With September almost done and masses of folks taking public transit to kick off the school year, I’ve been hearing a lot of complaining. The “B” in B-Line has taken on a whole different meaning, if you know what I mean. Can you blame people who feel like they are stuffed in like sardines in the accordion buses that ply their way down Broadway? Then there are those at Clark Drive, Fraser Street, and Main Street who are passed up by a handful of B-Lines before they can wiggle their way onto the bus.
I’ve been hearing a lot of this lately:
“TransLink needs to get their act together.”
Even local media have been taking shots at TransLink. TransLink made an unenviable appearance in the Georgia Straight’s “Best of 2012 Vancouver – Transportation” under the subheading of “Best proof that TransLink can’t do math”:
TransLink is spending $171 million to install fare gates at all SkyTrain stations, as well as creating a new fare-card system. The company claims that these “improvements” will reduce fare evasion to the tune of $7 million per year—or $10 million, depending on who you talk to. So, let’s do some math. If we take the absolute best-case savings scenario of $10 million per year, that $171-million system will pay for itself in just over 17 years. However, once you factor in $15 million in annual maintenance costs, by our math, the system will pay for itself approximately… never.
There were also plenty of gripes in the Vancouver Sun comments section today. A few of which can be found on the website.
TransLink is absolutely not finding any friends in public perception. They already didn’t have much success with the provincial government because of no secure, permanent funding structure. I sense the public mood is also turning sour against TransLink. TransLink is in a pretty big bind. The financial shortfall is not looking rosy.
Subsequently, their new 2013 Base Plan highlights what is not included in the budget for the coming years.
TransLink is really getting no love. No love from the public, no love from the provincial government, and no love from the economy.