Tougher Penalties for Fare Evasion
August 31, 2012
New bylaw takes effect after Labour Day
Starting September 4, trying to get a free ride on the transit system will be tougher. The law has been changed with new penalties for people caught in a fare-paid zone without a valid proof of payment.
The South Coast British Columbia Transportation Authority Act now includes a fare collection bylaw that replaces the current provincial statute. This will allow TransLink to take over responsibility for issuing fare infraction tickets, collecting fines, and implementing dispute and appeal processes. The legislation also enables Transit Security, along with Transit Police, to issue TransLink fare infraction tickets.
“Fare evasion is theft and it impacts everyone,” says TransLink CEO Ian Jarvis. “The new regulation is critical to reducing theft. The provincial government has given us an important new tool to safeguard a significant source of revenue.”
“The vast majority of our customers pay their fares and will not notice any changes,” adds Chief Operating Officer Doug Kelsey. “But, they can be assured that we’re taking action on those who choose not to pay their fare. Our goal is to ensure everyone is paying their fair share across the board.”
The new bylaw is a result of the provincial government’s Bill 51 introduced in May. There are now new penalties for not having a valid proof of payment in a fare paid zone:
• A $173 fine.
• An unpaid fine escalates to $213 after 180 days and $273 after one year.
• Outstanding fines may be referred to a collection agency.
• ICBC may refuse to issue or renew a driver’s licence or vehicle insurance.
A new website – www.translink.ca/fareinfraction – opens on September 4, where those who receive a ticket may pay their fine online, dispute the ticket or appeal a decision. TransLink’s Fare Infraction Administration office, comprised of existing staff, will oversee the administration of the bylaw.
The new bylaw is part of an overall strategy that includes faregates and Transit Police, which will help protect revenue, enhance security and keep the transit system safe.