Here’s a new selection of readings to follow up on my first post on transit readings.
- B.C. Transport Minister rules out TransLink reform [The Globe and Mail]: As I’ve suspected all this time, TransLink will not be reformed given a No vote to this transit plebiscite. Todd Stone has put it out there himself.
British Columbia’s Transportation Minister has ruled out any reforms to the controversial Vancouver region transit authority to help mayors and their allies win a plebiscite on a new tax to finance transit expansion, dismissing concerns about the issue as a “red herring.”
- Transit referendum: Is TransLink really wasting taxpayers’ money? [cbc.ca]: The CBC’s Jeremy Allingham analyzes the numbers put out by Todd Litman, the University of Victoria’s executive director of the Victoria Transport Policy Institute. According to transit and transportation standards widely accepted across the continent, TransLink is one of the better performing transit agencies in North America. Allingham also takes a look at the executive pay at TransLink.
Litman said, while the executive pay is certainly high, it doesn’t have a big impact on the bottom line.
“Executive pay represents one or two per cent of TransLink’s total budget. It is not a significant factor in looking at the overall cost-efficiency of the system,” he said.
- In Vancouver’s transit referendum, vote ‘Yes’ [The Globe and Mail]: In this Globe Editorial, the giant national newspaper throws its weight behind the Yes side of the transit ballot.
The plebiscite is a real opportunity to improve transit in the Lower Mainland. The proposal is a far better option than doing nothing. On balance, a Yes vote is the way forward.
- The $14 billion transit plan the B.C. Liberals conveniently forgot [Vancity Buzz]: Oh how governments always change their minds. Good on Vancity Buzz digging this history out and bringing it to light. Under then-premier Gordon Campbell, there were huge plans for rapid transit – rail and bus – for the region.
Gordon Campbell and Kevin Falcon, then-Premier and then-Transportation Minister, announced the sweeping plan during a press conference on January 14, 2008 as a key initiative to achieve the provincial government’s greenhouse gas reduction targets.
The so-called “Provincial Transit Plan” outlined a $10.3 billion strategy to build three new rapid transit lines in Metro Vancouver – the $1.4-billion SkyTrain extension to Coquitlam (Evergreen Line), $2.8 billion to extend the Millennium Line to UBC under Broadway, a reaffirmation of the $2 billion Canada Line being built, and $3.1 billion to double the capacity of the Expo Line, including station and control system upgrades, platform extensions to accommodate six-car trains, and a six kilometre extension in Surrey.
So only parts of the plan are complete and where did all the planned funds disappear to? How convenient to forget transportation projects when it best suits one’s electoral promises.