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Survey eyes TransLink’s fare hike

<p>NDP MLAs Sue Hammell and Bruce Ralston will be at Surrey Central Station today kicking off a three-day petitioning drive to gather feedback from transit users about the recent fare hike.</p>




NDP MLAs Sue Hammell and Bruce Ralston will be at Surrey Central Station today kicking off a three-day petitioning drive to gather feedback from transit users about the recent fare hike.





This comes a day after TransLink released information comparing its fares to those elsewhere in Canada to quiet critics who say our fees are the highest in the country.





The fare increase, which came into effect on Jan. 1, bumped one-zone fares to $2.50 from $2.25, and two- and three-zone fares up 50 cents each to $3.25 and $5 respectively.





TransLink’s release found, among other things, that Montreal and Toronto charge $2.75 and Ottawa $3 for basic one-zone fares, as opposed to Metro Vancouver’s $2.50.





It also found that Montreal and Toronto tickets can only be used in one direction, whereas TransLink tickets are good round-trip.





But Surrey MLA Sue Hammell said the fare increase is making transit unaffordable to those who need it most.





“This is a huge increase, especially on low-income families that have chosen to live in the suburbs because it’s easier on their pocketbooks,” she said.





“This is not only hurting people on lower income but it’s also hurting our environment. If we are in fact serious in reducing emissions, this is a counter intuitive way of doing it.”


 
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