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Old 11-13-2012, 08:30 AM   #126
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It's okay guys. Translink will just add another tax to our gas now.
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Old 11-13-2012, 02:30 PM   #127
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They're increasing fares again.



Jesus, $170 for a 3-zone month pass. That's 2 grand if you need one for a year!!
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Old 11-13-2012, 02:40 PM   #128
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Why are we still using zones when we have faregates installed and are set to go online?

*Edit:
Just read they will be operational in the fall of 2013.
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Old 11-13-2012, 02:44 PM   #129
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They'll spend $20 million doing overseas studies and focus groups and computer simulations based on cities completely irrelevant to ours, and then change it 10 years later, all the while complaining about lack of money. /s
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Old 11-13-2012, 02:46 PM   #130
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Why are we still using zones when we have faregates installed and are set to go online?

*Edit:
Just read they will be operational in the fall of 2013.
Because they're not online yet, and because it's going to take at least a year of use for Translink to get the appropriate data to figure out how much to charge and in what manner.

Are they going to charge a 'get on the bus/into the station' fee + stops? What if I take the #9 down Broadway instead of the 99--the 9 makes a million more stops than the 99, so does that mean it'll be more expensive? Or are they going to charge differently for express busses? From my place, I have three choices to get to metrotown:

>129 metrotown
>130 metrotown
>millenium line from Holdom to Metro

Will those three be charged equally as they are now? Or are they going to start charging distance, so people will take less-convenient busses that travel shorter routes? Will they charge more or less for the skytrain?


Until Translink has enough trip data to make sure they can
A) Adequately decide how to charge for routes
B) Ensure that they are treating people "fairly" (whatever that means)
C) Make sure that they don't lose money when they change the rates
C2) Make sure that they don't gouge people who need the system so that it's unaffordable and needs more subsidies.



When it comes down to it, Transit is not something that goes away. It's not something that will just magically become solved. If transit becomes too expensive for the people at the bottom who need it, they'll stop taking it and it'll start losing more money, requiring more subsidies. It's kind of a question of equilibrium, not even of turning a profit--more about ensuring a minimum of losses.
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Old 11-13-2012, 03:47 PM   #131
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They'll spend $20 million doing overseas studies and focus groups and computer simulations based on cities completely irrelevant to ours, and then change it 10 years later, all the while complaining about lack of money. /s
So your solution is for Translink to be make decisions in a vacuum?

People complain that Crown corps and governments aren't responsive to their needs. You need money to run consultations - they don't just happen in someone's basement, nor are tools like SurveyMonkey going to fully reflect user needs.
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Old 11-13-2012, 04:40 PM   #132
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translink should take cue from icbc and get rid of 258 people for 29 million in savings...lol...
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Old 11-13-2012, 04:41 PM   #133
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translink should take cue from icbc and get rid of 258 people for 29 million in savings...lol...
Sadly(?), Translink isn't that inefficient
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Old 11-13-2012, 04:57 PM   #134
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So your solution is for Translink to be make decisions in a vacuum?

People complain that Crown corps and governments aren't responsive to their needs. You need money to run consultations - they don't just happen in someone's basement, nor are tools like SurveyMonkey going to fully reflect user needs.
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IMO, if Translink had made rational decisions and PROPERLY and EFFECTIVELY used their resources, we/they wouldn't be in this mess.

I fully understand they don't happen in someone's basement; but the majority of people seem to think they spend penthouse amounts of money, and still come up with decisions and plans that are no better than if they were made in someone's basement.
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Old 11-13-2012, 05:24 PM   #135
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$4.00 for two zones!?

Great car buying incentive, I'll never take transit again unless I absolutely need to.
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Old 11-13-2012, 05:45 PM   #136
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IMO, if Translink had made rational decisions and PROPERLY and EFFECTIVELY used their resources, we/they wouldn't be in this mess.

I fully understand they don't happen in someone's basement; but the majority of people seem to think they spend penthouse amounts of money, and still come up with decisions and plans that are no better than if they were made in someone's basement.
Translink seems to use its resources pretty efficiently, and they've been consistently seeking out and eliminating inefficiencies for years.

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They're increasing fares again.

