Night Music: Under Pressure

March 22, 2022

Translink is Tone Deaf

March 22, 2022

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I’ll state my position right up front: public transit should be a free service.

I’m certainly not alone in that belief. There are hundreds of transit systems around the world that operate without fares because the benefits are so obvious: increased ridership, reduced dependence on fossil fuels , faster and more efficient service, reduction in operating costs, decreased congestion on city streets, decreased air and noise pollution, and the social benefits that low income accessibility gives to those seeking work. The list goes on and on.

There are several free transit systems in Canada, particularly in Quebec and Alberta. And larger systems, such as the TTC in Ontario, have frozen their fares for a second year. Transit systems in Ireland, New Zealand, and elsewhere have significantly cut fares in recent times to encourage greater usage.

Unfortunately, the same cannot be said for Translink in the Lower Mainland. Rather than follow the global and environmentally sound global trend, Translink increased fares last year and propose to increase them once again this year, while maintaining the unfair three-zone system that has Vancouver commuters subsidizing those from the suburbs.

Not only that: more than 50 bus routes have had their services reduced or eliminated completely in the last two years while all other big city systems in Canada have returned to pre-pandemic levels of service.

The unelected Board of Translink is well aware that living costs in Vancouver are sky-rocketing and they choose to do nothing but add to the burdens faced especially by lower income workers. They are tone-deaf to the needs of Vancouver’s residents, preferring to spend our money on hugely-expensive and unnecessary Sky Train extensions to nowhere rather than fixing the bus system.

What can we do? We can let them know in no uncertain terms our concern with their lack of proper focus. Call Brad Monette at ( 775) 375-6784 or ( 604)306-7182, or send an email to board@translink.ca and/or brad.monette@translink.ca with your comments.