Let The fools Rush In, The Regional Maryors 0.5% Transit Sales Tax

After a considerable time of wailing and gnashing of teeth, the regional mayors have come up with a question for the upcoming TransLink referendum.

What the mayors did not do was to try to understand why TransLink is hemorrhaging money and will continue to do so even if the referendum passes. It’s all tax and spend, the political cowards way out!

The following question will be mailed out to voters and returned by mail to be tabulated.

ai???Do you support a one half percentage point (0.5%) increase to the Provincial Sales Tax in Metro Vancouver, dedicated to the Mayorai??i??s Transportation and Transit Plan, with independent audits and public reporting?ai???

The mayors council did not even question the need for economy or a change in direction, instead it was full steam ahead to the same thing again and hoping for different results.

Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. Albert Einstein

Zwei lives in south Delta and the following three bus services, the 609, the C-84, and the C-89 that combined, carry fewer than 30 people a day.

The 609 runs a hourly weekday service from 5 a.m. to 11 p.m. and a slightly abridged service on weekends.

The C-84 runs a hourly weekday serviceAi?? from 9 a.m. to 9:40 pm and a slightly abridges service on weekends.

The C-89 runs a hourly serviceAi?? weekdays from 9 a.m. to 9:10 pm and a slightly abridged service on weekends.

Three bus services which combined carry fewer than 30 people a day. This example sums up part of TransLink’s problems, as it is operating a social service, not a bus service.

How many bus routes mirror the extremely poor ridership on the 609, C-84 and C-89 bus routes? Far too many I’ll wager.

The other problem that has been brought to my attention is that TransLink is planning transit on a 1980′s SkyTrain model, rather on a customer friendly transit model for the aging boomers. Older people like their transit on the pavement, ready to use and not in a hole in the ground accessible only by stairs, escalators and/or elevators. Older people do not like cavernous underground stations nor cold windswept elevated ones and older customers do not like forced transfers.

It has been noticeable in South Delta that older transit customers have all but disappeared as they hate the forced transfer onto the Canada line and the chaotic subway trip into Vancouver. Except for a very few rush hour services, most buses still have seats available after departing from SDRC stop, something unheard of before the Canada line opened.

The regional Mayors have badly blundered the referendum and I’m afraid their unwillingness to listen to the public or plan for the real future, will see the referendum fail.


Radio Polls. Though radio polls are highly inaccurate and can be manipulated; at 5 p.m., the CKNW poll shows only a 38% support for a yes vote and the CKWX (News 1130) poll shows an even more dismal 26% support.


9 Responses to “Let The fools Rush In, The Regional Maryors 0.5% Transit Sales Tax”
  1. Rico says:

    And so the question if you are anti transit or pro LRT is answered.

    Zwei replies: Rico you are so far off the mark, it is funny, yet you espouse what many think. Good public transit must be:
    1: Affordable to both the customer and operating authority.
    2: Convenient and this does not mean 90 second headway’s, it means no forced transfers to complete ones journey.
    3: It must be safe.

    The fact is SkyTrain and light-metro are unaffordable, customer and taxpayer unfriendly, and not as safe as one would think.

    If one advocates for better transit using the proven methods of modern light rail, one is not anti transit and being pro light rail, well over 500 transit authorities are pro light rail, with less than a handful for ICTS/ALT/ART SkyTrain.

  2. Rico says:

    A very significant portion of the money is to be allocated to 3 LRT lines. In fact the only Bit of Skytrain that you dispise is Broadway to Arbutus. Time to put your money where your mouth is and get some LRT in Surrey.

    Zwei replies: I would touch those three lines in Surrey as they are planned as poor man’s SkyTrain, complete waste of money. You want LRT to work in ?surrey, connect Whiterock to Surrey Centre and a second line up Scott Road. At least you will take some buses off the road.

  3. eric chris says:


    Seattle has double the population of Vancouver and one-half the transit budget of Vancouver. It is just a matter of tearing down the bad (TransLink) to replace it with a legitimate transit organization.

