Last month’s hike in bus fares makes Metro Vancouver the most expensive region in Canada in which to ride public transit.
 
"This is the fourth fare increase since TransLink was created in 1999, when a basic one-zone fare was $1.50," said COPE Cllr David Cadman. "That amounts to a 65 percent increase; far exceeding the rate of inflation."
 
Cadman is moving a motion at the February 12 meeting of Vancouver City Council to get the new TransLink Board to roll fares back to 2007 levels, and to implement a public review process before making any further hikes in transit fares.
 
"Last year one in four Vancouver commuters relied on public transit to get to work and school," said Cadman. "And many of those transit riders are people on fixed incomes, students and minimum wage workers for whom high fares constitute a significant hardship. Meanwhile TransLink recorded a $380 million surplus in 2007."
 
"Moreover, transit engineers and planners tell us that higher fares discourage transit use. And we all have to start relying less on single occupancy vehicles and more on transit if we are serious about reducing traffic congestion, local air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions."
 
Cadman’s motion also wants TransLink to implement a student U-pass system for all post secondary students in Vancouver. Currently only SFU and UBC students can use the U-pass system that lets students travel for reduced fares. Cadman’s motion would extend the system to students at Langara College, Emily Carr Institute, Vancouver Community College and other recognized post secondary schools.
 
After being elected mayor in December 2005, Sullivan said in his inaugural speech that "the rising cost of transit in recent years is of great concern to students, youth, seniors and working people throughout the city.  I will request that our three TransLink representatives champion options that will allow TransLink to increase bus service and reduce fares back to more affordable levels."
 
But since then neither Sullivan nor his NPA colleagues on City Council have followed through on that promise.
 
"Instead at the last meeting of the old TransLink Board, Sullivan and NPA Cllrs Peter Ladner and Suzanne Anton all voted for the current fare hike," said Cadman.
 
The public can tell City Councillors to roll back fares by speaking at City Council. Contact the City Clerk at 604-873-7276 or <info@vancouver.ca> to get on the speakers list.
 

Cadman calls for bus fare rollback.

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