This weeks column for 24Hrs Vancouver: Compass system shows Translink has again lost its way
This week’s topic:
Should TransLink retrofit buses to prevent the “double transit fee”?
There’s nothing quite like waking up in the suburbs of Surrey and smelling the aroma of fresh steer manure that’s just been spread on the fields. Or is that the smell of TransLink’s regular bungling, inspiring the creation of my new Twitter hashtag: #faregatefollies? Forgive me the comparison, but it’s becoming increasingly difficult to tell the difference between steer manure and public relations announcements from TransLink.
The latest debacle is the revelation that TransLink executives received four-to-five digit pay increases last year. It comes at an inopportune time, as TransLink tries to defend the costly fare gates and service cuts, all while claiming they need more funding. It’s hard to claim poverty and hand out hefty executive pay raises.
Many believe the cost of the fare gates in terms of installation, upkeep and maintenance will exceed the costs of fare evasion. Fare gates might never pay for themselves and their performance has yet to be tested with the demands of kids going back to school and people going back to work after the end of summer vacations.
The Compass Card is a barrier to transit for anyone without a bank account, without regular computer access, without the ability to get to a location that loads cards, or for those who don’t have enough money to buy and load cards in advance. TransLink says 6,000 people pay cash daily, but would not provide me with documentation to support that when asked…
Read the rest of this weeks column, and leave your comments before you vote for who you think should win this weeks Duel at http://vancouver.24hrs.ca/2013/08/18/compass-system-shows-translink-has-again-lost-its-way
*** Some additional details on the entire #faregatefollies story and a bit of history on how we ended up with them can be found at the following links:
http://www.canada.com/vancouversun/news/westcoastnews/story.html?id=a114300a-bb3f-4f6a-a135-f8f988851b49 Did Translink even have a business case for the faregates in the first place? A good read on this one.
And don’t forget to scroll down, or head to the home page to read the BC Ferries executive pay increases…. ouch.