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New bill targets TransLink fare cheats

Bill 51 empowers TransLink to collect outstanding tickets. - railforthevalley.wordpress.com
Bill 51 empowers TransLink to collect outstanding tickets.
— image credit: railforthevalley.wordpress.com

Security guards, SkyTrain attendants, Coast Mountain security as well as TransLink police all will be able to check passengers for fares and write tickets, TransLink executive Doug Kelsey said Monday.

He made the statement following the announcement Monday of Bill 51, that empowers TransLink to collect outstanding tickets. Currently, the transportation agency has no ability to do that no matter how many times fare evaders get tickets.

The staff were described as "fare officers" who will change the culture of ridership to one where most comply.

Kelsey was commenting after Transportation and Infrastructure Minister Blair Lekstrom announced the legislation that will give TransLink to  collect its outstanding debts, even through the court system and through possible denial of renewing drivers' licences, even though only 30 per cent of TransLink users have drivers' licences.

According to a news release, drivers with unpaid fines, both past and future, will be unable to renew their licence and registration. "TransLink may make use of collection agencies and will also be able to refuse transit service until fines are paid. TransLink can file certificates in court to gain access to the assets of people who do not pay."

However, in a telephone conference, TransLink couldn't explain how the agency would be able to deny issuing a monthly pass to commuters with outstanding fines.

TransLink will receive the revenue from fines, which will help pay for fine administration, dispute resolution services and collection costs. TransLink will also be required to report annually about the fine revenue and collection process.

The changes are expected to take effect this summer.

Bill 51 also will allow the chair and vice-chair of the mayor's council to sit on TransLink's board of directors.

 

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