    TransLink is an organization of minions taking their orders from politicians. They hire engineering firms to construct and operate their transit and haven’t a clue how to maintain it. Instead of doing preventative maintenance and budgeting for future infrastructure upgrades, they party it up and use the money to hire idiots and pay out bonuses for “saving money”. Now that the bills are due for all the maintenance that they didn’t do, they want $7.5 billion to mostly cover the maintenance required to keep their useless “hub to hub” transit (B-Line and s-train) going.

    This evening on Friday during peak travel (5 pm) as luck would have it, a trolleybus tore down the trolleybus line right in front of my home and the high voltage wire lighting up the sky wrapped around the mirror of the 99 B-Line behind it. Passengers were trapped inside the 99 B-line (B8031) for over two hours. No news coverage and TransLink quietly took care of it. No police were called and only the fire department showed up to block the roads. At least the bus driver inside realized that stepping off the bus could fry the passengers and kept them inside the bus.

    Except for the couple of babies which started to cry, the few passengers on board (mostly students) vegged out and played with their smart phones. I and another lady kept curious bystanders and other bus drivers from going near the bus or touching the bus until the fire department showed up about 30 minutes after the incident. According to one of the firemen, trolleybus lines come down all the time in Vancouver, about 10 times yearly. Last year, a female cyclist was swept off her bike by a fallen trolleybus line. She was lucky and was knocked clear of the wire. He said that it could have been “really bad”.

    So, as he’s telling me this, as an engineer, I’m thinking to myself, that the morons at TransLink have 10 trolleybus line failures annually and aren’t doing preventive maintenance to curb it? Here is what we do: fire the group of monkeys who do nothing but manage themselves at TransLink and hire competent mechanical and electrical engineers to design and operate things. More funding for the class act at TransLink? Yeah. Good idea.

    Zwei replies: Being trapped in a bus for two hours is unacceptable and in other transit jurisdictions, management would have been fired. This tells me that TransLink’s management is incompetent to the extreme.

  4. Richard says:


    Vancouver has almost twice the transit trips as Seattle so of course we are going to be spending more. We use transit more. http://daily.sightline.org/2012/07/18/transit-smackdown-seattle-vs-portland-vs-vancouver/

    As well, don’t forget to subtract the road and bridge expenses from TransLink’s budget. The Seattle area has several agencies delivering transit so you need to make sure you are adding all their budgets together.

  5. eric chris says:

    TransLink train wreck:


    Here’s an update on the potential tragedy and loss of life incident on the 99 B-Line from about 5 pm to 7 pm on Friday December 12, 2014. I contacted the CBC and Vancouver Sun by email to let them know what was happening. No surprise, “Vancouver Sun” receiving massive amounts of advertising revenue and complicit in the campaign to dupe taxpayers for more funding for TransLink ignored my email, like all the rest in the past.

    However, the CBC responded and rushed a crew out but the crew arrived too late. Passengers were let off the bus at about 7 pm and quickly dispersed by TransLink before the reporters arrived:

    “From: cbc.ca On Behalf Of Cbc News Vancouver
    Sent: Friday, December 12, 2014 7:15 PM
    To: eric chris
    Subject: Re: unfolding B8031 B-Line disaster – where are the cameras and reporters?
    Hi Eric
    Are you on board the bus? Or know someone who is?

    On Fri, Dec 12, 2014 at 6:50 PM, eric chris wrote:
    For the last two hours, dozens of transit users have been trapped inside a 99 B-Line diesel bus with a high voltage wire on it from the broken trolleybus line which snared the bus. It is at the corner of Blanca Street and West 10th Avenue in Vancouver. Is this not news?

    Does TransLink have a preventative maintenance program? Do the buffoons who get paid too much at TransLink run things until they break? Shouldn’t TransLink be informing the reporters when this crap happens rather than keep a lid on it?”

