Friday, October 31, 2008

Pay up


A year after the B.C. government promised a crackdown on transit cheats, about 11,500 passengers are still taking a free ride on transit every day, costing taxpayers as much as $10 million or more each year.

Yet, when I pointed this out at a debate on Wednesday evening to Gregor Robertson and Peter Ladner, Robertson actually claimed that it has not been proven that turnstiles pay for themselves. He wanted another study.

This is one of several reasons why he does not qualify for the job of Mayor at this time.

My son told me yesterday over breakfast that his step-son, David ( a father and step-son both named David Michael - nice serendipity!), doesn't want to take money for the SkyTrain because none of "my friends pay. Why should I?"

Transclunk wants to raise more tax revenue to pay for its relentlessly bad management, but they don't want to collect fares like every other system in the world.

We are the only public conveyance known to humankind that operates on the so-called honor system, and it's only costing us millions a year.

Add to that how Tranlink has aided and abetted the spread of addictions and crime.

"How is that?" you ask.

Because all the scofflaws and low lifes love the FOR FREE SkyTrain. They have now spread their contagion to Broadway and Commercial, Metrotown, Surrey and points in between.

When will Translink pay its fair share of cleaning up crime and addictions?

5 comments:

Anonymous said...

I get asked for my fare receipt maybe one time in ten on skytrain. I believe the fine is $100. I don't know how "son and friends" get away it. It would seem $10 M would pay for lots of transit police to check fares and collar miscreants.

If your son and his friends park their car without paying the meter I believe the fine is $50 or so. The chances of getting caught must be less than 1 and 10. Should we mount automated tasers on meter poles to zap parking meter fare cheaters.

Gregor Robertson is right and studies back him up not you.

I think Ladner's city wide WIFI screwup, shows he has utterly no ability to administer anything. Compare that to a disagreement over fare options and you'd put another Neocon in the mayor's seat.

Grumpy said...

Actually, turnstiles do not prevent fare evasion, nor do they offer a safer transit system. Research will show that transit systems are trying to shed themselves of the costly affairs and instead hire conductors to check the tickets.

Even London's Oyster Card has been hacked and thousands are riding for free.

Consider this; fare evasion on ridership numbers and SkyTrain's ridership numbers are not statically verifiable. Thus if revenue doesn't match claimed ridership, it is assumed that there is massive fare evasion. It could very well be that SkyTrain's ridership has been exaggerated by TransLink and real ridership is much less.

Also, compare fare evasion cost to turnstile operation and maintenance. if fare evasion is less than turnstile operation, why then squander money on turnstiles as it will cost more!

God knows, SkyTrain has SkyTrain police and attendants by the score and if they can't deal with the fare evasion problem, then it is a managerial problem and all the turnstiles in the world will not solve the problem.

Note:

London's Underground (metro) always had turnstiles/fare-gates since its inception, because the fares must be apportioned as per route or mode used. In the privatized world of London Transport fare-gates are used to apportion fares and deterring fare cheats is secondary.

keith said...

Most transit systems in the world have one fare for ground transport such as buses and trams, and another fare for mass transit systems such as subways.
This is why there are fare-gates for subways.
Canadian cities have fares that cover the whole transit system allowing riders to transfer directly from buses to subways, eliminating the need for turnstiles.
It is a mystery how Translink can come up with an accurate number of passengers on their system.
I would like to see a transit system with no fares. The cost would be paid by a metro sales tax.
For example; 3 per cent would bring in about $1 Billion revenue which can cover Translink's present budget. All other transit taxes and levies could be eliminated.
The revenue from the sales tax would increase with population growth and inflation.

Martino said...

The fine is $173 for being busted on transit without a ticket. However, you can appeal it, go downtown, and have it reduced to $25 or so. Some deterrant.

Honestly, I'd rather see fare evaders tased on the spot...do you think people would continue to do it if there were real consequences?

David in North Burnaby BC said...

"Because all the scofflaws and low lifes love the FOR FREE SkyTrain. They have now spread their contagion to Broadway and Commercial, Metrotown, Surrey and points in between."

You'd better believe it. The very day the Millennium line opened there was a hobo happily having a leak out in the middle of the lot at Lougheed Mall, 4:30 in the afternoon.
"Here we go", I thought.
Oh yeah, here we've went.