I just made that up: the TDB (the TransLink Double Bind) is when you’re criticized for doing something, and then, if you change, criticized for not doing it.

Latest example: the Honour System, where passengers are not required to show their tickets or passes when boarding.  SkyTrain was set up on the Honour System when it opened in 1985, and in the last decade or so TransLink was under constant criticism for not having turnstiles or some method of requiring all passengers to show fares.

Well, guess what?

From CP24:

Andy Byford, the Toronto Transit Commission’s CEO, said Friday that he is pushing to institute the honour system on all of the city’s streetcars ahead of schedule to speed up boarding times. …

The honour system where riders don’t have to show their passes to the driver is already in place on the 501 Queen streetcar route and it will be introduced on the 510 Spadina route when the new four-door streetcar rolls out on Aug. 31. Riders paying with cash, tokens or tickets will still have to board in the front, but they will receive a transfer that they can show as proof of payment to fare inspectors. …

Byford recently hired Richard Leary to fill the role of the TTC’s chief service officer. Leary helped implement the honour system in Boston on their Green Line.

Now, at the demand (and with cost-sharing) from the Province, TransLink is installing turnstiles on SkyTrain and pads on buses for the Compass card swipe-in and swipe-out system.  Turnstiles, in particular, will cost way more to install and service than any lost revenues – for which TransLink will be roundly criticized and accused of mismanagement.

The complications and costs of abandoning the Honour System will likely be used as argument not to support the referendum … by some of the people who would be criticizing them if they hadn’t done so.



  1. I see a parallel with the b-line and TTC street cars, but not with skytrain/fare gates (any change to the TTC subway/turnstiles?).

  2. Toronto and Ontario is run by socialists with deep disrespect for tax payers’ money & huge debts, not necessarily a good role model for Vancouver.

  3. Translink Bouble Dind or whether the double bind with be determined?

    And this isn’t really a bind because this intimates that there are options and choices. But the whiners will whine about everything. If Translink didn’t exist, they would whine about what a stupid idiotic bureaucratic waste it was not to have a regional transit agency. This isn’t a bind, it is just part of the human condition.

  4. After 3 months taking metros in china & hongkong, even a station with 10 gates gets delays. People wait til the gates close to tap, and it’s a nightmare. Turnstiles are better than gates because of this. But if you have gates and only put 3 gates at a major station for both directions , (broadway city hall), it’s going to take you forever to line up to come out of the station.
    Such a friendly city like Vancouver doesn’t need turnstiles; but the debate is over, so lets appreciate our honour system while it’s there.

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