be regarded as a complete analysis of the subjects discussed. All expressions of opinion reflect the judgment of the author(s) as of the date of publication and are subject to change. No endorsement of any third parties or their advice, opinions, information, products or services is expressly given or implied by Royal Bank of Canada or its affiliates.

Don’t have Rocketman? Stay on top of your commute by downloading it:

Download Rocketman on the App Store
Get Rocketman on Google Play

Not sure if Rocketman works in your area? View our list of supported regions.

This article offers general information only and is not intended as legal, financial or other professional advice. A professional advisor should be consulted regarding your specific situation. While the information presented is believed to be factual and current, its accuracy is not guaranteed and it should not be regarded as a complete analysis of the subjects discussed. All expressions of opinion reflect the judgment of the author(s) as of the date of publication and are subject to change. No endorsement of any third parties or their advice, opinions, information, products or services is expressly given or implied by Royal Bank of Canada or its affiliates.

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