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  #101  
Old Posted Nov 10, 2007, 7:09 AM
officedweller officedweller is offline
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FYI - here's the Translink report from the Dec 7, 2005 Board Meeting when they decided NOT to exercise the option to add fare gates to the Canada Line (though the option was preserved for future implementation) - it provides an interesting read:

http://www.translink.bc.ca/files/boa...tachment_A.pdf
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  #102  
Old Posted Nov 10, 2007, 7:14 AM
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SkyTrain fare gates earlier dismissed as too costly

Vancouver Sun
Published: Friday, November 09, 2007

VANCOUVER - Putting fare gates on SkyTrain and the Canada Line would cost more than $30 million a year to install and operate and reduce fare evasion by less than $3 million, a report prepared by TransLink's staff predicted just two years ago.

On Thursday, Transportation Minister Kevin Falcon announced plans to install fare gates in a bid to reduce fare evasion and improve public safety.

The proposal - which Falcon says will be paid for entirely by the province - has the support of Richmond Mayor Malcolm Brodie, TransLink's chair.

However, in December 2005, TransLink's board overwhelmingly rejected fare gates after a detailed report by its staff found it wouldn't come anywhere close to paying for itself.

Vancouver city Coun. Peter Ladner, a TransLink board member, said Friday he was not sure why gates are a better idea now than they were two years ago.

"I'm quite puzzled by this decision and I'm looking forward to hearing the justification for it," he said.

He noted TransLink has already invested millions of dollars in hiring SkyTrain police to reduce fare evasion.

"I'd like to see ... whether we can achieve the same goal with a better use of their resources rather than jumping into a system we've previously decided didn't make economic sense," he said.

George Puil, who was chairman of TransLink from 1998 to 2003, said the board looked at fare gates twice during his tenure and was convinced both times that they cost more than they were worth.

"I think the money could be used elsewhere," he said. "You could use it to have more police ... around SkyTrain stations."

In an interview Friday, Falcon estimated that installing fare gates at all stations would cost in the "$80 million to $100 million range."

He acknowledged, however, that only covers one-time construction costs. TransLink's 2005 report estimated that, on top of that, it would also have to hire nearly 400 attendants to staff the gates, both to ensure people weren't jumping over them and to let through those who can't use them, such as people with excess luggage or in wheelchairs.

Combined with the costs of installing the new gates, amortized over 20 years, the 2005 report put the total annual cost of fare gates at $32.2 million.

In contrast, it estimated gates would reduce fare evasion by only $2.9 million. Based on extensive spot checks, TransLink estimates that about 4.9 per cent of SkyTrain revenues are lost through fare evasion.
Falcon and Brodie said they think the rate is much higher.

"There's no way in an open system you're going to be losing that little," said Falcon. He said transit operators in Europe told him their fare-evasion rates are as high as 30 per cent.


However, neither Falcon or Brodie was able to identify any flaws with the way TransLink compiled its figures.

"I just believe the numbers are higher [from] the times I've ridden the system," said Brodie. "It's not scientific, it's anecdotal. But I certainly believe it."[/color][/B]

The report states that many people believe fare evasion is higher than it really is because they see so many people get on the train without buying a ticket.

However, TransLink spokesman Ken Hardie said most of those people actually have paid, either by buying a monthly pass or transferring from a bus.

Falcon said he's convinced that, over time, gates will pay for themselves by reducing evasion. But even if they don't, he said, the province thinks it is worth doing to reduce crime on transit. In the first six months of this year, TransLink's police service recorded 189 drug crimes, 381 property crimes and 239 violent crimes.


Simon Fraser University criminologist Paul Brantingham said research suggests fare gates can deter crime both on the transit system itself and around stations, by making it more of a hassle for criminals to get on.

Nancy La Vigne, an expert on transit crime at the Urban Institute in Washington, D.C., said it may seem strange that a two-dollar fare would deter any criminal from using SkyTrain. But she said research shows most criminals are not very motivated, committing crimes only when the opportunity arises. The hassle and cost of a turnstile, she said, will be enough for many to hang out elsewhere.

"Little changes that make things more difficult can have a big impact," she said.

cskelton@png.canwest.com


© Vancouver Sun
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  #103  
Old Posted Nov 11, 2007, 12:48 AM
officedweller officedweller is offline
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Note that the $32.2M per year includes the amortization of the initial capital costs. If those capital costs are covered by the Province, the annual operating costs should be lower than the $32.2M.
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  #104  
Old Posted Nov 11, 2007, 6:09 AM
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"He acknowledged, however, that only covers one-time construction costs. TransLink's 2005 report estimated that, on top of that, it would also have to hire nearly 400 attendants to staff the gates, both to ensure people weren't jumping over them and to let through those who can't use them, such as people with excess luggage or in wheelchairs."

