Archive for August 18th, 2010

Free Bus Passes: Come on now Main Stream Media, is that the best you can do?

August 18, 2010

The Vancouver Province has been trying to make a big issue about free transit passes issued to bus drivers and families, sorry is that the best you can do?

http://www.theprovince.com/Documents+show+drivers+transit+pass+life+after+years+service/3409160/story.html

The Province also has an editorial today on the subject.

http://www.theprovince.com/opinion/editorials/Editorial+TransLink+afford+free+passes/3412339/story.html

I’m sorry, but this pathetic attempt to rouse peoples emotions about TransLink employees and their families getting a free ride doesn’t wash. The one question not answered is: “Are the free passes being used in great numbers or are they just gathering dust in a top drawer somewhere in the house?”

The attack on free bus passes is simple to explain, TransLink is broke but instead of going after ‘big fish’ issues like building metro like SkyTrain or the RAV/Canada line instead of much cheaper LRT, operating buses on routes with very little ridership  or the massive, yet mostly redundant bureaucracy that is now called TransLink.

Like the ‘fare evasion’ issue, the ‘free pass’ issue is meant to play on people’s emotions about someone else getting a free ride. Most transit companies offer free passes to their employees, including railways, ferries, and the airlines and TransLink is no different.

If the mainstream media is to retain any credibility at all with local transit issues, start tackling the big issues regarding public transit in the region and leave the nickle and dime issues alone for now.

Addendum

Added August 19, 2010

http://www.theprovince.com/opinion/letters/There+little+that+free+about+transit+passes/3416841/story.html

http://www.theprovince.com/opinion/letters/your+math/3416843/story.html

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