BC Transit passengers in Port Edward and Prince Rupert will find themselves on equal footing in the future as the company recommended making the systems more compatible when it comes to fares.
“The reason we are doing this is to make sure both the user-friendly nature of the system is upheld and the safety of the drivers is upheld. When there is inconsistency in pricing, usually that causes conflict between the passenger and the driver. What we’re trying to accomplish with our fare structures is simplicity,” said BC Transit revenue manager Doug Strobl at a recent Port Edward council meeting.
“It is way more important to be aligned than it is to try and have a distinct system. We wrestled with this a bit and looked at what our best option is and the best option is alignment so that it is easier both for the passenger and the driver,” added senior regional transit manager Gina Curran.
Aligning the two fares means no change for Port Edward residents who pay cash, with each trip costing $2 for adults and $1.50 for seniors and students. Strobl noted this is the most common means of passenger payment.
“Presently for Route 60 – Port Edward, cash represents 86 per cent of the total revenue collected and 80 per cent of the total ridership. So a vast majority of your consumers that use the service pay with cash, which means there would be no impact on the people that use the service,” he said.
While a book of tickets for adults will remain $18, senior and student tickets will rise from $12.50 to $13.50. All monthly passes will rise in Port Edward, with adult/college student passes increasing from $42 to $48 and senior and student passes increasing from $31 to $40. The annual senior pass will be increasing from $15 to $24 to match Prince Rupert’s fares, which doubled from the previous $12.
The changes will also introduce day passes to the Port Edward transit system, priced at $4 for adults and $3.75 for students and seniors. Strobl said adding this new option just makes sense.
“A day pass from a strategic standpoint, a customer service standpoint and a driver standpoint is a very advantageous product because a person can ride all day on that one pass. One of the benefits is the driver doesn’t have to issue transfers or do any validation because the passes are easily recognizable as being for that day and it is priced extremely well,” he said.
“We are trying to find the best fare system to make the Port Edward system and the Prince Rupert system work as one so users can find pricing matches and drivers have an easier time validating passes and collecting revenue on behalf of the local government.”