Monday, May 5, 2008


We had quite a few comments on this morning's post about the idiots who designed and mis-run Transclunk, but these two below, deserve special attention:


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.


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.



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.

Fed Up

It is pleasing to see the Parent Advisory Councils refuse support for the BC Teachers' Federation.

The Fed wants to regain control of little issues like class size, compostition and staffing ratios.

They lost those bargaining rights and the Parents are exactly correct in not helping the Fed to have them again.

Catcher in the Rye

On April 25, I wrote in my Province column about the running disaster known as the Ministry of Children and Families here in BC.

I pointed out - for about the 900th time in recent years - that money and political correctness are not the answers.

This morning we learn of yet another child - a four-year old girl - who has been hideously abused, in this case by her drunk and demonic and incapable-of-minding-a-gold-fish grandmother.

The girl had her two blackened eyes camouflaged with make-up.

Is it truly possible that no one knew that this woman was a drunk?

What is much more likely is that because the girl is aboriginal and because her grandmother is aboriginal and because it was an aboriginal social agency that did the placement, all was considered settled.

Sorry, not good enough and naive in the extreme.

The ministry's political correctness and blindness to realities has endangered yet another child.

We don't need another inquiry. We've had 3 to date.

We need new and KNOWLEDGEABLE management of this important, but largely ignored department.

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