Monday, May 5, 2008


You won't read this story in the local press.

But you should.

We were heading to Steveston yesterday afternoon and we gave a lift to a friend who lives in Richmond.

Our friend pointed out that the 98 B-Line express bus no longer asks for or checks on tickets. Much like the idiotic and self-defeating and costly "honor" system on the Skytrain.

The result of this largess, our friend advises us, is that homeless people have figured out that they can relocate for free. Now, Richmond has a new population of homeless people who have travelled from downtown Vancouver.

Further, he suggests that when the famous Canada Excuse-me-While-We-Wreck-Your-Business-And-Destroy-Your-Life-Savings Line is in operation that the homeless will be expressing their way to new sidewalks in Richmond in droves.

Thus - follow the bouncing ball - Transclunk is the carrier of the social disease.

Much as they have already helped spread drug addiction and drug sales and robbery and violence to Joyce, New West and Surrey to name a few. The Skytrain - free and available - is the Ride-of-Choice for petty crooks and creeps of every stripe.

I was in San Fransisco a few months ago. BART has the same system as the subway in Washington, DC.

Pay when you want in, pay when you want out. If your ticket is not sufficient, you must buy extra value from the machine before you can leave.

Skytrain and Transclunk are provincial hicktown jokes. Worse they are dangerous and carriers of social contagion.


bjanes226 said...

I sold my car when I moved to Kits about a year ago, so I use Translink several times a week, all hours of the day and night. On the 99 B-Line, 98 B-Line and Skytrain, I've been asked for proof of payment ... twice .. once on the 99 B-Line and once on Skytrain. There were at least 5 people who were ticketed on each occasion, so their story that most passengers on SkyTrain transfer from a bus doesn't really hold water does it?

As for the homeless moving to the 'burbs .. they probably want to live there for the same reason as anyone else, it's safe and clean. Where would you rather live DTES or Richmond?

Anonymous said...

I was in Hong Kong with a friend this past March. We rode the Metro extensively (in fact it was fabulous and got us to far flung areas not just destinations within the city). Upon arrival we purchased an Octopus Card ( which made paying for our transit use extremely efficient. And like BART, you pay when you go in, and if you ride further than your initial payment allowed, you pay when you go out. It appeared to us that people wouldn't think of not paying -- you use the system, therefore you pay. Simple.

We really are a hick town (one with fabulous views of mountains and the ocean, but a hick town nonetheless). An honour system is a joke, and it breeds misuse and a culture of "let's see what we can get away with".

I've ridden the subway systems in San Francisco, New York, Paris and London -- you always pay as far as I can see. It seems Vancouver can never quite figure out what is simple for the rest of the world.


Anonymous said...

Translink rarely checks tickets duting rush hours. They wait for quiet times.

Grumpy said...

Dead right David, no pays for buses and SkyTrain anymore, the real transit dodgers can smell a taser armed cop 2 stations away.

TransLink has allowed this to happen to create the Kevin Falcon/Gordon Campbell/Ken Dobel myth that SkyTrain needs hugely expensive fare gates, which Mr. Dobel happens to be lobbying for a fare gate company.

Would not simple roving conductors, from the start, have been a much simpler and effective solution?

In Europe, conductors are making a comeback simply because they are cheaper and more effective than automatic fare gates!

Anonymous said...

In the Nutty Mayor's Civil City the police are harassing the homeless, the mentally ill, the addicted. So, naturally they leave if they can.
Things are so bizarre in your city that you now have the police chief advertising on U-Tube and letting the entire world (including the terrorists) know that Vancouver is short of police. What kind of thinking is this? Say, what?

John said...


I have used BART in SF and Metro in DC often in my life, and both systems have secure entry and exit systems. And on both systems, everyone pays.

My favorite example for the operators of the Loser Cruiser though is this: In what is arguably the most civil, upstanding, law-abiding cultures on earth - Japan, the subway systems in Tokyo, Osaka and all other cities have TURNSTILES! Japanese rapid transit systems use the same secure gates that all grown-up cities use. And it's very easy for visitors to use: if you don't speak or read the language and aren't sure how much to pay to get to your destination, the system tells you when you reach your exit point.

Loser Cruiser officials keep claiming than they based their "honor-pay" system on research of other rapid transit sytems. I have travelled the world my entire life and find it hard to believe any of them have ever used rapid transit anywhere, even in Vancouver.