I remember those numbers from the original report.
Why would Translink have to hire *extra staff* to man the gates? Currently there are roughly half a dozen staff at each station that are there to ensure station security and safety. Would this job not extend to the turnstiles?! No extra staff needed - that's how it works in every other turnstile system I've ever been on around the world, so it could be the same here.
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  #105  
Old Posted Nov 11, 2007, 6:30 AM
deasine deasine is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by djh View Post
"He acknowledged, however, that only covers one-time construction costs. TransLink's 2005 report estimated that, on top of that, it would also have to hire nearly 400 attendants to staff the gates, both to ensure people weren't jumping over them and to let through those who can't use them, such as people with excess luggage or in wheelchairs."

I remember those numbers from the original report.
Why would Translink have to hire *extra staff* to man the gates? Currently there are roughly half a dozen staff at each station that are there to ensure station security and safety. Would this job not extend to the turnstiles?! No extra staff needed - that's how it works in every other turnstile system I've ever been on around the world, so it could be the same here.
If it was that simple, I'm sure they would have done that. Usually, there is about one or two skytrain attendants per SkyTrain station. Those SkyTrain attendants have the responsibility to check fares (which is NEVER done), giving directions, making sure there are no one dropping anything on tracks, etc. And they must be there because our system is automated with no staff on the trains. Extra attendants must be hired to make sure no one jumps the gates, etc.
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  #106  
Old Posted Nov 11, 2007, 6:51 AM
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I think the assumption may be that roving attendants would be retained and not re-deployed to being faregate attendants - not sure why that would be though. Could be a union / job description / assignment of work issue.
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  #107  
Old Posted Nov 11, 2007, 7:13 AM
deasine deasine is offline
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Originally Posted by officedweller View Post
I think the assumption may be that roving attendants would be retained and not re-deployed to being faregate attendants - not sure why that would be though. Could be a union / job description / assignment of work issue.
that's also one of the factors....... for sure the SkyTrain attendants will be complaining that they were assigned one extra duty (or actually many), then there will be new contracts needed, a strike might happen, etc.
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  #108  
Old Posted Nov 11, 2007, 7:18 AM
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how hard can it be to stand around at a SkyTrain platform and then switch over to a booth next to the fare gates? blast these unions.
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  #109  
Old Posted Nov 12, 2007, 12:49 AM
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Good article criticizing the City of Vancouver for not densifying around Skytrain Stations:

http://www.canada.com/vancouversun/n...723a431a15&p=1

Quote:
Key density growth to SkyTrain stations

Bob Ransford, Vancouver Sun
Published: Saturday, November 10, 2007

Public transit infrastructure should follow dense urban growth. Public transit infrastructure should be in place to attract more dense growth.

Density or urban infill growth and transit infrastructure need to be planned simultaneously and are dependent on each other.

Which of the foregoing three statements is correct when it comes to managing growth in a rapidly growing urban region?

Hopefully, common sense would tell you that we should plan density, or urban infill growth, at the same time we are planning the expansion of our integrated transit network in Metro Vancouver.

Unfortunately, there's a shortage of common sense when it comes to our governing institutions and their decision-makers.

Mayor Sam Sullivan says that today, transit ridership in the Broadway corridor tops 60,000 people a day. He says this justifies the need to extend the Millennium SkyTrain system from Clark Drive all the way west to UBC.

I recall a similar argument being made when politicians were attempting to justify a $1-billion-plus expenditure on the Richmond-Airport-Vancouver rapid transit line a few years ago.

That project, now topping $2 billion as it approaches completion, runs through a continuous corridor of low-to medium-density development in Vancouver. There are a number of nodes south of the downtown peninsula where significant growth could occur along the Cambie Street-Canada Line corridor, but "could" is the operative word. Whether or not growth does occur along the Cambie corridor is up to Mayor Sullivan and Vancouver city council.

One small developer has been working for at least two years trying to get approval to build six fee-simple townhomes on a single-family lot that fronts directly on Cambie, not far from one of the Canada Line stations.

Not only will it be a model development for the kind of row-housing developments that don't yet exist in this city, it is a form of modest density in an area that should welcome even more density.

Plans have been drafted for some modest new infill development around one of the more important Canada Line stations -- Oakridge -- at 41st Avenue. There are four other stations south of the density that will occur near the Olympic Village station on the southeast corner of False Creek. Density needs to occur around each of these stations, just as it is being planned around at least three of Richmond's four Canada Line stations.