Jesus, $170 for a 3-zone month pass. That's 2 grand if you need one for a year!!
Fares haven't been raised in five years, an adjustment is appropriate after that length of time.

$2000 is expensive, but still significantly less than one would pay to drive.
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Old 11-13-2012, 05:49 PM   #137
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IMO, if Translink had made rational decisions and PROPERLY and EFFECTIVELY used their resources, we/they wouldn't be in this mess.

I fully understand they don't happen in someone's basement; but the majority of people seem to think they spend penthouse amounts of money, and still come up with decisions and plans that are no better than if they were made in someone's basement.
So how could they have properly and effectively used their resources?

The two most common arguments I hear are:
> I'd take transit more if busses didn't come every fucking <percieved unreasonable time>
> If they don't have fucking full busses, then don't send them so often? Why don't they just cut service!?


The GVRD is not like other cities. Metro Vancouver (which Translink is responsible for) is spread out over 2800 square kilometres, and yet only has 2.3 million people. Cars are great in areas where density is low. Public transportation is amazing where density is high. The GVRD is full of a shitload of shotgunning of areas; transportation hubs are where density is, and if you don't live in a dense area (read: where prices are low and things are usually not walking/bussing distance) then transit will suck because nobody fucking lives there.

The solution? Increase the population density. The city of vancouver has started more proposals to get density up, by identifying core transit lines and adding new zoning along them and within a couple blocks of those hubs. Burnaby has started rezoning huge swaths of main streets (Hastings all along the Burnaby Heights near where I live has been completely rezoned to the new-again-trendy retail main floor townhouses above, acknowledging the prices of housing and the necessity of these things.

For the next 20-30 years, it will probably suck to live across any bridges from Van/Burnaby/New West from a transit standpoint. As more people move across the bridges, there will be more need and demand for transit.

Transit, much like healthcare, is a necessary public service. Poor people need to get places too. I would love to see where you can pay for a car, insurance, gas, maintenance and sometimes parking, all for $1836 ( (12*170)*0.9). If you can do that, you would solve a fuckton of peoples' transportation needs. Until then, people who cannot afford cars will continue to take transit which will continue to be subsidized. And it will always be subsidized until and unless density increases along with ridership.


Also, TBH, I'd quite like it if they would separate the transit and the road repairs sections of Translink even though it would create another group of executives. I think it kind of muddies the water on how much public transit costs, since most people associate "translink" with busses and not roadworks.
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Old 11-13-2012, 08:57 PM   #138
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Just saw on the news last night that translink is not ready for the new $20 bill polymer , and the fare machine doesnt accept. So the translink guy was interviewed by global and says they knew the machine wouldnt accept and had to wait to contract out to another company to reprogram them. Think they said the cost would be $17,000 or so.

So now transit passengers are upset that they cant buy fares to ride so they ride for free, risking the chance of getting caught w/o tickets (getting caught by transit police) and also translink losing money again!! Global interviewed these passengers and say they dont have exact change sometimes and its hard to get exact amount sometimes especially when buses dont give out change.

Why cant translink do what Hong Kong does with octopus cards? Charge an initial deposit for the card itself (example: $50) then reload cash (whether new/old bills) to a cashier booth, operated by a human (translink official), and with those faregates installed and working, just scan or beep through and wherever your destination is, delete the necessary cost from the card (or implement our zone program). Also add more transit police, where the city can hire new police officers (rookies or not as experienced field officers) to stand by at each station. Example, 2 or 3 officers at joyce station and another 2 at nainamo station and once in a while, one officer can ride the train checking for fare invaders then stop at next station and another one rides back and switches job position. These officers can be present to make public aware and protect safety and if something happens like gunshot or crime, then they can still respond quicker and if worse emergencies arise, they can radio in the more experienced field officers (patrol cars etc.) Few ppl I've talk to say training to become officers are challenging and as to where they will be stationed with what dept is a long wait so why not have the newer ones work at transit stations to gain experience, and add one or two more experienced officers as leaders or superior.
In the future, when you dont need your card, return it back to any booth and receive your initial deposit back (providing card is in good condition.)

