Sounds of Silence

No surprise here, as Zwei has been sounding alarm bells over this upcoming fiasco for years

Now TransLink has an American out of Seattle as the new CEO and this means the sky is the limit for spending on rail transit.

Seattle’s LRT is LRT in name only as it is actually a light metro with over 90% of its route either in a subway or on a viaduct. The European light rail Renaissance, did reach the shores of North America but “big money” interests prevented much traction and in the USA and Canada, the race is on on how one can spend the most amount of money for the least amount of transit.

As repeated many times, TransLink does not plan transit, rather it implements what the premier’s Office tells it to do and the premier’s office will only invest in transit to satisfy the needs of friends and cronies of the government.

In Vancouver, rapid transit is used to subsidize development and nothing more and the transit customer, as always in Metro Vancouver, is left waiting at a station with no service.

Cone of silence over cost estimates for Broadway subway, Surrey LRT

A week after its Mayorsai??i?? Council endorsed a plan to raise property taxes and hike transit fares to begin its expansion, TransLink is refusing to …

By Bob Mackin | Sept. 23, 2016

A week after its Mayorsai??i?? Council endorsed a plan to raise property taxes and hike transit fares to begin its expansion, TransLink is refusing to provide the latest cost estimates for the biggest items on its long-term wish list.

The Broadway subway and Surrey light rail were estimated in 2014 to cost $1.98 billion and $2.14 billion, respectively. Last March, City of Surrey rapid transit project manager Paul Lee admitted rising real estate prices had pushed the Surrey proposalai??i??s estimated budget to $2.6 billion.

The public portion of the Sept. 23 quarterly meeting contained no mention about either project. Business in Vancouver asked TransLink CEO Kevin Desmond at a post-meeting news conference for an update and whether the cost estimates had increased by a billion dollars each.

ai???Weai??i??re not prepared to talk about what the estimates are,ai??? Desmond said. ai???Itai??i??s during that period of time in the months ahead that we [will] further will pin down the cost estimates going forward. By the time weai??i??re ready to proceed with the investment plan on phase two, weai??i??ll be in a much better position to have more accurate estimates

On March 30, TransLink CFO Cathy McClay admitted the cost estimates had gone up, but she wouldnai??i??t provide numbers. She said consultants were given extra time, until June 30, to deliver their reports. She blamed the high cost of real estate and the decrease in the loonieai??i??s buying power for materials.

In early 2015, Steer Davies Gleave and Hatch Mott MacDonald were hired on a $1.56 million conceptual design and cost estimate study for the Surrey proposal. They subcontracted Stantec (TSX:STN), Via Architecture, Anthony Steadman and Associates and the Stewart Group. Stantec is leading the $1.4 million study on the Broadway proposal with subcontractors Jacobs Associates, Golder Associates, Allen Parker Consulting, Site Economics, Westco Consulting, Edward LeFlufy Urban Design & Architecture, Locke & Locke, Dessau, BTY Group and Anthony Steadman and Associates.

ai???These are both very, very complicated projects and you go thorough a design process that is highly iterative,ai??? Desmond said. ai???During a prolonged design and engineering process for very complicated public works projects you go through eventually value engineering exercise as well, and weai??i??re not there

Meanwhile, Desmond declined to comment on the impending sale of the Oakridge Transit Centre to Intergulf Development Group. BIV sources say the transaction for the 13.8 acre, mixed-use residential building opportunity could be worth as much as $400 million.

ai???We have no further information on that property transaction at this point in time,ai??? Desmond said.


One Response to “Sounds of Silence”
  1. eric chris says:

    No, public transit projects are Mickey Mouse and are not complicated, Desmond (CEO of TransLink). Engineering and building a refinery might be complicated. Planning the subway up Broadway for the last 30 years is a massive waste of money to keep everyone at TransLink employed.

    TransLink hired Steer Davies Gleave and Hatch Mott MacDonald for $1.56 million to do a “conceptual design and cost estimate study” for the Surrey proposal? What exactly do the worm brains at TransLink do all day? Couldn’t the worm brains at TransLink have done the conceptual study? If you were to listen into the conversation between two provincial government workers instant messaging each other at TransLink, it might go something like…

    “Hello, hello worm-brain 2, this is worm-brain 1. Are you there worm-brain 2? Yes, worm-brain 1, how was your weekend? Hubby and I we were in Las Vegas. We had so much fun! Wow, worm-brain 1, how can you afford to just fly to Las Vegas and kick up your heels like that? Hubby just received a promotion with TransLink and between to two of us worm brains, we haul in $500,000 annually. We’re each up to six weeks of annual vacation and have all our medical bills paid by the generous benefits package offered by TransLink. We’re loaded and with our cushy TransLink pensions don’t need to save up like most people to pay for our retirement.

    Have you seen the hot hunk hired last week? He’s single and well connected in the provincial government, an air head who has a basket weaving degree from UBC. He’s a real 420 party type of guy, too, and use to ride the No. 14 bus route from UBC to the clubs in downtown Vancouver to get stoned. It is the bus route which snakes (east-west and north-south) all the way from East Vancouver across Granville Bridge to UBC for UBC students who have almost free bus passes to have fun and boy did he have fun, so much fun TransLink hired him. Hubby works with him and he’s making a good salary, in the six figures, for starters. How about we go out for drinks after our grueling 7.5 hour daily grind killing time, worm-brain 2? I’ll have hubby ask him along. Sweet, worm-brain 1. I’ll drive and just bought a new and expensive car. Wait until you see it. See you at 3 PM, I’m doing my lunch hour at the massage clinic and charging my massage time as personal development time to get off early, ha, ha. Later, worm-brain 1”.

    Each minute of the preceding conversation between the worm-brains at TransLink cost from $10 to $15 per minute. It was charged to the drivers paying gas taxes in Metro Vancouver. Trains derail. The recent tram derailment was bad. When the s-train derails over cars and pedestrians, it will be tragic.