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BC: 'Unsustainable Surge' Clouds TransLink Future

December 02, 2013
BC: 'Unsustainable Surge' Clouds TransLink Future

The independent TransLink Commissioner has weighed in on TransLink’s latest base plan, and provided some interesting tidbits:

Cities are talking about clawing back some of the federal government’s gas tax dollars (the current agreement, which sends 100% of the region’s rebate to TransLink, expires March 31). From the report:

The Metro Vancouver Board has signaled that it may wish to change the agreement. If TransLink does not receive 100 per cent of the Fund in the future, its vehicle replacement program is in jeopardy. Some $367 million in capital expenditures on infrastructure is at risk.

Fascinating: the same politicians who want you to pony up for millions more in taxes to fund TransLink, apparently don’t trust the authority enough to keep handing over federal gas tax rebates.

The Commissioner debunks another myth that TransLink is perpetuating:

The concern that the system is falling behind urban growth should be kept in perspective. During a long and financially unsustainable surge prior to 2009, transit service expanded faster than population. In both absolute and per-capita terms, the supply of transit service is still relatively high.

There you have it. TransLink grew too fast up to 2009, knowing it was unsustainable. Sounds like a management issue to me…

Corporate costs are down – but only because they’re burying them in the subsidiaries:

Corporate costs are significantly reduced from the 2013  Plan. Over the three-year planning period, corporate and police expenditures have been reduced by $64.6 million, largely due to the allocation of costs to subsidiaries.

Whether it’s a cost at TransLink HQ, or Coast Mountain – it’s still a cost.

24 Hours newspaper has a piece on the report, if you’d like to read more.

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