The Regional Mayor’s $7 Billion FastFerry Fiasco!

FastFerry fiascos tend to be common in BC, where politicians play the part of transit experts and squander the taxpayer’s money on prestige projects, that are great for ribbon cutting photo-ops, but little more.

That Translink’s American CEO applauds this only shows the Mayor’s Council on Transit picked nothing more than a “Useful Idiot” to oversee their grossly negligent transit planning that is nothing more than hugely expensive gift to political friends, the land speculators and land developers.

This transit plan is solely to move money, not transit customers.

Kiss good transit planning good bye as the region will suffer decades of congestion and say hello to an ever increasing tax bill to fund the gross incompetence associated with this plan. Also say hello to new highway construction in he region, which must happen, if there is no regional transit.

Better transit for the region, not going to happen, simply because there is no money to make it happen and this includes the Rail for the Valley’s TramTrain, linking Chilliwack, Abbotsford, Cloverdale to Vancouver.

Memo to Premier John Horgan: Stop this runaway money train; dissolve TransLink and start over again, because the Broadway subway and ill planned Surrey LRT will sink the NDP, like the Fast Ferry’s did almost two decades ago.


TransLink mayors, board to vote on $7b Metro Vancouver transit plan

Updated: June 27, 2018
New Westminster Mayor Jonathan Coté plans to vote in favour of the Phase 2 transportation plan. Ric Ernst / Vancouver Sun


TransLink’s Mayors Council and board of directors will meet Thursday to decide whether to approve the ambitious $7.3-billion second phase of a 10-year transportation plan for the region.

If the council and board vote in favour of the plan, then procurement for and implementation of the plan’s projects can begin as early as next month.

Projects include construction of the Millennium Line Broadway Extension and the first stage of the South of Fraser rapid transit in Surrey, more bus and HandyDart service, upgrades to the existing SkyTrain system, improvements to road, pedestrian and cycling networks, and planning for a proposed gondola on Burnaby Mountain.

The two major rail projects, with a combined cost of almost $4.5 billion, are expected to account for almost half of the total Phase 2 investment.

The federal government has committed to paying up to 40 per cent of the capital costs for major projects, and the province has agreed to pay for 40 per cent of all projects.

Regional funding sources include a two-per-cent transit fare hike, three-per-cent parking-tax increase, a property-tax increase of $5.50 for the average household and a development-cost charge on new development.

“I think this has been a long road for the Mayors Council to get approval and a funding arrangement for the mayors’ 10-year vision, and it’s been a difficult process over the past four years,” said New Westminster Mayor Jonathan Coté.

Coté said he can’t speak for other mayors on the council, but he plans to vote in favour of the Phase 2 plan.

“I have for years advocated for the need for us to take that next step and move on to investing in transportation infrastructure, and I can speak for myself that I feel comfortable the appropriate next step is to approve the plan and move us beyond the decade-long conversation about funding and actually start having conversations about implementing transport infrastructure in the region,” he said.

A recent public consultation on Phase 2 of the plan highlighted some concerns about individual funding sources, such as property taxes, and components of the plan, but Coté said he believes the public is generally supportive.

“I think that people are ready for us to stop debating investments into transportation and actually move on to getting on to building and investing in transportation infrastructure in the region,” he said.

Richmond Mayor Malcolm Brodie, who is also co-chair of the council and the board’s joint-finance committee, said he has supported the plan throughout the process and expects to continue to support it Thursday.

He said he hasn’t canvassed his colleagues, but guesses the council will approve the plan, seeing as it has expressed its support for Phase 2 on numerous occasions.

“I think that the federal government, the provincial government, the region are coming together to support a transportation plan — they’re coming together in an unprecedented way and I think the beneficiaries of the common approach will be the people of the region,” Brodie said.

The Mayors Council will also vote on the fare increase proposed in the funding formula for Phase 2. The council received an application from TransLink for the increase on April 20 and must make a decision by July 19.


6 Responses to “The Regional Mayor’s $7 Billion FastFerry Fiasco!”
  1. Bill Burgess says:

    Zwei, this commentary is indistinguishable from Jordan Bateman’s anti-public transit pap.

    Zwei replies: So building a 5.5 km, $3 billion+ subway on a route with about one fifth the ridership needed to justify a subway, is OK with you?

    Sorry, if it is anti-transit to state things as they are, then I am guilty being anti transit.

    But, you, Bill Burgess are the one who is really anti transit, squandering $7 billion, mostly on two very small and ill planned rail routes, are the one who is really anti transit, as you want to spend money on political prestige transit, only good for photo-ops at election time.

