TransLink needs fare gates to stop cheaters
Having lived on Westwood Plateau for a year, attended college and worked full-time, I have used transit a lot. I have also read the newspaper and watched the news quite a bit, and frankly, I’m a little pissed off with all the complaining from TransLink about how it is under-funded and as well with local municipal governments in Metro Vancouver.
One of the main reasons TransLink is under-funded is too many people take advantage of the services provided for free. Too many bus drivers look the other way and let riders on for free, large buses like the 99B Line have two or three entry points — again, too many people get on the bus for free — and the worst is SkyTrain, which too many people hop on for free.
Sure, TransLink, can say that it tries to combat this problem with random fare checks at stations but that’s not enough. In fact, I would go as far as saying that they are failing.
I have travelled outside Canada to countries like Malaysia, Singapore, Japan and used their rapid transit systems to get around. At those stations, they have entry points with electronic gates that only open when a person has scanned a valid ticket; these points are monitored by transit employees and work very well. Never once did I see someone hop over the gates and hop on a train.
I’m sure if TransLink had adopted this method many years ago, it would have saved tens of millions of dollars by now.
My second issue with TransLink and local governments in Metro Vancouver is the selfishness and bickering over funding the Evergreen Line. Under the current funding system, every Metro municipality contributes to TransLink via property taxes. Which means, for years, residents in Anmore, Pitt Meadows, Port Coquitlam, Port Moody and the large majority of Coquitlam have gone without having SkyTrain services but have shouldered the burden for Burnaby, Vancouver and Richmond. Now, when it is time to incorporate some of the rest of us, everyone is having a fit? Is that fair to Tri-City taxpayers? It’s not at all fair we’ve been paying for years for something we’ve never been able to fully utilize.
Matthew Ezekiel, Coquitlam