"About time TransLink gets faregates," Letters, Nov. 2.
While Councillor Bill McNulty pats himself on the back for "championing" faregates at transit stations, we taxpayers should be watching our wallets and sighing for the future of our region.
This taxpayer doesn't understand McNulty's insistence that the faregates be installed, despite clear and publicly available evidence from TransLink's many studies that faregates will never come close to paying for themselves, nor solve the fare evasion problem.
Perhaps the councillor can explain how faregates, which cost the taxpayers $170 million to install and will cost $9 million annually to operate, are a prudent way to address a $5 million per year fare evasion problem on busses?
Since we are already engaging in fantasy, why not explain how TransLink's ongoing revenue problems will be addressed by preventing fare evasion, which represents less than 0.3 per cent of TransLink's revenue?
TransLink did not agree to install fare gates at McNulty's insistence, but were forced to do so by the provincial government, over the objections of many experts.
And because of the uninformed political interference of people like McNulty, we are now spending a significant amount of public money on ineffective faregates.
TransLink is attempting to make the most of this lousy situation by using the faregates to gather traveller information through their Compass Card program, the single practical benefit, which McNulty fails to identify in his glowing assessment of this otherwise boondoggle program.
Thank you, Councillor McNulty, for your opportunistic "championing" of perceived transit needs.
Now, who will champion the real problems of our public transit system: lack of stable funding, over-crowded and unreliable buses, poor regional planning, etc.? Who will champion the building of a transit system that meets the needs of our region's future, one that addresses real problems such as car dependence, and the very costly "need to drive a vehicle" under which far too many people suffer?
Andrew Feltham New Westminster