Even though I am a vancouverite, when travelling to HK, their system is really functional. Their designs from underground tunnels from/to shopping malls and outdoor entances/exit are amazingly easy.
Everyone uses the faregates (that I've seen) and theres always train station officials on standby in booths or just circulating the area.
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Old 11-13-2012, 09:07 PM   #139
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Think these rates are bad? Wait till the fare gates open up! Someone who lives in Surrey and works Downtown will pay substantially, especially if they usually go richmond after work for fun! I remember when I was in hk, my $100 octopus card went down like mad! I was touring the city though, looks like Vancouver is about to get more expensive... Green lanes from Langley to Vancouver anyone?
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Old 11-13-2012, 09:16 PM   #140
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Just saw on the news last night that translink is not ready for the new $20 bill polymer , and the fare machine doesnt accept. So the translink guy was interviewed by global and says they knew the machine wouldnt accept and had to wait to contract out to another company to reprogram them. Think they said the cost would be $17,000 or so.
Yep. And the reprogramming is supposed to happen by the end of either this week or next week. Firmware update.

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So now transit passengers are upset that they cant buy fares to ride so they ride for free, risking the chance of getting caught w/o tickets (getting caught by transit police) and also translink losing money again!! Global interviewed these passengers and say they dont have exact change sometimes and its hard to get exact amount sometimes especially when buses dont give out change.
Buses have never given out change, so anyone who's on the way to a bus stop complaining about that and saying they need to get a free ride because of it or they can't take the bus because of it is bullshitting. That having been said, NY uses a similar system for their transit system (their tickets seem to be identical), and they can give change. My guess? The change-giving boxes are more expensive and harder to maintain and translink *gasp* wants to try and save money.
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Why cant translink do what Hong Kong does with octopus cards? Charge an initial deposit for the card itself (example: $50) then reload cash (whether new/old bills) to a cashier booth, operated by a human (translink official), and with those faregates installed and working, just scan or beep through and wherever your destination is, delete the necessary cost from the card (or implement our zone program). Also add more transit police, where the city can hire new police officers (rookies or not as experienced field officers) to stand by at each station. Example, 2 or 3 officers at joyce station and another 2 at nainamo station and once in a while, one officer can ride the train checking for fare invaders then stop at next station and another one rides back and switches job position. These officers can be present to make public aware and protect safety and if something happens like gunshot or crime, then they can still respond quicker and if worse emergencies arise, they can radio in the more experienced field officers (patrol cars etc.) Few ppl I've talk to say training to become officers are challenging and as to where they will be stationed with what dept is a long wait so why not have the newer ones work at transit stations to gain experience, and add one or two more experienced officers as leaders or superior.
In the future, when you dont need your card, return it back to any booth and receive your initial deposit back (providing card is in good condition.)
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The faregates are being put in place exactly so that you will soon be able to have a card (the contest was two years ago for naming it, how can you not be aware of it by now if not willfully?) called the Compass card where it will function exactly like the Octopus, or the Oyster or the Tpass, or the whateverthefuckyouwannacallyourgoddamnedtransponde rcard.

As far as having real people being cashiers? Cost of labour is way higher here than in HK (which seems to be where your experience is coming from); given that Translink is union you'd be looking at paying a person $17+/hr to sit and recharge cards at each station. Some stations which have more than one entrance (by your logic) would need more than one cashier. Commercial? That's...four cashiers IIRC. I'm pretty sure that paying $70/hr in labour for people to be cashiers is much more expensive than having that $17k upgrade. Actually, It is. I just did the math and it would take 30 days of 8 hour shifts to add up to 17k, just at commercial assuming 4 people. If we had people there from open to close, you're looking at less than two weeks to add up to $17k.

As far as transit police...there's a big problem with your logic. You say 'the city' should hire cops and also send them through transit. Well, if the cities wanted to have the skytrain stations patrolled or manned, they could. There's nothing stopping them now from doing it. But given the fact that for the most part police stations are so understaffed that they can only respond to calls, it's unlikely 'the city' will do so. Also remember, Metro Vancouver doesn't have a unified police force; RCMP, VPD, WVPD...am I missing any?

