Fare hikes buried in Compass Card: group 0
TransLink Compass card beta tester Carol Browne at Vancouver City Centre SkyTrain Station in Vancouver, B.C. on Thursday September 12, 2013. (CARMINE MARINELLI/ 24 HOURS)
A B.C. group advocating for better transit says it’s disturbing TransLink has yet to release a by-the-numbers cost comparison for the Compass Card versus older types of fare now being eliminated.
Patrick Rault, vice-president of Transport Action B.C., said on Wednesday he believes TransLink has buried fare increases into its new Compass Card by its decision to eliminate the FareSaver discount passes in the new year.
Currently, FareSavers come in booklets of 10, equating to $2.10 for a one-zone trip, $3.15 for two zones, and $4.20 for three zones.
“They’re saying there’s going to be a 14% discount over the cash fare, but they don’t give the real price, something people can judge (themselves) for what it is,” Rault said.
In response to the concern, TransLink spokesman Derek Zabel said users who have “stored value” in their cards will pay $2.35 for a one-zone trip, $3.50 for a two zone and $4.70 for three zones.
Adult fares without stored value start at $2.75 for a single zone. Concession fares start at $1.75 for both stored value and regular cash payment, with a savings of 10 cents for stored value at two zones and five cents for three zones.
Rault said TransLink commissioner Robert Irwin must approve any increase above 2% inflation under the law, and that eliminating FareSaver discounts is essentially an increase in costs.
Students who use U-Passes will be able to transfer their monthly tickets to a Compass Card for a $6 refundable deposit, TransLink vice-president Mike Madill said by e-mail.
Costs for the post-secondary program are projected to rise to $36.75 monthly in May 2014.
Madill added monthly pass prices would remain the same. They currently start at $91 a month for one zone. The Employer Pass Program — also being eliminated — starts at $79.25 monthly for one zone, according to numbers from the Vancouver School Board, which is enrolled in the program.
Stephen Phillips, a Langara instructor who uses the EPP, has since launched a change.org petition for the TransLink board to reverse axing the program and Sunday free rides.
“Both programs were running for the past 14 years … so we were very puzzled at why such a successful program would be terminated without consultation ahead of time,” he said.