June 23, 2016

An Inevitable Upgrade

In a logical response to some issues with the recent installation of fare gates, Translink is installing special gates for disabled riders who can’t tap in/out of the system. It’s a sensible move, given publicized issues with the current system.

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A rendering of the new gates – Vancouver Sun

As a recent PT post demonstrates, the current system is not without its detractors and supporters – and people who think the whole idea of fare gates was another provincial sop to the moral panic of ‘fare dodging’ by those who rarely even take transit.
There’s some truth to that. An estimated $7M a year lost to fare dodging under the old honour system vs. $250M+ for the installation of the existing and new gates. This does not include on-call maintenance costs in perpetuity.
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The existing gates

The gates for disabled riders will have a more powerful sensor to read a rider’s Compass Card. This won’t stop some ne’er-do-well deadbeats from hanging around the new gates waiting to slip in behind someone who’s legitimately activated them, as prompted the post linked above.
But to paraphrase one Vancouver Sun commenter, ‘why not just install these more powerful sensors at every gate so that tapping in/out is not necessary?’ It’s only money.

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  1. And in other news Translink is reporting a jump in revenue right after faregates were introduced. Hardly a coincidence.

    1. Post

      Of course. Probably a good portion of that purported $7M they were losing out on before. But you realize that that number is considerably less than the $250M paid to improve that collection capacity?