Who Should Pay for Surveillance on Public Transit?

On June 19, safety was highlighted as a priority for OCTranspo as the Transit Commission discussed installing surveillance cameras on new buses (Item 7). It was noted that these surveillance cameras would be financed by increasing transit fares. However it was explained that the surveillance cameras would not necessarily increase ridership. Councillor Wilkinson expressed regret that the money for the surveillance cameras would come from transit users and not from city revenue. Despite this, the item was passed by the Transit Commission with 5 Yays and 3 Nays. Thumbs Down to Councillors Wilkinson, Egli, Deans, and Tierney for approving an increase in fares for an initiative that will not necessarily increase or improve ridership. It is worth nothing that the three Nays were from Commissioners (public citizen members) Ferrabee, Rahn, and Johnson. Only Commissioner Crew voted for the increased fares for surveillance. Initiatives to improve the public transit system should ideally come from city revenue and not from transit users. Ever increasing transit prices is likely to ultimately decrease transit ridership, and in order to have a sustainable city it is necessary to have a cheap and user friendly transit system in place. It would be excellent if Councillors on the Transit Commission acknowledged this fact and acted diligently to deter rising fares in the future.

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