Sparkle Ponies and Fairy Dust

The appalling reporting on transit by the local media continues, all what is reported is sparkle ponies and fairy dust.

Here are the financial problems that TransLink faces:

  1. Estimated cost of the Broadway subway – $3 billion+
  2. Estimated cost to refurbish the Expo and Millennium Lines to allow higher capacity – $2 billion to $3 billion.
  3. Ai??Estimated cost of Surrey’s LRT $2.5 billion (if SkyTrain used $4 billion to $6 billion)
  4. Patullo bridge rebuild $1 billion+
  5. Increased bus serviceAi?? – unknown.
  6. Ai??Operating costs, including hidden and open subsidies – unknown. Current rapid transit subsidy in excess of $300 million annually (The Canada Line alone is $110 million).
  7. Ai??Federal government subsidy – $220 million over 10 years ($2.2 billion)

I’m sorry, but I just do not see how the federal money will help pay for the subway.

Ai??Will TransLink’s quest for subways & light metro bankrupt TransLink and impoverish the taxpayer?

Broadway subway may be a go after feds promise $2.2 billion transit fund

But mayors may still have to devise plan to pay for 27 per cent of projects, including Broadway subway

Mike Howell / Vancouver Courier

March 23, 2017

The federal government announced in its budget Wednesday that $2.2 billion will be spent on transit in the region, including partial funding for the construction of a subway along the congested Broadway corridor. Photo Dan Toulgoet

Mayor Gregor Robertson is calling the federal governmentai??i??s promise to provide $2.2 billion for transit investment in the region ai???a game changerai??? and a big step to getting a subway built along the Broadway corridor.

The mayorai??i??s comment came after the federal government revealed its 2017-2018 budget Wednesday and committed to spend $20.1 billion over 11 years on transit across the country. The spending hinges on bilateral agreements with provinces and territories. The regionai??i??s share is $2.2 billion, which builds on $370 million committed to local transit projects in 2016.

ai???Todayai??i??s historic federal investment in transit and transportation is a game changer for our region and the largest in Metro Vancouver in 20 years,ai??? said Robertson, the chairperson of the mayorsai??i?? council on regional transportation, in a statement Wednesday.

Robertson acknowledged mayors still had work to do to secure all the funding to get the subway and a light-rapid transit line built in Surrey. That work includes convincing the provincial government to match the federal governmentai??i??s $2.2 billion contribution to fund the projects, which combined will cost more than $4 billion. The $2.2 billion would also be used for other major upgrades to the region’s transit system.

If the province doesnai??i??t match the funding amount, the mayors will be forced to find ways to raise up to 27 per cent of the cost. Funding sources havenai??i??t been determined, but it could mean a hike in property taxes, road pricing, tolls or a combination.

The federal governmentai??i??s budget did not provide any details about funding the replacement of the Pattullo Bridge, which links New Westminster and Surrey. The replacement is estimated to cost $1 billion.

The mayorsai??i?? council issued a news release Wednesday saying the funding could come through the federal Infrastructure Bank or Trade Transportation Corridor Initiative. The provincial government has committed to provide one-third of the cost.

ai???The mayorsai??i?? council and TransLink are reviewing new details about these programs and will work immediately with the federal and provincial governments to finalize their investments in this project,ai??? the councilai??i??s release said.

Robertson said he was also encouraged by the Trudeau governmentai??i??s commitment to spend $11.2 billion over the next 11 years on housing across the country and maintain operating agreements for co-op housing complexes. The government said the money will be spent ai???on a range of initiatives designed to build, renew and repair Canadaai??i??s stock of affordable housing and help to ensure that Canadians have adequate and affordable housing that meets their needs.ai???

The Carnegie Community Action Project said in a release that the spending will not be enough to eradicate homelessness in the region, where more than 4,000 people are in need of housing. Vancouver alone counted 1,847 homeless people in March 2016.

ai???If you divide the $11.2 billion over 11 years, it boils down to only $1 billion a year to be spent across the whole country,ai??? the anti-poverty advocacy group said. ai???If the $1 billion were all spent on building new social housing, it would be enough to build about 5,000 social housing units across the country. B.C. alone needs 10,000 units a year.ai???

mhowell@vancourier.com

Comments

One Response to “Sparkle Ponies and Fairy Dust”
  1. eric chris says:

    Suddenly the fog has lifted from the murky and shady underworld of public transit in Canada. Provincial politicians in British Columbia and federal politicians in Ottawa are falling over themselves to fund the subway in Vancouver. They’ve both upped their contributions to 40% to build the subway which Bombardier must have to extend its lousy and expensive linear induction public transit having limited capacity in Vancouver (much less capacity than LRT). Richard Zussman, TransLink’s bona fide shrill for all things TransLink isn’t about to question the shadiness of funding to TransLink.

    http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/british-columbia/b-c-government-to-match-federal-funding-for-broadway-skytrain-extension-surrey-lrt-1.4049350

    Federal politicians have overfunded TransLink beyond the 7% of the $20 billion which TransLink is only entitled at most based upon the 2.5 million population in Metro Vancouver and TransLink’s feeble transit use (revenue passengers) which is the lowest of peers (see Figure 4-11 from Shirocca Consulting’s efficiency review which is still valid today). According to the grapevine, it won’t go unchallenged.

    http://www.caw111.com/TranslinkEfficiencyReview-Mar2012.pdf

    TransLink prepared the fraudulent study selecting the subway over LRT to make the subway a possibility, and the funding for the subway is for the shareholders of SNC Lavalin (selected without fair competition) to build the subway and for the CEO of Bombardier to make his $9.5 million salary from the sale of linear induction public transit which is junk and which can’t be sold without bribes to the buyers; it seems. Directors at TransLink are going to be hammered over the fraudulent study. Provincial and federal politicians who dismissed the fraudulent study by the directors of TransLink to fund TransLink are going to be caught up in the snare set up for them.

    http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/montreal/bombardier-executives-quebec-payout-1.4047290

    http://www.theglobeandmail.com/report-on-business/bombardier-officials-arrested-in-sweden-on-bribery-suspicion-involving-rail-equipment-deal/article34263306/

    So, what’s the problem with billions of dollars gifted from the feds for the subway? Plenty is wrong with the billions of dollars in capital spending for the subway. It leads to the future tens of billions of dollars to maintain and operate the subway for Bombardier and SNC Lavalin (arguably white collar criminal organizations stealing from the citizens of Canada) to profit.

    All the tens of billions of dollars to operate and maintain the subway are going to have to come from Metro Vancouver drivers paying road and bridge tolls to TransLink (Bombardier and SNC Lavalin). Of course, Richard Zussman of the CBC and Mike Howell of the Vancouver Courier are smart enough to avoid this real story. They’ve watched too many honest and brave reporters, who have dared to expose the shady underworld of public transit, in Metro Vancouver go to the guillotine in the past. They’re not stupid. They’re survivors.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u9Dg-g7t2l4

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