There’s been a flurry of transit related news this past week. Most of it about funding transit from the local Metro level and the BC provincial level. I haven’t had time to sift through the numbers, let alone blog!
So let me work on something that’s a bit more tangible and easier for me to blog quickly about. My local SkyTrain station is under reconstruction. The whole east stationhouse is being rebuilt.
In my last post, I thought TransLink might hold off for another 6 months before discontinuing the paper FareSavers. Well, I was completely wrong. By the end of January, all paper FareSavers will be phased out.
As I’ve been using my card for a few weeks now, I must say that one has to keep a close eye on one’s account balance. I already had one incident where $2.75 was taken off my card by mistake. Good thing I noticed that money had disappeared off my card when I checked my balance.
So we’re finally here in October 2015. I’ve already got my Compass Card and loaded it with a 1-zone monthly pass. I get to use the full version of this Compass Card for the first time today. That’s exciting for a transit geek like me. So you might be wondering how I got my Compass Card when it’s not readily available. Also what’s with this October 5th thing I keep hearing about?
image from askcompass.ca
After a two-year wait, it’s finally here in my hands. A real, functioning Compass Card. The new smart cards for use on all TransLink vehicles is available to the general public. I had my taste of the Compass Card 2 years ago as a beta tester, but now I can finally say goodbye to my monthly paper FareCard and to those paper FareSavers that go missing oh so easily.
Last Thursday, TransLink announced a big move ahead in the Compass Card and new zone-free bus rides for October. Here’s what the Buzzer Blog has to say:
By late October, Compass Cards will be available to the general public to buy for use on all transit services — just in time for monthly pass holders to load November’s month pass on their Compass Card!
After this date, Compass Cards will be available from CVMs, by mail, online, phone request and in person at the Compass retailer network or Compass walk-in centres.
Another transit policy wonk post here. In an earlier post, I looked at a bar graph talking about the Cost per Boarded Passenger by Sub-Region. It helped to illustrate which sub-regions were the most and least cost-efficient. Here’s another handy graphic from the 2014 TransLink Bus Performance Review [PDF] showing what makes for cost-efficient bus routes.
A lot of the local media has been featuring the 5 most overcrowded bus routes in Metro Vancouver. That’s a nice and easy headline that people can latch onto. However, that data is actual part of a bigger document that TransLink has released. This document is the 2014 TransLink Bus Performance Review [PDF].
There’s one graph in particular that highlights how TransLink has made buses more cost-efficient over the past 5 years.
After the No vote has trumped the Transportation and Transit Sales Tax that would have raised $250 million annually for transit service in Metro Vancouver, I got to thinking. Yes, I know it can kill brain cells. Especially thinking about such negative things as the fallout from the No vote to the plebiscite.
Throughout the debate before the votes were all tallied up. I just felt a lot of comments were like YouTube comments. It’s what they call “haters”.
So the No side had a resounding victory in the Transportation and Transit Plebiscite. It is,I think, an extremely disappointing, but unsurprising result. So where does that leave us as a region. Without stable funding for transit in Metro Vancouver, where do we go from here.
Well, service cuts are probably the first to happen. Transit services for the disabled and the elderly will likely be on the chopping block first.