Delta Politicians Mull Leaving TransLink

As predicted, the South Fraser municipality of Delta is mulling over the proposal to leave TransLink. Delta is the first, but if TransLink doesn't change its current very expensive metro only policy, then providing second rate transit services for customers, then more South Fraser municipalities will contemplate leaving.

If TransLink stopped being devious and actually told the truth about transit planning like; "don't blame us, we were forced to build the RAV/Canada Line by the provincial Liberal government and they are also forcing us to say it is successful."

Speaking to the RAV/Canada Line, the truncated metro line's maximum capacity is less than modern light rail, so what does TransLink do…..admit the truth? No, no, telling the truth would be too embarrassing, so what TransLink has done has arbitrarily lowered the the capacity of light rail to 10,000 persons per hour per direction……….one half the internationally accepted capacity of 20,000 pphpd for LRT!

TransLink can't last much longer, the bureaucratically top-heavy organization is slowly suffocating under massive debt, which translates into ever higher taxes to fund it. It's time for the municipality of Delta to say adiós to TransLink, in fact it time the entire South Fraser region says adiós to to TransLink! 

 TransLink is like the Titanic, steaming full speed into a (financial) iceberg.

Politicians talking about a split from TransLink

Upset they've become a funding source for projects elsewhere, south of Fraser officials could form own entity

By Sandor Gyarmati, The Delta Optimist

January 29, 2011

It might be time for the communities south of the Fraser River to consider splitting from TransLink and forming their own transit authority.

That suggestion came up during Delta council's discussion this week on TransLink's funding proposals, which have drawn the ire of local politicians and bureaucrats who say they provide nothing for the community other than taking even more money out of taxpayers' pockets.

"This isn't a plan, it's a way to finance major construction projects, and bear in mind there's no improvements for south of the Fraser," said CAO George Harvie.

"There is no hope on the horizon for TransLink to improve our bus service and it's very sad."

Harvie pointed out that in the last couple of months service hours in Delta and other communities south of the Fraser were trimmed.

Metro Vancouver's board of directors last December was to have voted on TransLink's request to raise property taxes to fund the $1.4-billion SkyTrain line into Coquitlam, but provincial Transportation Minister Shirley Bond granted an extension.

The Evergreen Line is part of two options TransLink put forward for the regional district to consider, but both rely on increasing property taxes, which drew an immediate negative response from mayors.

"The mayors' committee has not approved any money from property taxes. There must be a better formula," said Mayor Lois Jackson, who chairs the Metro board.

Her council colleague Robert Campbell said he finds it astounding TransLink doesn't seem to bother exploring transit financing models around the world that appear to be successful.

According to Delta staff, one of the TransLink packages would result in an average property tax increase of $36, while the second would see an increase of $62. Neither is acceptable to council, which voted not to support TransLink's supplemental plans.

"It's obvious to the other city administrators the south of the Fraser is being used to finance the debt of the north," said Harvie.

He said communities in the south might have enough in place to start their own transit system, which could be integrated to TransLink.

Jackson agreed, saying TransLink could then focus on its own territory in the north.

Harvie said it's especially frustrating that TransLink immediately dismisses the notion of light rail south of the Fraser River.

Coun. Bruce McDonald, who sits on the South Fraser Community Rail Task Force, said it doesn't make sense why the transportation authority doesn't want to even look at reusing the old interurban line, which was discontinued for passengers in the early 1950s, even though no costly property expropriations would be required.

"In my view, the TransLink board is so Vancouver and Burnaby/New Westminster-centric that everything they do is focused there. Surrey is actually putting the interurban line in their official community plan but they (TransLink) are ignoring it," he said.

Coun. Anne Peterson received concurrence for her suggestion governments in the south need to band together for a coordinated voice on transit issues.

In a letter to the mayors last November, TransLink board chair Dale Parker noted the recommended funding option for a supplemental increase would add over 425,000 hours of annual transit service to bus routes. Parker stated the South of the Fraser region would receive half of the additional bus service hours.

A Delta staff report, though, found TransLink is not planning any major changes to transit networks in Delta as it expects minimal future development.


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