A referendum was to be held in November, during municipal elections, but Transportation Minister Todd Stone says the vote can take place at another time if local governments can come up with a funding plan by June.
Stone has also introduced a bill that would give local governments more control over the TransLink system's regional strategies and investment plans.
The bill would allow regional mayors to approve policy decisions such as fare increases as well as oversee executive and board of director compensation.
The mayors, who represent Vancouver, Surrey, Burnaby and 15 other municipalities, have complained they have no say in a transit system that's operated by an unelected and unaccountable board.
A transit funding referendum was promised by Premier Christy Clark during her election campaign last year.