Now, if you're referring to translink cops and farechecking security, I think you're probably right--my guess is that each station will be manned to make sure people aren't just hopping over the waist-high faregates. But that having been said, it's not just the skytrains people skip fares on. Ever been on one of those double-busses? The 135, the 99, the 44, and probably some others I can't think of at the moment. When there's a fuckton of people getting on and the driver has to focus on giving everyone their transfers, a lot of people sneak on the back. Or they ask for one zone and go past the boundaries. So the cops/farecheckers will have to be on the busses too.



Some of what you suggest is not unreasonable, but a lot of it is ideas that are infeasable, unreasonable, logistically unsound, or impractical. And have been answered before in this thread or others.

[/rant]


Anyone noticed I'm just a wee bit pro-transit?
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Old 11-13-2012, 09:33 PM   #141
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Time to privatize this puppy, how many more years of ridiculous losses funded by taxpayers do we need?

It's not even a good system here, and those that say it is hasn't travelled
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Old 11-13-2012, 09:38 PM   #142
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privatization doesn't guarantee better service or lower prices. Just look at bcferries. The only thing you can be sure of is that the execs will make sure that they are compensated at ridiculous levels.

What needs to happen is that the execs need to be held accountable for all their decisions and should be paid according to performance against real targets.
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Old 11-13-2012, 09:49 PM   #143
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Why does everyone compare Translink to the MTR? They are completely different. MTR Corp style is probably the last thing you guys want in Vancouver unless you want even more expensive real estate prices.
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Old 11-13-2012, 09:57 PM   #144
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Why does everyone compare Translink to the MTR? They are completely different. MTR Corp style is probably the last thing you guys want in Vancouver unless you want even more expensive real estate prices.
People compare what they know. People also tend to base their comparisons on personal experience. Not a lot of people here on RS have to really worry about money. I mean, yeah, lots of people have "money problems", but the fact that this site is car-centric indicates a certain standard of living (generally speaking--obviously there are exceptions).

Most people who have the choice between car and transit would choose cars--fuck, I know I'd choose to drive everywhere. But I can't. Transit cuts costs for me. Sure, when I commute from my place in North Burnaby to West Van, it takes more than an hour. And it takes less than half an hour if I drive. But the costs of owning a car make it not worth it, generally speaking. And there are lots of other people out there who are in a similar situation.

What about single parents? Underemployed people? People who've just overspent on a house and are deciding what they can and can't live without? People who are working minimum wage jobs not because they want to but because they have to? The list goes on. Sure, the experience isn't perfect, but it works.


Oh, and for those of you who insist on comparing the GVRD to Hong Kong (which is a recurring thread): HK has population density eight times greater than Vancouver (6480/km^2 vs 802/km^2). New York, again a popular competitor, has thirteen times the density (10,518/km^2).

Vancouver is big. Vancouver is empty. Vancouver is a transit planner's nightmare. DESPITE ALL THOSE THINGS, Translink still manages to end up far from the bottom of the efficiency pile when it comes to transit authorities.
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Old 11-13-2012, 10:04 PM   #145
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$4.00 for two zones!?

Great car buying incentive, I'll never take transit again unless I absolutely need to.
If you take transit regularly, there should be NO reason for you to pay full price for your fare. the faresaver books gets you 10 trips for $3.15 each journey.

I'm not going to be surprised if they turn out to be like London. Where cash prices are more than double the oyster card prices. There - only the tourists who know nothing pay the cash price. Everyone else will pay the discounted price.
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Old 11-13-2012, 10:13 PM   #146
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Time to privatize this puppy, how many more years of ridiculous losses funded by taxpayers do we need?

It's not even a good system here, and those that say it is hasn't travelled
Privatize the system because of the bus drivers earning $100k+, right?

It's a very good system compared to many comparable cities, and yes, I've traveled.
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Old 11-13-2012, 10:29 PM   #147
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Translink seems to use its resources pretty efficiently, and they've been consistently seeking out and eliminating inefficiencies for years.

Fares haven't been raised in five years, an adjustment is appropriate after that length of time.

$2000 is expensive, but still significantly less than one would pay to drive.
See, that's the thing. even if Translink is doing the best possible job with what it has available, in the public's eye, it's doing a terrible job. And the level of negative opinions about Translink aren't unjustified. They're trying hard, I agree, but they are intent on eliminating each problem as it arises, rather than thinking ahead and making decisions that will last down the road. The mess we are in proves this point.

