09/07/2012 03:28 EDT | Updated 11/07/2012 05:12 EST

Translink Ticket Loophole: Free Ride On Metro Vancouver Transit Finished After Oversight Fixed

VICTORIA - The free ride is over for Metro Vancouver fare evaders now that the B.C. government has closed a loophole that allowed people to avoid paying a fine.

Transportation Minister Mary Polak says the government made a mistake in overlooking a bylaw that let riders get away without a penalty just by refusing to show identification to transit police checking for fares.

Polak says the toughened bylaw will be in place in about a week and means that anyone who doesn't show identification will be fined.

The issue came up after transit officers revealed that a new fare collection bylaw allowed people to walk away without being issued a ticket if they didn't show identification.

Bob Paddon of TransLink has said the agency worked with the province to fix the problem and allow fines to be collected.

Ads at transit stations warn riders that anyone without a valid ticket risks paying a $173 fine. (The Canadian Press, CKNW)