BC: TransLink's Lack of Common Sense Costs Taxpayers
There’s no question the CTF opposes fare evasion at TransLink. We have compared it to theft from taxpayers. That said, we recognize there are exceptional circumstances from time to time, where common sense needs to be exercised.
Case in point. A young woman wakes up, realizes she’s late for school, grabs her U-pass, and runs out the door. One problem: her boyfriend is also a student, also has a U-pass, and they’re virtually identical. The woman grabbed the wrong one.
Her bad luck continues when a TransLink cop checks the pass and notes it’s not hers. She apologizes and explains the mistake. Of course, every college student has a U-pass like this – TransLink and the student unions force them all to buy them, even if they don’t use transit. She shows her college ID, which should have proved she was indeed a student.
Not good enough. The cop writes her a $173 ticket.
The young woman goes through all the proper channels, trying to explain to TransLink what happened, and get the ticket revoked or reduced. No dice.
So she takes them to court – and wins. The judge can’t believe TransLink would bother (from a CBC story):
"When queried, she had a perfect explanation: both passes look the same, in a hurry to get to my school, inadvertently I switched mine with my boyfriend's," Makhdoom wrote.
"Mindful of the stark dichotomy of shrinking public resources and increasing public needs, TransLink would have been better off demonstrating diligence in exercise of its fiduciary duties to the people of this province and save a student, likely already in debt, from incurring further indebtedness, or worst, waste her time with appeals and further appeals."
Of course, TransLink couldn’t let go, and appealed. More taxpayer money wasted on chasing a university kid for $173.
Sadly, TransLink won. From a new CBC story:
Call it a win for the big guy.
An epic battle that saw TransLink accused of wasting judicial resources hounding a student into court over a $173 ticket has ended in a ruling to warm a transit authority's heart: there's no room for excuses when it comes to fare evasion.
More than three years after Inna Danylyuk inadvertently boarded a bus with her boyfriend's U-Pass instead of her own valid U-Pass, B.C. Supreme Court Justice Elaine Adair has reinstated a ticket against the former Langara student.
What a waste of time and money. For $173, taxpayers probably spent tens of thousands of dollars.
So congratulations, TransLink. A slow clap to you: