BC Transit Recomends Fare Increase in Squamish

BC Transit is recomending a fare increase for Squamish Transit users.

By Gagandeep Ghuman
Published: July 11, 2012

Do you fumble around for coins when boarding a bus?

BC Transit is working hard to make your life easier.

Citing inflation and the scrabbling for coins, BC Transit is suggesting a fare increase for Squamish transit users.

From single-ticket to monthly pass holder to a day-pass user, the fare increase will affect everyone. 

The fare would increase by 25 cents on a single ticket, $5 on a monthly pass, $4.50 on ten tickets, and $1.25 on a day pass for adults.

The fare increase is to keep up with inflation, but also to make things easy for the passenger, BC Transit claims.

“A $2.00 fare offers the advantage of ease of use,” says the transit report.

“It will also simplify the driver’s responsibility to check fares, thereby reducing potential fare disputes,” it continues.

BC Transit conducted a fare review in April, and concluded that the adult cash fare and adult monthly pass prices were below the average of other transit systems in the province.

Squamish council will discuss the issue in detail on July 22, and decide what changes to accept or reject.

On the transit fare issue, the district seems to have chosen silence, at least for now.

There was no comment from the Mayor, but Coun. Susan Chapelle spoke on the issue.

She said she did not support this increase until the service level of the bus system is corrected and the route changes made to reflect school times and public needs. 

Coun. Patricia Heintzman said it was premature to comment on the issue.

“They seem reasonable on the surface but we have not had the opportunity to question BC Transit about pros and cons and the community perception, comparables etc,” she said.

The latest BC Transit report examines fares, routing and scheduling, reviews handyDART usage, and summarises bus stops and infrastructure needs.

The proposed changes are written below. The existing fares are in brackets.

 

                      Cash              Tickets       monthly pass     day passes

Adult              2.00 (1.75)    18.00 (14.50)    44.00 (39.00)     5.00 (3.25)

Senior*          1.50 (1.50)    13.50 (12.00)    25.00 (20.00)     3.75 (2.75

Students        1.50 (1.25)    13.50 (12.00)    25.00 (20.00)     3.75 (2.75)

Handy Dart     $2 (1.75)

(one-way trip)

 

BC Transit recommends that, if possible, fares should not be increased in September or January, when potential riders are making their travel decisions.

July, the transit agency feels, is the best time for an increase, followed by the spring months.

The agency also surveyed 187 transit users, asking what changes they would like to see.

Almost half of those interviewed said there should be a Sunday service. An evening and more frequent service was also demanded, along with demands to reinstate the Squamish-Whistler Commuter service, and a service on statutory holiday.

Extending the evening service, and introducing the weekend service is on the BC Transit radar, but that is a long term goal. Extending the evening service would be at the cost of $92,000.

Meanwhile, BC Transit wants some changes to be implemented by the fall of 2012.

Those changes include eliminating the Valley Road loop, and reducing services on the Valleycliffe route, and replacing the Squamish Seniors Centre deviation.

Rescheduling times to include key school timings, and increased services to Quest University on evenings and Saturday is also included in this proposed plan.

Squamish transit users will have to wait until July 22 meeting of the council to find out the message the councillors have for BC Transit.

Until then, it’s best to carry some change when boarding a bus.

 

 

 

Comments

  1. MichaelL65 says:

    Does BC Transit think the people of Squamish are completely stupid? Increase the fare, decrease the service? Transit service in Squamish is crappy enough already and this will just make it worse for some people. Never mind Council, I have a mesage for BC Transit, unfortunately, you can’t print it. (Yes, I know it is only .25, the point is they are decreasing the already inadequate service.)

    • adam says:

      I totally agree. How many buses are more than 10% full. Based on their “make it easier” model, why not $1.50. How many fare disputes can there be on any given day…1, 0? The service is poor to start with and raising the fare won’t attract one more person onto a bus.

      • MichaelL65 says:

        Adam, whenever I ride the bus, it is always more than 10% full! In fact there are times when they have been close to capacity! I don’t think I have ever got on a bus that is not 70% full when I get off it.
        Also, I cannot count how many times I have put a Toonie in the fare bo

  2. MichaelL65 says:

    Why do my comments await moderation? I have posted to this site numerous times!

  3. Tara McKone says:

    I was just saying the other day that the fare should be $2.00. It is a major hassle coming up with $1.75. Re: fare disputes, I have personally experienced a fare dispute due to the machine miscounting my coins (this situation was resolved in an extremely kind and professional manner – thank you Squamish Transit!)

  4. Susan Chapelle says:

    The report will be coming to council on the 24th of July, not the 22nd. Small correction. As well, the scheduled fare change is one small piece of the enormous report that was given at the transit committee, and was not spoken on. Not sure why this reporter has chosen to focus on this particular change over the many other route and service initiatives presented.

    • Appreciate you taking the time to comment, Coun. Susan Chapelle, and many thanks for the correction.
      This reporter has chosen to focus on the fare because this reporter believes anything that affects people’s finances, however small, must be brought into focus, and talked about, and debated. And route changes are duly noted in the article. This reporter tried his level best to include information that would best reflect the report and the information relevant for the readers.