According to Adrian MacNair’s article, “Jackson slams TransLink transfer change” (The Leader, Aug. 29), the cost of the fare gates along SkyTrain routes is $170 million.
The article stated that TransLink may be losing $7 million a year due to fare evasion. Even if you assume the fare evasion problem is eliminated due to the new fare gates (a big assumption), it would take 24 years for TransLink to recover the cost of the capital project.
The above figure assumes that there is no cost for money, which is unrealistic. The money invested in the project is undoubtedly borrowed by the different levels of government. Assuming a four per cent interest rate, the discounted payback period is nearly 91 years, a relatively long time to recover the cost of installing the new fare gates.