July 19, 2011

Vancouver installs faregates to reduce fare evasion on SkyTrain

VANCOUVER -- Construction officially began today to prepare for the installation of the first transit faregates at the Commercial-Broadway SkyTrain station. Once in full operation, the faregates will make taking transit safer and easier for people travelling on the entire transit system in Metro Vancouver.

The Honourable   James Moore, Minister of Canadian Heritage and Official Languages, and Regional Minister for British Columbia; the Honourable Blair Lekstrom, B.C.'s Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure; and   Ian Jarvis, TransLink CEO, helped kick off construction. They were joined by Richard Walton, mayor of the District of North   Vancouver  and chair of the Mayors' Council on Regional Transportation.

"Our government received a strong mandate from Canadians to invest in important projects such as this one that will improve the security of public transit for all users in Metro Vancouver," said Minister Moore. "We are committed to providing a safe and secure transit system, and faregates will help us do that."

"A new faregate system will make it more convenient for families and commuters to travel on Metro Vancouver's transit system," said Minister Lekstrom. "It will also enhance security and convince more people that transit is a viable and hassle-free alternative to driving."

The faregate system is designed to work with the new Compass card, which is a one-card approach to safe and easy travel on Vancouver's entire transit system. That includes SkyTrain, West Coast Express and SeaBus. The system will be operational in 2013. The province is providing $40 million  and the Government of Canada  is contributing up to   $30 million  from the Building   Canada  Fund to support the approximately $100 million in eligible costs for the faregates installation and related station improvements. The total cost for both the faregates and Compass card projects is approximately $171 million.

"Faregates will play a key role, working together with the Compass card, in helping us collect data about when and where transit users are travelling, which will assist us in the planning and dispatch of both current and future services and system upgrades," said Mr. Jarvis. "We are grateful to the provincial and federal governments for their support in helping us build a system that will foster a more direct and effective relationship with our customers for years to come."

All of TransLink's stations will undergo construction over the next 12 to 18 months, with faregates opening to the public in 2013. Construction will include electrical upgrades, and the relocation and installation of fare machines and gates.

Transit passengers will use the Compass card to pass through a faregate, which is a four-foot-high, paddle-style gate. At each station, there will also be faregates that are accessible to people who use wheelchairs, travel with strollers or are carrying luggage.

The project is part of the OnTrack program that includes a number of maintenance projects, upgrades and investments taking place along the system during SkyTrain's 25th anniversary. Other elements of the program include replacing the running rails and power rails, as well as improving accessibility to the system. Visit   www.translink.ca/ontrack  for more information about construction, timelines and the benefits of these programs.


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