Fare evaders

Tonight I was watching Global News at 6 and found myself getting pretty peeved at a story about Translink ticket enforcement.

(you can click here to watch the story since I can’t figure out how to embed it)

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.

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About Jen S

The purpose of life is to find humorous blog material
This entry was posted in Fare, illegal activities. Bookmark the permalink.

7 Responses to Fare evaders

  1. tareesea says:

    Translink should just get people to buy monthly bus passes with that fine money instead. I was under the impression that everyone had to pay the fine!

  2. Steve says:

    My court date to fight a ticket is coming up in May, if I don’t win I’m not going to pay. They should have kept this a bit quieter as now no one is going to pay.

    • Jen S says:

      If you don’t mind me asking… why are you bothering with the court date?

    • Cindy says:

      How long did you have to wait to find out when your court date is? I got caught last July, I disputed the cost itself, and now I’m still waiting to get something in the mail. I have no idea what to do or expect.. I think I might cry in court, out of nervousness :(

  3. hosieryadvocate says:

    I agree with the credit score idea, and the month pass idea. With the credit score, you’d hit them where it hurts. With the month pass idea, you wouldn’t leave a bitter taste in their mouths. The cops could carry a huge supply of the 3 zone month passes, and just hand them out when people pay up, or something like that.

    It’s silly that they do fare checks, and then trust us to pay.

  4. mingwen says:

    I just read your blog as I got fined not too long ago while riding the seabus on a Monday morning. The thing is, I validated my ticket at the seabus station, and without knowing, my ticket fell out of my pocket between the time I validated the ticket and the time I stepped onto the seabus. It wasn’t until the officers announced that they were checking for paid fare on the seabus that I realized my ticket went missing! I submitted my dispute form online that same day, and asked them to check the security cameras for proof that I did have a paid ticket with me. Exactly 1 week later, I received in the mail, a letter from Translink claiming that I still had to pay the fine since I could not present proof of a paid ticket at the time. I’m so frustrated and disappointed because I’ve always paid for my ticket and was hoping that the security cameras would be able to prove that. So much for relying on their security cameras! I’m quite certain they didn’t even bother reviewing their cameras since I received the letter in the mail on a Monday. They’re just after the money. I’m so thankful it wasn’t a monthly pass that fell out of my pocket!

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