We can't afford to build a $2-billion transit system and have it serve an under-built corridor. The Canada Line was supposed to serve a corridor with existing density. It was also supposed to attract new density. Many would argue that the density it served was primarily commercial and institutional density, and not residential density. If the Oakridge plan is any indicator of the type of density increases we can expect to see around the other Canada Line stations, the whole project has failed.

There are already two transit corridors that run east-west through the eastern part of the city where growth has yet to live up to the potential that rapid transit was meant to spur. One line has been in place for more than two decades.

The other, about a decade. There are at least five transit stations along these two lines where the predominant form of residential development within walking distance of the station is still single-family residential.

What is an appropriate density along these transit lines and around their stations? Look at how Burnaby has planned growth around most of the 11 stations in that municipality. Infill development around the Patterson, Metrotown and Edmonds stations has now matured and is a good example of the kind of medium- to high-density development that should be developed around transit stations.

Similar growth is underway around at least three or four other SkyTrain stations in Burnaby.

Surrey is also beginning to see the potential for infill growth around its SkyTrain stations. That city has the potential of developing an entire new downtown around the Surrey Central station.

It seems as though decision-makers and developers in Surrey are beginning to realize that potential.

That leaves Vancouver. Before the mayor talks a lot more about extending the rapid transit system along Broadway, perhaps he can demonstrate what the city is prepared to accommodate in terms of new growth around Vancouver's existing SkyTrain stations.

Bob Ransford is a public affairs consultant with CounterPoint Communications Inc. He is a former real estate developer who specializes in urban land use issues. E-mail: ransford@counterpoint.ca

© The Vancouver Sun 2007
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  #110  
Old Posted Nov 13, 2007, 12:24 AM
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NDP MLAs unveil strategy to make SkyTrain stations safer

Doug Ward, Vancouver Sun
Published: Monday, November 12, 2007

VANCOUVER - The provincial NDP supports the B.C. Liberal government's proposal to install turnstiles at every SkyTrain and Canada Line station - but the opposition party doesn't want to wait until a private partner is found to build and operate the system.

NDP MLA Adrian Dix told reporters today that Victoria should give TransLink a direct grant from the provincial surplus to quickly develop a system of transit fare gates.

"We shouldn't waste money on private-sector schemes. We have the resources now to make the system safer," said Dix.

Transportation Minister Kevin Falcon announced plans last week to install turnstiles in an attempt to cut fare evasion and improve public safety.

Falcon also said he hopes to find a private partner to run the fare gate system on a revenue-sharing basis.

Dix said he supports turnstiles because they will reduce crime at transit stations - not because he thinks they will pay for themselves.

"It's clear that the incremental revenue from turnstiles will not pay for the capital construction," Dix told reporters. "So this has to be a decision that improves transit security and safety at stations."

Falcon said last week that the cost of turnstiles would be recovered eventually by reducing fare evasion.

Dix said that turnstiles would increase security by making it more difficult for criminals to get into a SkyTrain station.

"I think SkyTrain suffers from being a bit of an uncontrolled atmosphere right now."

Dix spoke about turnstiles during a NDP press conference held to unveil the party's 10-step strategy to cut crime at transit stations.

The NDP's proposals include:

- Increasing the number of SkyTrain police by 50 per cent until there is one security person at every station while a line is in operation.

- Provide additional after-hours security at all stations.

- Implement a pilot walk-home program for at least five high-risk stations.


Dix was joined at the media event by Dave Toner, whose son Matthew was beaten to death at Surrey Central SkyTrain station in 2005.

Toner, co-founder of Families Against Crime and Trauma, said that TransLink promised in August that it would provide 24-hour policing at a number of SkyTrain stations.

"We've been pressing them to honor their commitments. You can't put a price on public safety," said Toner.

The press conference was held at the 29th Street Station in East Vancouver, said Dix, because a vicious attack on a woman took place near the station in April and another six attacks have taken place within a few blocks.

Dix said that security at stations is essential if transit is going to become a key component of the region's climate change strategy. If governments are urging people to use transit, said Dix, "we have an absolute obligation to ensure their safety."




© Vancouver Sun
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  #111  
Old Posted Nov 13, 2007, 7:32 AM
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TransLink must get its act together over SkyTrain turnstiles

The Province
Published: Monday, November 12, 2007

F orgive us for being skeptical about the latest initiative to install turnstiles on SkyTrain to crack down on fare cheats and improve rider safety.

Politicians have been talking about this for years.

Eight years ago, Jenny Kwan, the NDP minister responsible for SkyTrain, and nine transit officials went on an expensive junket to England to view London's transit system and the fare gates there.