    I had an appointment at UBC for 8 pm and cycled the two kilometres to UBC after the passengers alighted the stricken 99 B-Line bus – I never drive to UBC but couldn’t in any case as my driveway was blocked off by the B-Line incident. When I returned, the line crew was splicing the trolleybus line. I didn’t see any engineers inspecting the wires to determine what caused the trolleybus to pull down the wire. As soon as the wire was up, the crew left.

    Trolleybus service resumed right away without any analysis or safety inspection: sure enough, every trolleybus snagged the wire and the trolleybus pole dislodged at the exact location where the trolleybus at about 5 pm tore down the wires! Today, trolleybus service is “down” and diesel bus service has replaced the trolleybuses on the No. 14 “trolleybus route”. For TransLink to put the trolleybuses back into service without the proper engineering analysis was pure stupidity. It shows a complete lack of competence on the part of the idiots running TransLink. It also reflects badly on the COV engineers who aren’t insisting on a preventative maintenance program for trolleybus infrastructure to replace aged wires and to keep the public safe.

    What is additionally vexing is that, there is little to no demand for transit today – UBC is mostly shut down for exams. TransLink can suspend transit service for one block, to investigate. TransLink is not. There is a steady stream of “hub to hub” express transit (99 B-Line) and regular No. 14 bus service with no effort to do anything this weekend. Pollution from the soot blowing diesel bus service every minute is extreme and the noise is harrowing. This bothers no one at TransLink or the COV.

    TransLink can’t maintain its current transit system and is out seeking $7.5 billion to expand its lousy hub to hub transit which has no hope of alleviating road congestion. We’ll be back where we are now in 10 years after TransLink pisses away the money. TransLink wants to add 11 more B-Line routes, 80% more nighttime service (boy there sure is lots of road congestion for transit to overcome at 3 am and those virtually empty diesel buses after about 10 pm sure do reduce CO2 emissions) and another subway? They’ll eat through the $7.5 billion in no time and add billions of dollars of future debt.


    “What caused this?”

    Express hub to hub transport (B-Line and s-train service) caused this. That is, all the money spent for the B-Line and s-train routes has meant that TransLink can’t afford to maintain its transit network in good working order.

    “Hub to hub transport train-wreck by talking fools at TransLink”

    In Metro Vancouver as in all other cities in Canada, there is a serious rift in the expectation of commuters who demand convenient and safe “point to point” transport (travel by car) and politicians trying to get drivers to adopt “hub to hub” transport, wrongly believing that it reduces the need for more roads, which the transit buses require to shuttle riders for hub to hub transit. Drivers are not flocking to use inconvenient and unsafe “hub to hub” transport (s-train and B-Line with distantly spaced stops and creep infested stops). To remedy this, TransLink has relied on handing out much discounted transit passes to students and has set up B-Line routes to get students to the s-train lines, having serious drawbacks for drivers who can afford to stay off the s-trains:






    There are only about 50 s-train stations located in Metro Vancouver. TransLink made the fatal flaw or blunder in spending billions of dollars on “hub to hub” transport which is a total flop. Buffoons at TransLink are not willing to give up on the “hub to hub” train-wreck and are bribing newspapers with advertising revenue to keep reporters loyal to TransLink. Reporters are not educating the mostly clueless public which is being bamboozled with propaganda for them to accept more taxes for “hub to hub” transit which has no hope of ever relieving road congestion. It will do the opposite to worsen road congestion – only a step back into the future with trams to “approach point to point transport” will attract drivers.

    TransLink train-wreck, to be continued…


  6. zweisystem says:

    Being trapped on a bus for two hours is unacceptable. In other transit agencies, the management involved would have been fired.

  7. Haveacow says:

    Let’s see as I go through my old TTC’s Lineman’s Handybook.

