Just sent to the Vancouver Sun, CKNW, and Transportation Minister, Kevin Falcon:
I didn't know whether to laugh or cry when I heard the results of the Fare Evasion Survey recently conducted by Price Waterhouse Coopers. The numbers were impossibly low and flew in the face of personal observations made by me and others I know who also frequently ride transit. Lo and behold, we find out that on the day of the audit(s) a large number of visible Translink officials were brought in to the ticket machine areas. Even a Grade 11 Math student understands that this would skew the results. But Translink isn't interested in accurate statistics, is it? They needed the numbers to be low and lo and behold, they were!
I strongly recommend that the Ministry of Transportation conduct their own surveys, with plain clothed officials checking buses, the SkyTrain, and the SeaBus when it is suddenly stopped for a few minutes in order to conduct the survey. Translink officials should only be notified 60 seconds prior to each survey being done, in order to ensure that more phoney statistical games are not played.
Incidentally, there are two pertinent questions I'm confident the public would like to know the answers to:
- How much did the phoney survey (aka "Survey-gate") cost?
- If a factual survey reveals that tens of millions of dollars is being lost every year due to fare evasion, will this amount be repaid through the recovery of Translink management bonuses?