Posted tagged ‘Canadian Taxpayers Federation’

– TransLink is an inefficient organization

August 12, 2009

Vancouver Sun

Airline fares have dropped dramatically in recent years, but transit fares continue to climb

By Maureen Bader, British Columbia director of the Canadian Taxpayers Federation.

Ever wondered why airline fares have fallen dramatically over the past few decades but public transit fares have gone nowhere but up? It’s because the airline industry has gone through dramatic reforms while public transit providers, such as the Lower Mainland’s TransLink, have not. Until TransLink is reformed, transit riders and taxpayers can expect to continue to pay more for less.

For TransLink, between 2005 and 2008 productivity has declined, as the cost to transport one passenger one kilometer increased by 19.1 per cent. TransLink’s own 10-year plan shows operating expenses and debt servicing cost will rise by 20 per cent between 2009 and 2011 alone, while ridership is estimated to increase by only 2.3 per cent per year to 2012 and 1.5 per cent annually thereafter.There is no indication that TransLink’s share of Lower Mainland trips will increase beyond its historic share of approximately 11 per cent.

Reader’s Comment

TransLink is inefficient because the transit model it uses is inefficient. The bus and metro (SkyTrain & RAV/Canada line) model used by TransLink is circa 1950 and has been largely discredited. Metro is generally too expensive to build & operate and is poor in attracting ridership; buses are just poor in attracting ridership.

European transit planners discovered this in the 1970’s and moved away from hugely expensive metro systems to updated tram or streetcar systems (know as light rail or LRT) which both serves where people live and where they want to go.

Modern light rail is the transit mode for the 21st century and until TransLink’s planners and board of amateurs understand this, the organization will be forever inefficient and costly to run. Costly to run translates into higher taxes.

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