Kudos to B.C.’s transportation minister, Blair Lekstrom, for moving swiftly to deal with the Translink fare evasion issue once it was brought to light. I was genuinely shocked when I heard there were hundreds of thousands of unpaid tickets and outstanding fines going back a decade and no enforcement mechanism to collect what was owing.
Last year, Translink reportedly lost nearly $7.4 million due to fare evasion on Skytrain and another $7.9 million on buses. That’s more than $15 million lost. Not only does that cut into the financial resources Translink needs to maintain our transit systems, roads and bridges, it also unfairly pushes higher transit rates onto honest transit users.
Translink now has a tool with some teeth to deter future fare evasion and efficiently collect what is owing. The free ride for fare evaders is indeed over. Kudos, again, to Minister Lekstrom for taking swift and decisive action to correct something that very clearly needed to be corrected.
Harvey Grigg, Coquitlam