For Immediate Release
March 19, 2008
RICHMOND – Translink is missing an incredibly important public safety tool by refusing to install fare gates at Canada Line stations by the opening of the line in November 2009, current and former Richmond City Councillors Bill McNulty and Kiichi Kumagai said today.
“In the wake of public safety concerns, I find it simply amazing that Translink has decided not to proceed with the installation of fare gates before the Canada Line begins operation,” said Former Councillor Kumagai. “The stations are being built to accommodate this technology so why aren’t we installing it during construction so they’re operational on day one.”
Transit systems around the world have been using fare gates for quite some time with positive results. In the Netherlands, prior to installing of a gated system, fare evaders caused sixty per cent of all violence and assaults. After turnstiles were installed fare evasion fell from twenty percent to two percent and ridership rose by almost thirty percent. Here at home, Translink has publicly commented they are studying the option of fare gates, but can’t give a timeline on when the system would be in place.
“I’m amazed there’s anything left to study on the installation of fare gates,” said Councillor McNulty. “The Province has been investigating fare gates since the 1990s, jurisdictions across Canada and the globe already successfully use them, so the time has come to stop investigating and start implementing the solution.”
The Province got on board the issue of increased security on transit with Transportation Minister Kevin Falcon announcing plans to install fare gates in November 2007. Falcon is on record saying fare gates are necessary to both reduce fare evasion and also improve public safety. With the introduction and implementation of their $14-billion Provincial Transit Plan, the Province has also announced further funding to increase security measures and enhance transit safety.
“The Province says this is going to happen, Richmond residents want this to happen, so what is Translink waiting for now,” said Kumagai. “Richmond First Councillors have been calling for this action for over a year and a half and the clock is ticking to rectify this issue before anyone is put at risk when the system opens.”
The Canada Line is on-time and expected to be open in November 2009. The 19-kilometer line is expected to attract a daily ridership of 100,000 people, or approximately 38-million riders per year.