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Monthly FareCards are now available on the 20th day of every month

A sample of a 3-Zone monthly FareCard

Humans are prone to routines. Every month, there are bills to be paid by a particular date, food to be made at a particular time and monthly pass (FareCards) to be purchased at your favourite FareDealer vendor. If you’re an organized person or simply want to make the best use of each day you pay for transit with your FareCard, you may pick the same day every month as the day you pick up your new monthly card. For many, the 16th of the month has been the day to do this since this has been the first day that vendors could start selling monthly FareCards for the following month.

Starting this month, the first day that monthly FareCards can be purchased will be the 20th day of the month for all vendors of the cards. Due to the large volume of FareCards distributed to numerous vendors every month, shipments of the cards happen over a few days. Therefore, FareCards go on sale at different times depending on when each vendor receives cards. TransLink is standardizing the day that everyone can sell FareCards so that all vendors have the same opportunities to sell the cards and customers to purchase them.

Rituals and routines are not things that can be changed easily. So, it will take some getting used to for some people to pick up their cards a few days later than normal. However, repetition is a powerful force that will hopefully make the 16th of the month a distant memory. Mark your calendars for the 20th of January and the 20th of each month following for the rest of the year, my friends!


7 Comments

  • By Ben K, January 10, 2012 @ 11:41 pm

    What is the purpose of the embargo? It was my impression that vendors didn’t collect any profit from the sale of Translink products; am I mistaken? If not, then where is the competitive advantage to offering the FareCard as soon as it’s available?

    b

  • By Robert Willis - Buzzer Editor, January 11, 2012 @ 9:42 am

    Hi Ben: Those are good questions. They get 1% commission on the total sales. Also, since some people don’t just buy FareCards when then visit vendors it could be argued that if you can get a FareCard at store X on the 16th and my weekly bag of potato chips, then why go to store Y for those at a later date and possibly not find them? Hopefully selling them at all vendors as of the 20th levels the playing field.

  • By Joe, January 12, 2012 @ 6:33 am

    I was always under the impression that I could only buy it starting from the last 5 days of the month, not starting on the 16th.

  • By Trevor, January 12, 2012 @ 8:03 am

    How does this affect company transit programs? Do they get their monthly cards later now as well? That could be a problem considering the added time it takes to get the cards out to employees. 4 days longer could make the difference between having the cards on the 1st of a month or not.

  • By Michael, January 14, 2012 @ 11:08 am

    I still wonder why no subscription service for monthly FareCards is offered, like it is common almost everywhere e.g. in Europe. Heck, most of the time long time subscriptions (e.g. yearly) are even discounted over buying passes each month.

  • By S. Morris Rose, January 15, 2012 @ 9:55 am

    I don’t like this change, which serves the narrow interests of a few vendors at the expense of the interests of hundreds of thousands of consumers. Here’s a better idea: generate and start shipping the cards four days earlier. Or, as others have proposed, make it possible for consumers to get the cards in the mail.

    Really- isn’t our public transit system designed to serve the *public*? We certainly pay for it. Doesn’t Translink have a consumer advocate in the process who can apply a smell test to policy changes?

    I’m *really* looking forward to the advent of transit cards. Maybe that’s the real agenda here: to make the current system less appealing and the transit card more so in contrast.

  • By Marvin B, January 21, 2012 @ 2:45 pm

    Hey S. Morris Rose…

    When I read this article, I agreed with you in the beginning. However, I now tend to agree with the new schedule. If I’m a store owner of “Marvin’s Store” and I agree to sell transit passes, I’d be pretty choked that if month after month I didn’t have them when people wanted them. I’d want my customers to know I’m dependable for the goods they want. I’d want customers to make my store part of their routine when they need stuff. I’d be choked if the store down the street had the passes, and then in turn sold them before me, becoming engrained in the customers’ minds as the store to go for stuff. When they know I’m dependable, they’ll buy lotto, candy, newspapers, and transit passes from me. I’m sure in your world there are stores you generally skip in favour of others because they usually have the things you want. I know in my neighbourhood I find myself skipping a certain grocery store to drive further because I don’t want to make 2 trips to different stores. See what I mean? I think this is a good idea. And the 20th of the month is plenty of time to get a pass. You still have 10 to 11 days before the next month (February, well you have just more than a week. Still lots of time!)

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