British Columbia

Translink bus fares 'evaded 2.7 million times in 2013'

Bus riders evaded fares more than 2.7 million times in Metro Vancouver in 2013, according to documents obtained by the Canadian Taxpayers Federation.

Fare evasion has increased 10% since 2011

Transit riders evaded fares more than 2.7 million times in B.C. in 2013, according to documents obtained by the Canadian Taxpayers Federation. (CBC)

Bus riders evaded fares more than 2.7 million times in Metro Vancouver in 2013, according to documents obtained by the Canadian Taxpayers Federation (CTF). 

It said the number reflects how many times TransLink drivers hit a so-called 'Fare Not Paid' button.

"These bus drivers should be checked for carpal tunnel syndrome from having to repeatedly push that fare evasion button,” said CTF B.C. director Jordan Bateman.

“TransLink executives have turned a blind eye to millions of fare cheats, causing unnecessary financial grief for honest riders and taxpayers.”

The figures do not include fare evasion on SkyTrain, West Coast Express, SeaBus or the West Vancouver blue bus network.

According to the CTF, fare evasion has gone up roughly 10 per cent since 2011. 

"This is not on bus drivers. It's on TransLink and the transit police for not properly enforcing fare evasion."

Nathan Woods, the president of the union that represents bus drivers, said the 'fare not paid button' was requested by his members. 

"We asked for this button to be put on to the buses and we asked specifically because we wanted to make sure everyone had a good account of what was happening out there," he said.

"We've seen an increase in assaults steadily rise since 2006 and with that, a lot of that is a result of fare evasion."

CBC News did not immediately hear back from TransLink

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