Exact Fare Only

Summer’s here! Or it should be. It was a nice two days while it lasted. Think of it this way, the longer it takes for it to heat up outside the longer we can hold off on the abundance of body odor that fills every bus loaded with sticky and sweaty passengers.

It’s also time for tourists to start using our transit more frequently and you know what that means…. no change for fare.

The other day I was on the bus when a man got on and asked the driver to break his twenty. Now, I don’t know if he was actually a tourist, but he was oblivious to the ways of the bus. The driver frustratedly told the man that he needed exact change, he was already annoyed at this point because he was about to leave the stop when the man came running up, I guess he wanted to stay 5 minutes ahead of posted schedules to continue screwing over the people.  The passenger then asked the bus of people if they could break a twenty, not uncommon and people are generally willing to pool together some change to help a person with their fare, especially since no one carries enough money around to break twenties anymore. I saw a woman search through her purse and looking for her book of faresavers when the bus driver yelled:

“You can’t ask them that!!”

If the guy didn’t get off the bus at that point I’m pretty sure the bus driver may have pushed him off.

The poor woman had just found her faresavers too.

Now, I don’t know if this is a rule and the driver was enforcing it. I’m not even saying the driver was wrong, I think we’ve all been there were we’ve felt awkward while someone has asked a bus full of people for fare. But we’ve also been on the other end, thinking we’ve got change or our pass only to arrive at the bus stop to discover it’s not at the bottom of your purse where you always keep it.

What to do? Do you offer up your extra faresaver or throw in some change to help a person make their fare? Like I said, no one carries money anymore so it’ll be hard to offer up a ten, a five, 2 toonies and 4 quarters.

What say you Translink Nation:

  • Should we try to help people who had the best of intentions (they did plan on paying) by helping pay their fare or offering your faresaver?
  • Should we treat this like a hazing ritual for the Translink newbies? They’ll never forget their exact change again! (mwahahahahaha)

I say donate what you can. I don’t carry faresavers, or much change even, but I’d rather help someone get to where they’re going. You don’t know their story or how important it is that they get that bus.

Once they’re on the bus with ticket in hand I’ll commiserate and we’ll dream about a day where debit and all major credit cards are accepted.


About Jen S

The purpose of life is to find humorous blog material
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2 Responses to Exact Fare Only

  1. Gus says:

    I think in some cases (as I’ve seen happen), the bus drivers should just say “Don’t worry about it”. Chances are, the changeless rider will appreciate it and most definitely remember their change/fare next time. Fortunately, when Compass is introduced, it should for the mostpart eliminate a lot of this.

    • Jen S says:

      More often than not drivers will do that. I don’t know why the driver didn’t in this case, we were headed to the skytrain station so the guy probably would have bought his fare at the machine at the station.
      I was thinking that about Compass, but wonder if that’ll solve the problem with new riders or tourists? They’ll still want to get on and use their bills.

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