For Immediate Release
July 24, 2008
RICHMOND – Richmond City Councillors Bill McNulty and Kiichi Kumagai are renewing their call for the installation of fare gates at Canada Line stations by the opening of the line in November 2009 on the heels of an audit by PricewaterhouseCoopers on fare evasion.
“While the PricewaterhouseCoopers report tries to show fare evasion is down, there are still 4.1 million stolen rides and a revenue losses that ranges from $5.3 million annually to $9.4 million,” said Former Councillor and current council candidate Kumagai. “The stations are being built to accommodate fare gates so why aren’t we installing it during construction so they’re operational and generating revenue 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.
“This is not just an issue of lost revenue, this is an issue of public safety,” said Councillor McNulty. “Report after report shows that many people don’t feel safe using the system and Translink needs to do what they can to try and make people feel more secure.”
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. Yesterday, Falcon again reiterated that fare gates are necessary to both reduce fare evasion and also improve public safety. Despite support from the Province, Translink yesterday waffled on the necessity for the installation of fare gates at SkyTrain and Canada Line stations.
“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.