My 2 Sense My 2 Sense

My 2 Sense

Why I Will Vote NO to the Translink PST Increase

Feb. 20, 2015 - Without Prejudice
No To Translink Funding

The Plebisite that isn't

So we are going to have a referendum on how we will fund Translink and its projects for the future.

Here’s the thing; I probably would agree with Translink’s projects being built, but below are all the Top Ten reasons why I will vote NO to the proposed funding by a.5% increase in PST in the lower mainland only:

Top Ten Reasons Why I Will Say NO
  1. We are NOT being asked what we think about the various projects being put forth; ie new Massey Bridge to replace the tunnel, a new Patullo Bridge etc. etc. Nope, these are going to happen regardless and we only get to decide which pocket gets picked.

  2. The Translink board is appointed and is not responsible to the public in any way. Christy Clark dodged responsibility by saying that Translink is “owned” by the lower mainland mayors, yet it was established by the provincial government, and none of its charter provisions can be altered without provincial government approval.

  3. The Translink executives are overpaid, pompous know-it-alls who care little about the cost to the public as they ride the gravy train. Retiring CEO, Ian Jarvis resigned from his post to restore some public confidence to Translink. Yeah right. Jarvis’ salary was $338,000, a $100k more than the head of NYC’s Metro Transit Authority and $250K more than that of Seatlle and Portland transit bosses. Plus he is being paid a bonus of $83,700 for incompetence and is paid the total of both for the next 16 months as a consultant.

    His temporary replacement is getting $35k a month for six months so Translink is paying for TWO CEO’s. Why don’t I feel confidence oozing out of the people

    The number of employees at TransLink earning $75,000 or more has ballooned 250 per cent over the past six years, with the pay for some managers jumping as much as 90 per cent.

  4. Transit cops are paid more than REAL cops. In 2010, those officers earned between $75,000 and $226,247 each, with the total salary cost reported at $40.5 million. They billed about $1 million a year in overtime, roughly twice what the much larger Vancouver police department paid. Among the cost drivers: a contract that pays officers a 25-per-cent bonus if they work Sundays. Try finding a deal like that in the real world.

  5. I wonder why the Skytrain stations are all architectural wonders. Translink’s need to express their collective ego rivals Larry Berg’s YVR for unnecessary excess.
    Style over function. If all the stations were built the same, the cost to the taxpayer would have been way less. TransLink approved spending $615,000 on public art installations at three SkyTrain stations last year, despite complaints the money would be better spent on actual transit improvements.

  6. For 27 years Skytrain has run on the honour system with the inevitable and predictable result being the loss of $4 million per year revenue in unpaid fares. Do the math. Only now are they putting in turnstiles. And get this, they now have a law fining people for not paying the fare, but they neglected to put in an enforcement mechanism, so no one has to pay the fines because there is no way they can be collected. Brilliant!

  7. The smart-card Compass Card fare-gate system was supposed to stop freeloading fare cheats and offer greater convenience for the public. But the system is already well behind schedule and $23 million over budget — more than the cost of a backup computer system that might have prevented last summer’s SkyTrain snafus.

  8. Several Skytrain system failures causing commuter chaos with delays of 5 and 6 hours in July, 2014 and October. Translink spokeswoman Cheryl Ziola said TransLink regrets causing delays and understands that people are frustrated. "But perhaps in the future, it would be good to take a little rest break, go for a coffee, go have a bite to eat until we can get things back under control again,” she said. Are you kidding me?

  9. I don’t understand why Translink didn’t build a new Patullo Bridge incorporating the Skytrain line. It seems to be a no brainer to me.

  10. Same with the RAV Line. Why didn’t they build a Cambie Street Bridge over the south Fraser river incorporating the RAV Line. Logic dictates that it would have split the highway traffic entering and leaving the city between Oak Street and Cambie Street.
This whole Translink thing is a recurring theme in our world these days. Those who would rule us consider themselves entitled to live like kings while blundering their way through their jobs. How stupid to they think we are?

So my vote is against the Translink executives; not the particular projects and how they are to be funded. These individuals are not to be trusted as their track records clearly show. What would be needed to change my mind?
  1. Fire all existing Translink board members.

  2. All new board members to be elected by, and responsible to, the public.

  3. No interference in Translink decisions by the provincial government.

  4. Choices given to the public as to how to fund projects, not a yes or not on a single method.

  5. Toll ALL bridges to help funding for new bridges and take the heat off non-toll bridges like the Patullo Bridge..

Click to read my previous Translink article.

Just sayin'

Courtney Smith