In London England, if one wishes to travel from ones residence near Morden Road in South London to the City of London Airport in the East end, one would have to travel in three travel zones, taking a Croydon Tram Link Tram to Wimbledon; transferring to a ‘Southwest Trains’ to Waterloo Station; transferring again to the Jubilee Tube; and finally transferring to the Docklands Light Railway to the City of London Airport, completing ones journey. Four transfers onto four different Transportation Operating Companies, yet all done without fuss with an ‘Oyster‘ travel card, where each portion of the journey was recorded an each transportation company had their portion of the four transfer journey automatically and correctly ‘apportioned‘ from the 3-zone fare.
To simplify, a $12, 3-zone fare was ‘apportioned’ four ways so that each of the Transportation Operating Companies received their fair share of the 3-zone fare.
With TransLink, there is no method of apportioning fares between bus, Seabus, or SkyTrain, as there is no method in determining how a fare is used or how many transfers take place on one ticket. This suited TransLink fine because they could make all sorts of claims, such as “SkyTrain pays its operating costs“, etc. with full knowledge that they did not apportion the fares between buses and the metro, even though they do know that at least 80% of SkyTrain’s ridership first take a bus to the metro and no one knows how many transfer again to a bus.
This is about to change because the new Canada line Metro system is a Public, Private, Partnership or P-3, where the ridership potential was so bad that TransLink must subsidize the operating consortium until ridership reached a 100,000 passengers a day. There is a problem; how many people will first take a bus to the Canada line and how many more transfer again to a bus afterwords? This is important because if TransLink counts full 1, 2, or 3-zone fares as strictly Canada Line fares and does not apportion them between bus and metro, the bus system will suffer great financial loses.
Example: A $5.00 cash 3-zone fare from Whiterock to UBC involves a bus trip to the Canada line (used to be direct to Vancouver); a forced transfer to the Canada Line; and another transfer to a bus to UBC, two transfers, from bus to metro and back onto the bus. The $5.00 fare should be apportioned two ways, one third ($1.66) to the Canada line and two thirds ($3.34) to West Coast mountain Bus (bus operating company). The issue gets even trickier with Day-passes, with unlimited daily travel on all of TransLink’s services.
Concession fares again will create havoc with Canada line revenue as using the the above example, the Canada Line portion of a 3-zone concession fare would be $0.84!
More problems arise with the airport surcharge and how it will fit into the ticketing scheme of things and the cost of enforcing the Airport surcharge.
Rail for the Valley worries that transit revenue for the buses will be skimmed off to pay for the Canada Line, which will lead to cutting of services and a degradation of regional transit, just like what happened when the first SkyTrain line was opened.