In the ongoing efforts to reduce fare evasion in the Greater Vancouver bus system, CUPE Local 4500, who represent Transit Supervisors with Coast Mountain Bus Company, have proposed a solution for reducing fare evasion, while improving safety for the general public and bus drivers and generating revenue for Translink.
“Our members already work in a highly visible role for the purposes of assuring passenger, public and driver safety and security on or around buses,” said Rob Woods, President of CUPE Local 4500. “We are out there 24 hours a day, seven days a week right in the thick of things and frequently dealing with fare issues. We need the right tools and authority to effectively deal with this problem and to help recover lost monies from fare evasion.”
Transit Supervisors have been long responsible for enforcing various regulations pertaining to public order and disorder on buses and around Coast Mountain Bus Company property but Transit Supervisors are not currently able to enforce fare evasion. The passing of Bill 51, which introduced changes to the South Coast British Columbia Transportation Authority Act, gives new powers to Translink, and its designates, to go after people who steal transit rides.
“The general public and media have strongly reacted to fare evasion and lack of consequence for fare evaders and I believe that our members are perfectly suited in their roles to undertake a greater role in assuring compliance to fare rules and public order on buses,” added Woods.
The crisis of fare evasion in the Greater Vancouver transit system made headlines this year when it became clear that there is no mechanism for enforcing transit fines. The provisions of the Act delegate the authority to Translink, and therefore the subsidiary organizations, to appoint Fare Officers who are not police officers, in orderto allow for a greater reach of enforcement and assure public order.
“Through increased presence and fare checks, our activities would greatly contribute to the generation of much-needed funds, both through decrease in fare evasion and through collection of fine revenue and assisting in the very real and public concern on fare evasion in general,” added Woods.