Whom is TransLink Trying to Convince?

Background: Metro Vancouver Transit Fares

I just came back from a Toastmasters meeting in which I evaluated a speech that supported the fare increase. It was a battle just to stay objective. Speaking with the speaker afterward, it turned out that he doesn’t like the increase either, but he made some persuasive arguments nevertheless.

Well, it’s been two months since the increase, and the former GVTA still has to fight the accusations of the highest fares in the country. OK, so the $2.50 is still lower than Ottawa’s $3.00 or Montreal’s $2.75. I guess the $5.00 three-zone fare that the MSM picked up most often led to that line of thinking.

I’m more concerned with the 80-km commute comparison. It is not fair to compare the Toronto and Montreal examples with the trip from Langley, because I’m guessing the Toronto and Montreal trips shown are by commuter rail. And AMT doesn’t go to Repentigny, yet (wiki). Knowing that, and using West Coast Express from Maple Ridge instead, these are what I looked up:

  • gotrain-gbalogh.jpg GO Transit, Aurora to Toronto-Union: $12.30 return
  • wce-stephenrees.jpg WCE, Maple Meadows to Vancouver-Waterfront: $15.50 return
  • amt-mystery110.jpg AMT, Mont-St-Hilaire to Montréal-Centrale: $16.00 return

At least now an orange is an orange is an orange. The bottom line: transit fares are high everywhere, whether you take conventional bus or commuter rail.

Aside: I dropped in at West Point Grey Community Centre earlier this week to see Coast Mountain’s proposals for two new routes. The first one, #33, will travel between 29th routemap33.jpgAvenue Station and UBC via East 33rd and West 16th Avenues (see map). I’ve known this one for a while, and there’s no change. The second one is a new shuttle, the C19, between UBC and Broadway/Alma via NW Marine. This would probably be popular in the summer, seeing as it serves Spanish Banks and Jericho, but I believe it won’t be implemented until September 2008 at the earliest, so there’s a missed opportunity to test this route.

AMT photo: mystery..110@flickr
WCE photo: Stephen Rees@flickr
GO Train photo: gbalogh@flickr

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