    1. How was the line downed or made inoperable? A senior engineer has to be part of most lineman crews due to budgets it never happens and some guy has to get called in from HQ. The engineer must determine before work begins if the downed wires were because of “vehicle slash”, when for some reason, the trolley poles grabs the wire and removes the coupling clips as the vehicle travels forward thus causing the weight of the wire to pull off any remaining support. Or there is a bad section were the whole support system has just given out due to age or lack of timely maintenance. This determines whether it is going to be a quick fix or possibly the re wiring of a significant section of running wire. The engineer then signs off and assumes responsibility of all future work! Yes, his engineer’s certification is on the line, they tend to take their time at this point.

    2. Once the police and or fire department do all the actual safe removal of all locals from the area of downed wires (not the ones trapped in the buses just the bystanders).

    3. Contact gas company and make sure there are no ongoing gas line or home projects occurring in the area of the repair and or rewiring work (all work, not just the immediate repair zone) All gas lines are turned off that need to be turned off, as well as the securing of all the outdoor oil spouts leading to the homes still using home heating oil.

    4. Local Hydro has to determine if the power in the area needs to be turned off.

    5. Local piped services (storm and sanitary sewer lines) are determined to not have excess amounts of methane gas and other possibly explosive gasses emanating from local sewers in dangerous quantities.

    6. Transit company disables entire route or disables a operating section of trolleybus route overhead. Diesel buses are then called to provide emergency service from the on call fleet (if they have any extra at all).
    Steps 3,4,5 and 6 can take an hour or more. If those steps are not finished and anyone of those trapped passengers even stubs a toe coming out of the bus, soooo many people and city agencies can be sued its not funny.

    7. Removal of any passengers from the vehicle or vehicles involved in the downing of wires themselves. Vehicles starting from the ones furthest away are done first, then the vehicle closest to the downed wires. If there is a pressing danger then all the passengers are removed first but only in a dire emergency (lives have to be at stake).

    8. Once passengers are removed if possible all transit vehicles are then removed from work area.

    9. Emergency site repair preparation work begins.

    If several steps can be done at the same time, they are, nothing happens however till all other points are checked off on this checklist. Point is that, if the passengers are safe inside their transit vehicles or personal vehicles then that’s where they stay no matter how long it takes!

    Similar to other jurisdictions, Ontario Hospitals have begun a checklist protocol before they begin even simple operations. It has doubled the time it takes to perform simple operations but, accidents and mistakes are also way down as well which was the whole point. The first point on the checklist is the most important one when it comes to surgical mistakes, is this the correct person, is this person a man or a woman?

    Zwei replies:In Germany, the maximum that passengers are allowed to remain in a tram or bus after a dewirement and contact is 30 minutes and after that time, if passengers remain on board, an inquiry is held.. The trolley line can be isolated at various segments of the line and I would wager that there is no cash crew on duty mainly as a money saving effort.

  8. eric chris says:

    @Haveacow, thanks for the information, much appreciated.

  9. eric chris says:

    @Richard, do you mean the extra bus trips such as the ones where transit users are forced to get off the No. 9 trolleybus at Alma Street to board the express No 99 B-Line to get to UBC? What a great way to create extra trips. Outstanding, Richard.

    Can’t the idiots at TransLink switch the No 99 from express to regular service at Alma Street rather than bring the No. 14 transit bus from East Vancouver to run in parallel to the 99 B-Line for a few kilometres? I’d say so. Almost nobody is waiting for the No. 14 transit bus in Point Grey and the millionaires in Point Grey don’t use transit.

    What big money does TransLink spend on roads? How well has TransLink maintained the Pattullo Bridge? Only about 10% of the TransLink budget is spent on anything other than transit, s-train debacle mostly. Expo Line (hub to hub s-train transit) runs right beside the Pattullo Bridge. Can’t TransLink simply increase the capacity of the Expo Line to solve road congestion? No. It can’t. Drivers don’t give a crap about your lousy s-train lines.


    TransLink is awarding SNC Lavalin billion dollar contracts fleecing taxpayers for inferior s-train transit using more power than trams and costing too much. Give it a rest, Richard Walton? I don’t live on planet loo-loo.

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