Again, yes, 5 years is a good point. But everyone will think "they are raising prices again??" Go to cbc and look at the comments.

$2000 is expensive any way you put it. No public transit should cost an individual $2000 a year. It's significantly cheaper, but exponentially more inconvenient. Factor in if you have a family, etc, and it's not so cheaper anymore.


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So how could they have properly and effectively used their resources?

The two most common arguments I hear are:
> I'd take transit more if busses didn't come every fucking <percieved unreasonable time>
> If they don't have fucking full busses, then don't send them so often? Why don't they just cut service!?


The GVRD is not like other cities. Metro Vancouver (which Translink is responsible for) is spread out over 2800 square kilometres, and yet only has 2.3 million people. Cars are great in areas where density is low. Public transportation is amazing where density is high. The GVRD is full of a shitload of shotgunning of areas; transportation hubs are where density is, and if you don't live in a dense area (read: where prices are low and things are usually not walking/bussing distance) then transit will suck because nobody fucking lives there.

The solution? Increase the population density. The city of vancouver has started more proposals to get density up, by identifying core transit lines and adding new zoning along them and within a couple blocks of those hubs. Burnaby has started rezoning huge swaths of main streets (Hastings all along the Burnaby Heights near where I live has been completely rezoned to the new-again-trendy retail main floor townhouses above, acknowledging the prices of housing and the necessity of these things.

For the next 20-30 years, it will probably suck to live across any bridges from Van/Burnaby/New West from a transit standpoint. As more people move across the bridges, there will be more need and demand for transit.

Transit, much like healthcare, is a necessary public service. Poor people need to get places too. I would love to see where you can pay for a car, insurance, gas, maintenance and sometimes parking, all for $1836 ( (12*170)*0.9). If you can do that, you would solve a fuckton of peoples' transportation needs. Until then, people who cannot afford cars will continue to take transit which will continue to be subsidized. And it will always be subsidized until and unless density increases along with ridership.


Also, TBH, I'd quite like it if they would separate the transit and the road repairs sections of Translink even though it would create another group of executives. I think it kind of muddies the water on how much public transit costs, since most people associate "translink" with busses and not roadworks.
Your argument makes sense, but the population density part is a bit shaky. The "outer" regions of the GVRD, maple ridge, delta, white rock, etc. already have shitty transit service. They're not the ones complaining of buses being full. Population density is already high enough in most of the GVRD. Sure, it's not like HK or the larger Asian cities, but there are still a lot of people.

All I wonder is why it's so bloody hard to run a crown corporation properly, and maintain a positive image in the public's eyes. That's all this is about IMO. People have lost faith in such corporations (BCF, Translink, etc) that it no longer matters what they do, it'll always be perceived as terrible.
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Old 11-13-2012, 10:42 PM   #148
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it is hard to run a crown corp because the gov't likes to pull you in a thousand different directions all at the same time. sometimes you wonder if the crown corps are there to serve the government (and their party supporters) or the public.
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Old 11-13-2012, 10:54 PM   #149
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$2000 is expensive any way you put it. No public transit should cost an individual $2000 a year. It's significantly cheaper, but exponentially more inconvenient. Factor in if you have a family, etc, and it's not so cheaper anymore.
You haul your entire family to and from work with you every day?
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Old 11-13-2012, 10:57 PM   #150
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The problem isn't necessarily running a crown corp properly, it's that crown corporations are (generally speaking) money-losing enterprises which would cost individuals more money if they didn't exist. The reason they're run by the government is because it's the least-inefficient way of making everyone pay for a common benefit.

It's extremely rare to see a government compete and win in a competitive market in a profitable industry. However, no company wants to lose money. Governments are there to serve the people (their shareholders, if you will), while corporations are there to serve their corporate shareholders. If a venture won't make money, corporations can just say "no, we're cool. We'll sit this one out." Governments can't do the same.

It's like the argument about public vs private schools; private schools will always seem better...but that's because they can choose what students they accept, offer the students newer and better textbooks, and take get them taking (more/any) extracurricular activites...because there are more resources. Public schools, however, must take anyone and everyone.

Crown corporations can't compete against the private sector for profits, and the private sector won't compete against the crown where there's money to be lost.
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