Archive for the ‘funding’ category

TransLink directors don’t get it

November 27, 2009

Surrey Leader


By Frank Bucholtz

Metro directors see no problem with their big pay hike” reads the headline on a story appearing on Black Press Lower Mainland newspaper websites – a story which also appeared in many of those newspapers.

It seems Metro Vancouver directors have no problem taking an additional 25 per cent this year. After all, it’s our money, and they see themselves as deserving of every penny they get.

They may not have a problem with their pay hikes, but many taxpayers do. We are being asked to pay more in property taxes each year – some of which goes to service the bloated Metro political structure.



Flawed analysis props up B.C. public-private partnerships

November 23, 2009

The Straight

By Marvin Shaffer

Many will have heard Premier Gordon Campbell and his cabinet colleagues talk in glowing terms about public-private partnerships (P3s) for major projects like hospitals, highways, bridges, and sewage treatment.

Traditionally, governments borrow money for things like hospitals and bridges. They use that money to pay the private sector to design and build the projects. Once built, the facility or infrastructure is wholly owned, operated, and maintained by government on behalf of the public.

In P3 projects, however, the government typically enters into multi-decade contracts with private corporations to design, build, finance, and operate facilities, whether that be hospitals, toll highways, or sewage treatment systems. Rather than financing and operating these facilities, the government effectively leases them from the private partner, paying for the right to use them over the life of the contracts.


Paul R. Landry: The TransLink tax merry-go-round

November 21, 2009

The Straight

By Paul R. Landry

Newly minted Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure Shirley Bond was quick to rebuff a $450-million ask from the Metro Vancouver Mayors’ Council on Regional Transportation to support TransLink’s latest incarnation of its 10-year transportation plan. Her “no” was made more significant by the fact that the mayors were being supported by business, labour, and environment leaders.

So, it won’t be long before the residents and businesses of Metro Vancouver will be asked to pony up as much as $340 million a year in higher taxes, fees, and fares to fund TransLink’s mandate as our local transportation authority. That’s a whopping 35 percent increase from today’s funding levels—a hike of up to $150 per man, woman, and child in the region.


Denver chooses light rail to airport

November 20, 2009


DENVER – Travelers in the metro area are closer to being able to take light rail to Denver International Airport. The Regional Transportation District (RTD) announced Friday that the environmental approval for the FasTracks project to the airport has been completed.

During Friday’s news conference, leaders from RTD and DIA shared their excitement.


First hydrogen fuel cell bus in Whistler

November 19, 2009

ED. $100 million of taxpayers money wasted.  Time to use the limited transportation funds to actually solve problems, rather than experimenting on hydrogen – a power source rejected worldwide. This just more window dressing for 2010.

Pique Newsmagazine

By Clare Ogilvie

Whistler commuters will see the first hydrogen-powered bus by the end of the week.

It is already in town and undergoing commissioning.

“Everything seems to be going well,” said Joanna Morton, spokesperson for B.C. Transit.

“…In a month or so we will be seeing all 20 (hydrogen-powered buses) up there so we are quite excited.”

It is hoped that those riding the bus will be able to get information about the hydrogen power source and how the bus works, she added.

The ride is expected to be smoother and quieter than regular diesel buses. The only emission is water.

Once the buses arrive in Whistler, they will be kept at the new transit facility currently under construction near Nesters Road, for which the municipality is required to pay half the costs, over a 30-year period.

The $89.5 million hydrogen bus project is being funded with $45 million from the Government of Canada and $44.5 million from the province and B.C. Transit.


Stephen Rees article

Private partner may design, build and finance new TTC projects

November 19, 2009

By Allison Hanes, National Post

Metrolinx and the Toronto Transit Commission are in talks to bring in private partners to design, build and most notably finance the new Finch Avenue light rail line, the overhaul of the Scarborough rapid transit line and possibly the 33-kilometre partially buried Eglinton Crosstown line.

While the TTC often contracts out design and construction work, it would be the first time a major infrastructure project in the city is bankrolled by the private sector and paid for with public dollars on delivery, said John Howe, the vice-president of investment strategies for Metrolinx.


Alternatives to Broadway Corridor SkyTrain

November 16, 2009

Posted by Jake Tobin Garrett


Image by Graham_Ballantyne from the BR Flickr Pool

On October 23, 2009 several mayors voted to increase funding for Translink to $130m in order to keep services running at the same level we are experiencing now (as opposed to a cut back to 1970s levels–ouch). Unfortunately, this plan falls short of the increase in funding Translink needed for expansion, and so expansion has effectively been shelved for the moment.