B.C. government targets TransLink fare evaders through new legislation
New legislation introduced by B.C.’s transportation minister today (May 7) will give TransLink the power to go after transit users who don’t pay their fare-evasion fines.
Through the changes to the South Coast British Columbia Transportation Authority Act introduced by Transportation and Infrastructure Minister Blair Lekstrom, fare evaders who don’t pay their fines will be unable to renew their driver’s licence and vehicle registration.
TransLink will also have the power to use small claims court and collection agencies to retrieve unpaid fines, to impose continually escalating fines and interest over time, and to refuse transit service until tickets are paid.
“People who have been stealing from the transit in Metro Vancouver have been put on notice: the free ride will be over,” Lekstrom said in the B.C. legislature as he introduced the bill this afternoon. “While most people pay their fares, those that are caught without fares and ticketed will face serious consequences if they do not pay.”
Under the legislation, TransLink will have the authority to collect fines, set fine amounts, and resolve disputes. The revenue from fines will go towards fine administration, dispute resolution services, and collection costs. The organization will be required to report annually about the fine revenue and collection process.
The legislative changes are intended to take effect this summer, according to the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure.