Posted tagged ‘Stephen Rees’

Regional Transportation Commissioner Reports on TransLink’s 2010 Ten-Year Plan

September 7, 2009

Stephen Rees’s blog

I must admit that it had slipped my mind that Martin Crilly, who is the Ferry Commissioner, was also appointed Translink Commissioner as well. That is until Jim Goddard of News 1130 called me and asked for comments on Martin’s latest report. Of course, I had not read even the press release (not being aware of it) let alone the report itself.

While the Commissioner refers to himself as a regulator, his role is in reality somewhat limited, but he does get to rule on fare increases – so the key point in this report is that when he reviewed the Ten Year Plan “approval is warranted for only the first of TransLink’s four proposed fare increases” – but that is just a preliminary finding.

The
 Commissioner
 observes 
that, 
unless 
the
 Mayors’
 Council approves 
one
 of
 two
 “supplement”
 options 
involving
some
 higher 
taxes
 and
 fares,
 there 
will 
be
 drastic
 cuts
 in
 transit
 service.

 This
 is 
not
 recommended,
 unless
 keeping
 tax 
increases
 of 
any 
kind 
(including
 gas
 taxes)
 to
 the 
absolute
 minimum
 is 
the 
overriding
 consideration.

Well, that’s alright then. The Commissioner is not the one who makes that decision. The provincial government has set things up so the Mayors carry the can, even though the legislation is what creates the real problem.That, and the lack of support from senior governments for operating costs.

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Are we ready for road pricing?

September 7, 2009

Stephen Rees’s blog

The amount of coverage that Martin Crilly’s report got surprised me. After all it was not as if he was saying something new, or that anyone was bound to act upon his recommendations. The only substantive issue covered was would he approve next year’s fare increase if the Mayors endorse it. All the rest was editorial.

Stephen Rees

Stephen Rees

In an opinion piece in today’s Vancouver Sun, Craig McInnes forecasts that it will be up to the province to decide if the Evergreen Line gets built.  Which is also hardly a stunning insight. The decision to build the Canada Line that was forced through the former Translink board was achieved by “promising” that the two lines would both be built. And there is both federal and provincial money lined up to do that. Just no way for Translink to come up with its share. The Canada Line is now open, and there is no sign that the Evergreen Line will ever be built.

McInnes accepts Crilly’s assertion that there is now spare capacity in the transit system. He also endorses the idea that simply increasing capacity has not been enough to tempt people out of their cars and onto transit – which, of course, has not happened to any great extent. Transit ridership grew but only as total demand for transportation grew – transit share of the market has hardly changed. Therefore, the argument goes, since just providing capacity “didn’t work”, we need sticks as well as carrots.

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– Canada Line stations bland and featureless

August 20, 2009
Stephen Rees

Photo - Stephen Rees

This is how inhuman design looks.  This is how building for the least amount of money and highest profit looks. For more photos and an excellent story by Stephen Rees entitled “My first ride on the Canada Line” – click here.