Re: Transit wants your thoughts on fare changes (News, Sept. 28)
No, no and no. This is a typical accountant’s response to a balanced budget. If there are not enough funds, raise the price, or let people go. If this were done, it would backfire, as the public are already paying enough for a ride. Keep the price the same.
Want to balance the budget? Get more riders. An increase in fares will reduce ridership, as the public could drive and park cheaper. The general feeling is that it is close now, and convenient to not have a car downtown.
Compare the fare for two people of $5 one way or $10 round trip to the cost of driving: a car will only use $2 to $3 worth of gas, and a $2 parkade fee. And depending on the time and day, the parking is free.
Don’t raise fares, instead raise ridership. Look at the major cities and notice they are all going to rapid transit or express busing. A major component of the Victoria travelling public comes out of the West Shore. Making “Park & Go” areas and starting the train running again as a commuter makes a lot of sense and a lot of money for transit.
Making drivers more customer aware would also help. I have seen numerous times where buses have pulled away leaving people running behind them. It is like a joke to the driver. That is not saying all drivers, as I have also seen some good ones who do wait. But they are few.
I would say don’t slash and burn, build and expand. Get the ridership up and the budget will get balanced.