Go-Cardgate: Your tax dollars at play

I boarded the bus to find a Transit Security officer standing next to the driver. I showed my bus pass to the driver and was then stopped by the security officer who wanted to see it too. I guess the driver was blind and unable to see my valid bus pass without the officer’s help. I hoped it wasn’t night blindness because the driver needed to drive the bus too.

It soon became apparent (at the next stop actually) why the security officer was there: shake down teens for $0.75.

The adult fare for my bus is $2.50. For students, it is $1.75, but only if you have a Go-Card. All students have them. All students are supposed to carry them. We all know that all students always do what they’re supposed to.

It turns out that the security officer wasn’t just a security officer: apparently he also does research into hormonal conditions that cause 40-year-old women to look 14. His first “bust” wasn’t a day over 15 (a fact that would have been readily apparent to Helen Keller’s corpse) and therefore, unless homeschooled, owned a Go-Card. Think she could produce it though?

The looming rent-a-cop bullied her into giving up the $0.75 her absent Go-Gard said she didn’t have to pay.  The bullying he did for free. Not to mention being a little too free with his hands which almost had me standing up and in his face. After she paid her extra fare and slid away, embarrassed and feeling violated, I locked eyes with the officer.

“You’re a real fucking hero.” He could tell by the look on  my face exactly what would happen if he let it. He said nothing and kept his back to me the entire time.

In the 20 minutes I was on the westbound, West Vancouver bus, the Transit Security officer managed to shake down another $0.75 for a total of $1.50. At $1.50 every 20 minutes, apparently Go-Card gate is costing this bus about $4.50 an hour. What a good thing for taxpayers and transit users that this security officer works for only $4 an hour.

He doesn’t?

Oh, how much does he make?

Really?

“Don’t suppose you have a name or a badge number or something like that?” I asked as I left the bus. I didn’t receive an answer, but the look the driver shot me as I nodded my goodbye let me know that the driver would be saying something to someone.

You can imagine my shock when I got off the bus and saw that there were TWO! And a chase car!  How much money are we losing to these malicious kids and their Go-Card scam?

Who the hell is paying for all this? Students by their very existence as students don’t need to pay the adult price.  Should they have their Go-Cards? Sure. But do we need to pay two security officers and fuel up a single-occupant car (the whole reason people should take the bus instead) to shake down and cop feel from teens for money that they don’t owe?

I figured that saying something at the time would just make it worse for the kids involved. Besides, I kind of felt for the guy. It’s not everyday someone who doesn’t qualify to be a real police officer gets to feel like anything but a bully with self-esteem issues… oh, wait.

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