But early the following year, TransLink board members were handed a report downplaying fare evasion and crime on the system.

Then, that summer, an opinion poll of Greater Vancouver residents showed 89 per cent believed gates on both the Expo and Millennium lines would, guess what, deter fare evasion and improve security.

But still nothing was done. And still the system relies on the "honesty" of riders to cough up the cash, when it is clear many aren't honest at all. Some are even violent.

Now, following a trip to Europe in September, Transportation Minister Kevin Falcon says he is impressed by the London and Dutch transit systems and has become convinced of the need to install turnstiles.

And TransLink chairman Malcolm Brodie says a new "controlled access" system is expected to be installed next year. But he apparently does not know how much it will cost or where the money is coming from.

Falcon, meanwhile, says he will make sure TransLink gets the cash that's needed.

Let's hope he does.

Turnstiles for SkyTrain are way overdue. It's high time our transit bosses stopped posturing about them -- and started having them installed.



© The Vancouver Province 2007
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  #112  
Old Posted Nov 14, 2007, 6:30 AM
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Quite a bit of support....



TRANSIT SECURITY: 'WE COULD PASS IT VERY QUICKLY'
NDP pushes SkyTrain safety measures

CATHRYN ATKINSON
Special to The Globe and Mail
November 13, 2007

The NDP says the provincial government is missing the opportunity to put in place extra security measures on the SkyTrain system in the current legislative session, adding that the issue could be settled before the House breaks for Christmas in two weeks time.


Opposition MLAs Mike Farnworth and Adrian Dix presented a 10-point list of safety improvements at a news conference yesterday at the 29th Avenue SkyTrain Station in East Vancouver, the scene of several attacks earlier this year.

They want more SkyTrain police in order to put one officer at each station while the line is operating, additional after-hours security at all stations, and a pilot walk-home program for commuters at five high-risk stations. They also want turnstiles to be built at stations through a direct grant from the provincial government, rather than with the financial involvement of a private company - as outlined by Transportation Minister Kevin Falcon last week.

Mr. Farnworth, the NDP's public safety critic, said the government could bring in a bill immediately as an added expense on this year's budget.

"We could pass it very quickly. It would send a strong message to the public about increased security," he said.

Mr. Farnworth said this year's $4.1-billion budget surplus could fund the New Democrats' suggestions, including turnstiles.


"There is no reason why we can't use some of that money to improve the SkyTrain system. We'd be more than happy to pass any spending bill to do that," he said.

Mr. Dix, whose Vancouver-Kingsway constituency has more SkyTrain stations than any other in the Lower Mainland, said there had been seven assaults on women at these stations this year. He added that a NDP-sponsored petition with "several thousand" names had been sent to TransLink requesting immediate action on SkyTrain safety.

In an interview, Mr. Falcon said the NDP's ideas were "back-of-the-envelope recommendations."

"We have to remember the response that TransLink takes is based on thoughtful, researched [evidence]," he said. "But I'm glad they're talking about this even if they are coming late to the party."

Mr. Falcon said it is "unfortunate" that the NDP is holding back debate in the legislature on the TransLink Governance Bill, meant to eventually restructure the public transport agency.

"One of the major things we are trying to do in restructuring TransLink is to provide it with ... hundreds of millions of dollars over the next 10 to 15 years, that would allow them to do exactly those kind of suggestions, and they need financial tools to do that."
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  #113  
Old Posted Nov 16, 2007, 2:52 AM
deasine deasine is offline
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scary...
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  #114  
Old Posted Nov 16, 2007, 3:23 AM
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scary...
Oh shit....yeah, indeed!!
Almost like it's a scene out of a movie.
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  #115  
Old Posted Nov 16, 2007, 3:24 AM
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Speed III: Trolleys Go Wild!
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  #116  
Old Posted Nov 16, 2007, 12:07 PM
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Originally Posted by officedweller View Post
Note that the $32.2M per year includes the amortization of the initial capital costs. If those capital costs are covered by the Province, the annual operating costs should be lower than the $32.2M.
Yup they would be just under $30 million, $29 something I think but the actual number is on page 1 of the turnstile thread under a link you posted.
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  #117  
Old Posted Nov 16, 2007, 12:12 PM
cornholio cornholio is offline
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Originally Posted by djh View Post
"He acknowledged, however, that only covers one-time construction costs. TransLink's 2005 report estimated that, on top of that, it would also have to hire nearly 400 attendants to staff the gates, both to ensure people weren't jumping over them and to let through those who can't use them, such as people with excess luggage or in wheelchairs."

