Archive for the ‘Provincial government’ category

Cambie-area businesses to seek damages

November 21, 2009

The Province

Members of the Cambie Village Business Association have voted to proceed with their lawsuit against TransLink for damages caused by construction of the $2-billion Canada Line rapid-transit project.

Members of the Cambie Village Business Association have voted to proceed with their lawsuit against TransLink for damages caused by construction of the $2-billion Canada Line rapid-transit project.

Because of the complexity of the case, theater owner Leonard Schein of the association said a decision was made to go with two law firms, Arvay Finlay and Hordo and Bennett.

There was “overwhelming support,” to proceed, said Schein.

Damages being sought are in excess of $20 million.

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.

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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.

RELATED:

Stephen Rees article

Canada Line to lose millions each year despite strong ridership

November 15, 2009

Rail for the Valley

By zweisystem

Another TransLink Bambozzle

From the “Tip of the Iceberg Department”; the RAV/Canada Line is going to cost TransLink money but until the BC Auditor General has a go at TransLink, SkyTrain and RAV, the public will never know the true costs of the new subway or of TransLink’s metro operation.

The $14 million to $21 million shortfall mentioned is just on the $300 million or so P-3 part of the project and TransLink’s portion of the metro and does not include the annual debt servicing costs of the over $1 billion in senior government money invested in the subway. If TransLink’s appeal of Susan Heyes lawsuit fails and hundred of other affected merchants sue, TransLink’s shortfall for the RAV/Canada Line will increase dramatically.

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NYC subway proves boon to the city and environment

November 15, 2009

ED. In Vancouver the car is king and government builds even more roads to encourage auto use.  New York, on the other hand, is so advanced in its public transportation system that we should be modeling ours on this American city, rather than having big business tell us what we should build.

EMIRATES BUSINESS

More than half of the households in New York do not own a car and up to 75 per cent of the population of Manhattan is without four-wheeled transport, thanks to the city’s mass rapid transit system and their extensive network of public transport.

Due to the New York City Subway, one of the few 24-hour metro services of the world, and the fact that New Yorkers use the public transport very extensively, it is one of the most energy-efficient cities in the US.

One in every three mass transit users in the US, or 4.9 million people a day, use the New York City Subway, which is the largest subway system in the world, measured by track mileage. It has grown from 28 stations when it was founded in October of 1904 to 462 stations at present.

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Call to consider fare-hike impact on ferry users overdue

November 12, 2009

By Jack Knox, Times Colonist

Forget for a moment whether David Hahn makes a million bucks or gets paid in day-old Triple-O burgers.

Regardless of whether he and other B.C. Ferries brass are overpaid, their collective compensation packages barely dent the corporation’s $750-million annual operating budget.

No, the most intriguing part in the provincial comptroller general’s report this week was the bit that says the impact on ferry users should be considered when fares are set.

Which is what Islanders groaning under the weight of a series of hefty fare increases have been arguing for six years. Too bad that’s like saying “I told you so” to the engineers who swore the Titanic was unsinkable. Nice to be right. Sucks to be drowning.

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“Major Translink Reform Needed” Part 2

November 10, 2009

Stephen Rees Blog

This post is intended to be a more thorough analysis of the Comptroller General’s recent report on Translink.   I know that she also looked at BC Ferries but that is not going to be part of this post, although I think it is interesting to note that the two corporations are treated rather differently. (Anyway The Tyee has already done a good piece on that.) My first go round was an admitted fast response.

The report has something very important to say about governance, and it is not complimentary to the provincial government. After all, it is only eighteen months since the new structure was imposed on what had been a regionally controlled body. That reorganisation was not well thought out and was based more on political spite than the public interest, and what we are seeing now are those chickens coming home to roost.

> FULL STORY

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