News

Olympic transit fare cheats a lower priority

Transit Police for the most part will be on the lookout for bigger threats than fare evaders during the Olympics. - File
Transit Police for the most part will be on the lookout for bigger threats than fare evaders during the Olympics.
— image credit: File

Don't expect Transit Police to hand out many tickets to fare evaders during the 2010 Winter Olympics.

Officers will be hunting for pickpockets, hooligans and potential terrorists more than fare cheats much of the time.

Conducting fare blitzes would only jam up what's already expected to be a heavily congested system.

But authorities maintain that still doesn't mean those who'd rather not pay can jump on SkyTrain and get a free ride during the Games.

Transit Police Sgt. Tom Seaman said officers will check fares during less busy times.

But at crush times, he said, their focus will be ensuring the efficient, safe flow of crowds, in addition to the primary Games priority of security.

"The majority of people using the system have passes anyway," Seaman said. "And those coming to visit for the Games have a transit ticket as part of their [event ticket] purchase."

Past audits have found less than six per cent of SkyTrain users fail to pay the correct fare, despite public perception that many more cheat the ungated system.

Many people seem to board SkyTrain without buying a ticket but in fact have a monthly pass, a transfer from paying on a bus or some other valid fare.

"Most people are honest – it's something that fare check after fare check has proven," added TransLink spokesman Ken Hardie.

He also said police and SkyTrain staff may conduct some fare checks in lineups into or through the stations.

"For those who think they might get away with something, they might be surprised."

The fine for fare evasion is $173 but most of the tickets are never paid.

We encourage an open exchange of ideas on this story's topic, but we ask you to follow our guidelines for respecting community standards. Personal attacks, inappropriate language, and off-topic comments may be removed, and comment privileges revoked, per our Terms of Use. Please see our FAQ if you have questions or concerns about using Facebook to comment.
B.C. teachers ponder tentative deal ahead of vote
 
YEAR IN REVIEW: Stories that warmed your heart
 
Teachers vote 89% for strike option
Off to school, and back to court for BCTF
 
SPOTLIGHT: Formula 1 racing car in Port Moody
 
BCTF touts deal in email to members
2014 Classic and Custom Car Show has something for everybody
 
Langley man convicted in 13-year-old Surrey murder
 
Chilliwack Paramount proposal for vintage film house

Community Events, September 2014

Add an Event

Read the latest eEdition

Browse the print edition page by page, including stories and ads.

Sep 17 edition online now. Browse the archives.