Monday, May 07, 2007


Oldtown News
Vancouver, BC

Public Citizens Increasingly at Risk

Today, on, there is a report that a passenger who refused to pay the fare, when denied service, chose to spit on the driver. It has been alleged that the driver spat back.

As an avid user of public transit, I have witnessed on numerous occasions, a number of individuals, most of whom appear unbalanced or high on drugs, expressing how they are entitled to ride for free. Equally at many train stations, I'm certain other transit riders like myself, are often subjected to continuous transfers for sale.

While I have empathy and compassion for those who are drug addicted, my concern though is how these individuals more and more are expressing their culture of entitlement. I am not referring here to those who must get to necessary appointments or perhaps run other important errands.

I just wish Translink would address this issue since when I'm on the bus, and some crazed out idiot is creating a fuss, I feel all passengers, including the driver are put at risk. Today's action is an example of how dangerous and unruly, riding a bus can be. When a driver refuses free passage to those seeking it, without doubt, an ensuing scuffle breaks out. It often ties up the bus as the driver calls for backup and all law abiding passengers are inconvenienced as we wait out the disruption.

Many lawful citizens who mind their own business are increasingly subjected to escalating acts of random violence as a certain segment of the urban population, namely the drug subculture, senselessly, are criminally acting out. In the past few weeks, a number of female transit passengers when disembarking or accessing our train stations have been attacked.

Drug users, with their culture of entitlement beliefs need to get their act together. Society does not owe you. If you choose to behave in ways which put other law abiding citizens at risk, then don't expect public sympathy when it comes time to addressing matters regarding drug addiction. Citizens are getting fed up and while nobody wants to strip away any of your civil liberties, however, if you cannot behave in an appropriate way within the norms of acceptable community safety standards, then don't any longer expect a free ride.

Enough is enough.

Jamie Lee Hamilton