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New legislation introduced to better enforce fare evasion fines, plus a few more items

New legislation introduced to better enforce fare evasion fines, plus a few more items

Buy a ticket to board the system, yo!

Hey! The Province is introducing new legislation today, giving TransLink powers to enforce fares, impose and collect fines, and reduce fare evasion on the transit system.

Here’s a few details from the Province’s backgrounder:

The South Coast British Columbia Transportation Authority Act will be modified to create a mechanism for TransLink to collect fines from unpaid fare evasion tickets. TransLink will be able to keep that money to help pay for the cost of collecting fines.

TransLink can use small claims court and collection agencies to collect unpaid fines as well as these other options:

* Offering discounts for early payment.
* Imposing continually escalating fines and interest over time.
* Filing certificates in Provincial Court to recover the amounts owed.
* Recovering fine amounts from the new Compass Cards.
* Refusing transit service, monthly passes, and transponders until fines
are paid.
* Refusing a drivers’ licence or vehicle registration by ICBC.

In extreme situations of repeat offences and refusal to pay fines, TransLink can request the Province to reduce a provincial payment to an individual, such as a provincial tax refund.

The new legislation also includes a few more things:

  • two more seats on the board of directors for the chair and vice-chair of the Mayors’ Council,
  • periodic performance audits of TransLink
  • and adding the director of Electoral Area A to the Mayors’ Council (that’s an area in Metro Vancouver including several unincorporated communities)

For more, check out the Province’s full press release and backgrounder on their website.

We’ve also got a number of past posts about fare evasion you can check out:

And of course, ask questions below: we’ll help you out with as many answers as we can.

And by the way: yes, I’m back! Be patient while I get back into the swing of things though :)

Update (May 11, 2012): How to pay your fine online

Just wanted to add that the Transit Police are hearing from lots of people lately, asking how to clear up their fines before the legislation passes. So here’s some info on how to do that, direct from the police:

Information for paying outstanding violation tickets is located on the back of the ticket. However, if a customer is no longer in possession of a ticket, but is aware of one that is outstanding, they can contact ICBC at 1-800-950-1498 or visit their website at http://www.icbc.com/driver-licensing/tickets/paying-disputing/paying-violation for payment information, or visit a drivers license issuing office.

Update (June 4, 2012): The bill has passed

Just an update to say the bill has officially passed, and the legislation is now official B.C. law.

However, TransLink still has to pass its own internal fare collection bylaws in order to collect fines and hash out the practical day-to-day implementation of the law.

Here’s another clarifying note from our communications team:

Fares are being enforced today. Transit Police continue to check for fare compliance and issue tickets.

The legislation now gives TransLink new authority to collect fines, which has to be enacted by a bylaw.

All tickets, past and present, are provincial offenses. The minister has indicated that fine collection will be retroactive, so any outstanding fines before that bylaw still require payment.

You can also check out the full text of the bill on the Province’s website here.