TransLink Collides With A Financial Iceberg.

 

Covid-19 has sent a chilling economic message to TransLink; “can it afford the proposed $4.6 billion, 12.8 km extensions to the light-metro system?

TransLink, through taxes, must ante up a sizable amount of cash to pay it’s share of the projects, but if TransLink’s income collapses and cannot pay, what then?

The aftermath for Covid-19 and a vastly escalating federal deficit will see higher taxes and user fees in Canada and there will be little stomach among metro Vancouver taxpayers to ante up more taxes to an outfit already held in high odor by the taxpayer.

TransLink has now collided with the financial iceberg and one wonders when senior bureaucrats start floating higher taxes and fees onto an already over burdened taxpayer to fund what is largely a prestige project.

Which politicians will stake their reelection  by providing higher taxes to TransLink?

The trouble for TransLink, financing the $4.6 billion rapid transit scheme will be like rearranging the deckchairs on the Titanic.

Loss of $1.4 billion worst case revenue scenario for TransLink with COVID-19 pandemic

by Carlito Pablo on June 24th, 2020

TransLink lays out four scenarios, and the least dire involves a revenue loss of $544 million.

The worst of the four potential situations is referred to as the “Paradigm Shift”.

It involves “major new outbreaks”, forcing a return to lockdowns. Return to normal is years away, or sometime in January 2023.

Under this Paradigm Shift, a “high travel demand” setting means that TransLink is going to lose $1.2 billion in cumulative 2020-2021 revenues.

Most of the projected losses will be fares, at $795 million.

In a “low travel demand” situation under the Paradigm Shift, TransLink expects to lose $1.4 billion, which is the worst.

Most of the anticipated revenue losses will be fares, at $881 million.

The least dire of the four scenarios is called “Quick Recovery”.

This means a return to pre-COVID 19 conditions by July 2021.

Still, TransLink will be bleeding.

Under this scenario, the transportation authority expects to lose cumulatively between 2020 and 2021 revenues ranging from $544 million to $945 million.

The numbers are found in a report by Geoff Cross, vice president of transportation planning and policy with TransLink.

Cross’ report is in the agenda Thursday (June 25) of the Mayors’ Council on Regional Transportation.

 

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