  2. Causa causans says:

    We find Vancouver’s transit planning beyond amusing, rather it has become high farce.

    The shoddy treatment given to Siemens and Alstom with the Canada Line episode, told all that Vancouver’s planning was more than incestuous, it was utterly corrupt.

    Both Siemens and Alstom had much better plans for the Canada Line, but they were at a much cheaper cost and with the scope of easily extending the line at a future date.

    What you have now is a grossly under performing metro, that cost far too much money than one should pay.

    Zwei is right when he calls the Canada Line a White Elephant, for that what it is, a classic White Elephant, costing far too much for upkeep, with very little benefit.

    Like Trumps USA, transit planning in Vancouver is a vile mixture of fake news, false facts, and politcal lies and sadly the populace have not the wit to understand that.

  3. Haveacow says:

    Waterloo’s Region’s Council found out yesterday that the last of the 14 ION LRV’s from Bombardier that were supposed to be all delivered by June 30, 2018, will not be here until the end of summer or early fall. Currently 6 of the LRV’s have arrived. The service will open in December 2018 over a year late because of Bombardier.

    The good news is that, the first 7 section, 42 metre long Flexity LRV from the Bombardier LRV facility in Kingston (Milhaven) Ontario, is leaving on time for Edmonton. It should arrive in late July.

    A little bit of fun and fluff reporting on the last day of school here in Ottawa. Here is Bombardier Flexity LRV #506 traveling at speed on part of the ION LRT right of way that use to be a rarely used freight spur.

    The First LRV for Edmonton’s Valley Line leaving Kingston on Wednesday night.

    Image of the possible Light Rail Vehicle (an Alstom Citadis Model 302 LRV) for Gatineau’s Alymer LRT Line, just across the river from Ottawa. The line could possibly use either or both the Prince Of Wales Railway Bridge or the Alexandria Bridge. The Alexandria Bridge use to be a bridge that carried both mainline railway trains and streetcars into downtown Ottawa from Quebec.×314

    Alstom Light Rail Vehicle Module Display Showcase showing in one of several locations around in Surrey for the first stage of the Surrey LRT Line.

  4. Bob says:

    Zwei replies: So building a 5.5 km, $3 billion+ subway on a route with about one fifth the ridership needed to justify a subway, is OK with you?

    Yes, Money well spent. It is an extension of an existing subway. It will replace an overcrowded and most profitable bus route in Vancouver. The increased capacity of the subway will attract new customers who avoid the bus because it is too crowded. It is too bad it only goes to Kitsilano, should go all the way to UBC.

    Zwei replies: Your reply is so completely ignorant, it takes one’s breath away. Overcrowding on the B-Line buses (the trolley’s don’t have this problem) is due to management decisions on not providing enough buses. The added $40 million in operating costs just to operate the subway, could well pay for extra buses, leaving $3.5 billion to be spent on other transit concerns.

  5. Haveacow says:

    Here is the full story so far, about Edmonton’s Bombardier Light Rail Vehicles. The story is from the Edmonton Journal and has some great pics!

  6. Causa causans says:

    Such delightful naivete displayed by people wanting subways and in Vancouver is transit’s alternative universe, where bad planning is good and good planning is bad. Quantum transit.

    Subways tend to be a curse on the operators and on the taxpayer as it becomes a case of ignoring costs.

    Zwei is quite right when stating that customer flows must exceed 15,000 pphpd to justify a subway. Here in Europe, that number is generally higher because of the success of our modern trams or light rail to you.

    Now subways are being planned and built, of course, but many are due to the American disease, of politicians pretending they are transit experts and telling planners to build a subway instead.

    I took Zwei’s advice and yes, the rush hour timetable for your 99B Line bus is one every three minutes. This certainly not the stuff of subways make. A bus every 3 minutes just does not justify a subway, nor a bus every 2 or 1 minutes, justify a subway.

    Of course, you can build your subway, but they you must pay for it and again, experience from across the pond clearly shows, subways come with a heavy price.

    This quote got us rolling in th the aisles ” It will replace an overcrowded and most profitable bus route in Vancouver”

    So, are you now going to replace profit, with loss? As I recall, your city has a U-Pass and from what I have read, over 130,000 U-Passes, which means simply, cheap fares just do no pay the freight for a subway. This concludes with a very undesirable prospect with a new subway, one loses any profits generated by buses and there will be no income generated by the subway and itself be heavily subsidized!

    Frankly speaking, those planning for a subway in Vancouver, would be laughed out of the office across the pond.

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