I remember those numbers from the original report.
Why would Translink have to hire *extra staff* to man the gates? Currently there are roughly half a dozen staff at each station that are there to ensure station security and safety. Would this job not extend to the turnstiles?! No extra staff needed - that's how it works in every other turnstile system I've ever been on around the world, so it could be the same here.
Cool so no more safety and security on trains and platforms.
By the way the 400 figure I believe would result in 200 attendants working at a time, 10 hour shifts, which if I remember would be 1 attendant at each station entrance.
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  #118  
Old Posted Nov 16, 2007, 6:34 PM
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Cool so no more safety and security on trains and platforms.
By the way the 400 figure I believe would result in 200 attendants working at a time, 10 hour shifts, which if I remember would be 1 attendant at each station entrance.
The transit police should be dealing with security (e.g., on the platforms), the attendants "attending" to people (e.g., helping disabled people through gates, helping people get tickets through machines, etc.), not making the stations more secure. That's why I'm questioning if extra staff are needed, as the existing staff should now be allowed to do their job and the transit police can keep the stations safe
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  #119  
Old Posted Nov 18, 2007, 4:15 AM
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Falcon wants SkyTrain to run longer hours
Nov, 15 2007 - 10:10 PM

VICTORIA/CKNW(AM980) - Transportation Minister Kevin Falcon would like the Translink Board to look at keeping Skytrain running a few hours later at night. Falcon says a lot of people complain about the fact Skytrain isn't open late enough for them to get home after the bars close in Vancouver, "So, I do think it would be helpful to at least take a look at that that Translink could take a look at that and provide them the opportunities to take the Skytrain home safely."

The last Skytrain to leave Waterfront Station to King George goes at 1:15 in the morning.





Changing TransLink is futile until Falcon lets go

Vancouver Sun
Published: Thursday, November 15, 2007

In April, the provincial government introduced, to much hoopla, the South Coast British Columbia Transportation Authority Act, which will restructure the governance of TransLink.

Under the new act, the 12 Metro Vancouver mayors and councillors who currently compose the TransLink board will be replaced by a group of professionals. These professionals, while taking political direction from a new council of mayors, will be responsible for the day-to-day operation of TransLink.

Transportation Minister Kevin Falcon said the new structure would restore public confidence through accountability and governance. But one has to wonder what the point of the exercise is, since Falcon now seems determined to continue to make decisions that should really be taken by the board.

Witness current TransLink chairman Malcolm Brodie's recent announcement that SkyTrain stations will soon be equipped with a new "controlled access" system involving entry and exit barriers or fare gates on the station platforms.

While Brodie apparently supports the plan, he noted that it was devised by Falcon after a visit to London's Underground.


Now various parties have debated the merits of placing gates or turnstiles at SkyTrain stations for years, but making a decision on the matter seems like a perfect job for a board of professionals.

After all, there are many things to consider, not the least of which is cost. SkyTrain officials previously suggested that the cost of retrofitting gates would be prohibitive -- in the range of $90 million to $120 million.

However, Brodie recently said that the capital cost for retrofitting gates on the Canada and Millennium Lines would be about $20 million, and "substantially more" for the Expo Line. But he was unable to say where the money would come from.

On the other hand, installing fare gates or turnstiles could save money in the long run. While the majority of travellers do pay their fares, about eight per cent don't, and only about 20 per cent of cheaters who get caught pay their fines.

According to TransLink, this fare evasion results in the loss of $6 million to $7 million a year. Further, according to data gathered during the trip to London's Underground, installing turnstiles triggered a 30-per-cent drop in crime on one subway line, and vandalism and assaults decreased by 80 per cent and 50 per cent respectively.

Moreover, apparently as a result of people feeling safer taking public transit, ridership increased by 10 per cent. All of these figures suggest that despite the outlay of significant sums to pay the capital costs of installing fare gates, it might be possible to eventually recoup those monies.

So there are clear benefits and drawbacks to installing turnstiles. It seems that a board of professionals would be ideally suited to make the decision, after carefully considering the pros and cons.

But if instead Falcon insists on continuing to make all the important decisions, then the change to the structure of the TransLink board will be merely cosmetic.
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  #120  
Old Posted Nov 19, 2007, 2:16 AM
deasine deasine is offline
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Remember to attend the South of Fraser information sessions by TransLink:

In Langley, on November 19 @ Langley City Hall Public Library from 9:00-20:00 and on Nov 22 @ Walnut Grove Recreation Centre from 14:00-22:00.

In Surrey, on November 28 @ Cloverdale Kwantlen University College from 12:00-21:00.
Article Link: http://translink.bc.ca/files/buzzer/...zzer_Nov16.pdf (pdf)


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