Tonight I was watching Global News at 6 and found myself getting pretty peeved at a story about Translink ticket enforcement.
The story basically says that if you’re caught riding transit without your pass or a ticket you will be fined. Once you’re fined there is absolutely no reason for you to pay the $173 fine. There is no collections agency coming for the money and it’s not affecting your drivers license or insurance privileges. Of the 53,000 tickets handed out last year, 45,500 went unpaid. That’s almost 86%!! Global also says that this has cause $7,871,500 in lost revenue last year.
I’ve always been led to believe that not paying these tickets would go against your credit score, so I pay my transit fares to avoid the hefty fine. But after seeing this story it begs the question, why the hell am I paying? Fares are going up all the time to pay for these lost revenues, surely making people pay these fees could make a dent in Translink’s debt. As Global says, they’re “bleeding cash in fare evasions” and the need for more money is not only leading to higher fares and car insurance, but (possibly) higher property taxes.
There doesn’t even seem to be a solution in sight. Translink claims it’s not their responsibility but the responsibility of the province to collect. The government claims to have never heard of this before but promises to fix it (Ha!).
The story talks of possibly hiring a collections agency or banning repeat offenders (how the hell will that be enforced? Seems easier just to collect the fine), but it sounds to me that they’re just waiting on the new fare gates to solve the problem.
Until then, they’ll just continue to lose millions of dollars.
So here’s my plan… I’m not paying. At least on the skytrain where my fare isn’t checked on a regular basis. Until I hear that it’s going to affect me in anyway, aside from a minor embarrassment when standing on the platform as the cop issues my “ticket”, why would I bother? Why even issue people tickets anymore? Isn’t it costing more to pay the officers? Even giving out a slip of paper that will just get tossed isn’t worth the cost to the province.
Anyone out there been fined and actually paid their ticket? What are your thoughts… will you stop paying or continue to pay (or not pay)?
What’s that? This blog still exists? Sure does. I’m not going to make excuses for our non-blogging. But I will say between L and I we have about 5 other blogs on the go so this one has fallen to the wayside. Sorry.