Transit can’t pick and choose who rides for free

A Maple Ridge mom complains about a bus driver who did not allow her son to ride the bus because he didn't have exact change

Editor, The News:

I recently used transit while my family was down visiting to go to a B.C. Lions game. We travelled from Maple Ridge to. B.C. Place Stadium.

I have heard that you need exact change, so we figured out what the cost would be. It was $20 even. So off we went.

To our surprise, the driver could not take bills. So we rode for free. Which actually makes me sick, as one week prior, my son and his friend were denied access to the bus as they didn’t have exact change – 12 years old, and stuck in Port Coquitlam, when they live in Maple Ridge.

I had to go and pick them up. Not impressed.

I’m so shocked at this as all we ever hear is how hard done by TransLink is, how its not making enough money. Well, you must have the technology to be able to accept money if you expect to make money.

I live in an area that there is no access to transit, so I have never been a fan of it, as it is not accessible to all citizens, particularly those who really need it. If you live near town, you don’t need transit as much as those who do not live near town. Yet we only cover those who live close to town.

Now I hear that the park and ride lots will be charging for parking. Talk about deterring everyone from taking transit or carpooling. I feel if you want to make transit work efficiently, start with accepting money from people that actually want to pay. And if you can’t deny access to people without exact change, don’t pick and choose which people you will let on and which ones you will leave crying on the sidewalk.

Carly Marchand-Jones

Maple Ridge