Archive for the ‘Translink’ category

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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News Bites for Nov. 20.09

November 20, 2009

TransLink has cancelled its plan for a bus to connect south Langley to White Rock and the Township council isn’t happy about it.

Only a fraction of the motorists using the Golden Ears bridge,
eight per cent, are taking advantage of the bargain-basement transponder rate of $2.75 per crossing. The vast majority of bridge users, 87 per cent, are paying premium prices, the top rate of $3.90 charged on vehicles that don’t have transponders.

A new director has been picked to serve on TransLink’s board.
W. John Dawson, a retired partner with accounting firm PricewaterhouseCoopers, was appointed to a three-year term by the regional mayors’ council. Dawson, an audit specialist, had for years advised Crown corporations including BC Rail and ICBC and had been vice-chair of the B.C. Financial Institutions Commission.

Alternatives to Broadway Corridor SkyTrain

November 16, 2009

beyondrobson.com

Posted by Jake Tobin Garrett

Nov15Skytraintunnel.jpg

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.

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A real bus shelter looks like this:

November 15, 2009

Dear TransLink

To start, here’s a drawing of one that does it’s job, since we know you have never seen one since you let the advertising company dictate what kind of shelters we get. Please take a customer POV and build real bus shelters that protect from rain and wind. This is the type of shelter we should get for all the billions we give you.

bus shelter

bus shelter2

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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TransLink is on a track to financial disaster

November 13, 2009

Vancouver Sun

B.C.’s comptroller-general turned up few surprises in her investigation into the operation of TransLink and BC Ferries.

TransLink  is on a track to financial disaster. It has a $130-million deficit and a dysfunctional management structure that was little improved by the reorganization imposed by the provincial government two years ago.

Cheryl Wenezenki-Yolland’s appraisal of TransLink closely mirrors many of the findings of Martin Crilly, who in his guise as regional transportation commissioner also urged major changes.

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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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