Once again we read a series of articles in the papers regarding safety around some Skytrain stations. Ken Hardie, spokesperson for Skytrain, stated that in the case of these particular stations, the fact that they were situated in neighborhoods that were encountering crime issues, there was a carry over effect into the stations. This may very well be true. It could well be that Hardie’s statement is valid. One thing is sure, and that is that we have seen a litany of crime and safety issues associated with Skytrain and surrounding neighborhoods almost from the inception of the transportation system.
The rate of cheating has been estimated to be anywhere between four to ten percent. That is a pretty hefty rate. It will not pay for the expense of installing the fare control zones, but it will be a good start.
NDP critic, Adrian Dix had earlier called for the installation of the fare control zones. He was right in doing so. Now he is calling for increased security forces to ensure safety on the line.
There may be some political benefits for him to do so, but this time he’s got it wrong.
One consideration that is seldom figured in the financial analysis is the lost ridership experienced by Skytrain, particularly after 7:00 P.M. Many potential riders, particularly women, simply do not have the confidence and trust in the safety of the system to venture onto it after that time in the evening.
It is time to bite the bullet, and install security gates throughout the system. Do it now, before it gets even more expensive. This will virtually eliminate cheaters, it will increase ridership, offer a wider variety of passes and tickets, install machines to collect tickets as riders exit further reducing cheating, eliminate the need for more security personnel and police. Do all of these things and you will have a system that is much safer, more cost effective and significantly upgrades the level of service and public confidence in Skytrain. Do it now, stop the paralysis of analysis, in the long run it will be much appreciated by the current and potential users.
In reading the initial blog I realized I should do a better job of explaining the fare control system.
First, the station is enclosed with a perimeter wall, so that one must go through the turnstiles to enter and exit the system.
This enables the system to sell passes, tickets or entry based on a whole range of options. One can buy time based passes, or distance based passed or one time passes.
On entry to the system, the bar opens when a pass is inserted. The same procedure for exiting the system. At exiting, when the pass expires, or the distance purchased has been used up, the pass is not returned to the customer.
Riders can buy passes which best fit their needs.
It has been shown throughout the world that this system gives better choices for consumers, provides higher efficiency, increases security, and increase ridership and customer satisfaction.