Reality Hits TransLink Square In The Face

As Zwei has pointed out, the new Covid-19 reality has hit TransLink square in their hypocritical face.

With cap in hand, TransLink went to provincial and federal governments for more handouts but it seems they have had enough and TransLink had to shed employees and unproductive bus routes.

From Radio 1130:

TransLink announces layoffs, other cost-saving measures due to pandemic

by Mike Hall

Posted Apr 20, 2020


From TransLink:


TransLink implements cost saving measures

April 20, 2020

NEW WESTMINSTER – TransLink today announced a series of cost-saving measures to preserve Metro Vancouver’s transit system along with a commitment from the Province to ensure near-regular service can be restored by September. TransLink is losing $75 million per month with ridership down by 83% while still providing transit services for essential workers. This rate of financial loss is not sustainable.

The problem for TransLink now is that the regional transit service is a very expensive commuter service and as those commuters stayed home, the system all but collapsed.

Less than 75,000 actual people (or is it boarding’s?) are using the transit system today, an 83% collapse of ridership. TransLink is losing over $75 million a month and will be insolvent by summer.

TransLink had no choice in laying off almost 1,500 employees as they were operating mostly empty buses, driving up deficits.

The light-metro system is another story. The driverless (automatic) light-metro system still needs near the same number of people working for it because it has to be kept at 100%, maintenance cannot be deferred, track must be inspected, and vehicles maintained. Reducing frequencies will only bring slight economies and it would make far more sense closing parts of the system, especially on weekends and replace the service with buses.

This puts the question on the table:

Is it wise to continue planning for the $4.6 billion, 12.8 km extensions to the Expo and Millennium lines?

The light-metro system is hugely expensive for what it does and in a changing world, transit wise, is it prudent to continue planning for this obsolete, yet very expensive mini-metro?

Fiscal responsibility will be the keyword for the next decade as taxpayers will have little patience with political inspired mega projects that will do little in improving transit.

It just might be a nasty little virus, covid-19, that will bring down Metro Vancouver’s SkyTrain empire.

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