In response to Robertson’s loonie lapse in The Province (Nov 4th) regarding Gregor Robertson (Vision Vancouver candidate for mayor) getting shook down for a wrong-zoned transit ticket:
Robertson was an NDP MLA in 2007 when he was caught riding two SkyTrain zones on a one-zone fare.
The avid cyclist told the transit police at the time it was an honest mistake, and one he rectified immediately by paying the extra dollar. He was still issued a $173 fine.
Robertson says he was going to use his Dec. 4 hearing on the ticket to argue the fine was grossly disproportionate to the offence.
He’s right, it’s an absurd fine for a negligible offense. The excessive force used by the Skytrain police thugs is much more shocking then a failure to pony up a loonie on the horrendously overpriced and under-served transit system. Henry David Thoreau resisted taxes on principal to make a point and ended up influencing cataclysmic change in the world with his acts of non-violent civil disobedience (see: Gandhi, Martin Luther King Jr.). Overstatement? Sure but i feel we have a stronger obligation to resist absurd laws and dranconian punishments than we do to capitulate to regulations which are not in the public’s best interest. PS More Buses Now! and transit should be free or cheap – and if you don’t use the transit system, try it – you’ll learn it is expensive, and often confusing (especially for out of towners), inconvenient (especially in the ‘burbs) and uncomfortable (especially during rush hour). Mass transit is a huge part of making an urban centre livable and needs real support, not more cops and fines.