Letters to the Editor

Transit users deserve more affordability

It’s not surprising that Gary Tymoschuk should take personal shots at two MLAs who are working to speak up for transit users who are feeling the pinch of transit fare increases.

Like many Surrey residents, I am a regular transit user – in fact my whole family regularly uses transit to get to work, school and generally get around Metro Vancouver.

That’s why I know, like many Surrey residents, that Mr. Tymoschuk’s two-zone pass can only get you as far as Burnaby – so much for unlimited access throughout Metro Vancouver.

And, like so many people who can’t take advantage of the passes, I have irregular work hours and lots of different places I have to be at different times.

A three-zone pass doesn’t help people who are trying to get to work in Richmond for 7 a.m. one morning, and downtown Vancouver for 6 a.m. the next day.

Not only do they have to depend on more expensive Fare Savers or one-trip fares, they are often forced into their cars because there simply isn’t the service to get them where they need to be – and that’s only if they can afford a vehicle.

Increased fares discourage people from using transit. Even TransLink’s Ken Hardie agrees with that, as he said in 2005: “Fare hikes always put a brake on ridership but this one (2005) – the third since 2000 – was more noticeable.”

If we really want more people taking transit, we need better service and affordable fares.

If giving a voice to Surrey transit users is “grandstanding,” then I am comfortable knowing that I and my colleague MLA Sue Hammell are doing our jobs making sure TransLink and the government know what matters to Surrey residents.

Bruce Ralston, MLA

Surrey-Whalley

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