TransLink dumps planning veterans Tamim Raad and Brian Mills – Adios Surrey’s LRT?

It seems anyone who even breathes light rail in Metro Vancouver is quietly terminated from TransLink.

UBC educated Tamin Raad, was a supporter of light rail and understood the issues surrounding light metro.

TransLink CEO Tom Prenderghast was forced out of TransLink because he dared to challenge the SkyTrain Lobby, by supporting light rail and now, more are being eased out, which means only one thing, whether the plebiscite passes or fails, a Broadway SkyTrain subway will be built and LRT in surrey will probably will not.


From the Georgia Straight

TransLink pushes out senior transportation planning veterans Tamim Raad and Brian Mills

by Charlie Smith on May 8th, 2015
  • Transit riders have lost two of their supporters at TransLink with the ouster of Brian Mills and Tamim Raad. Stephen Hui

In the midst of a Lower Mainland transportation plebiscite, TransLink has given walking papers to two transit experts.

The Georgia Straight has learned that the director of strategic planning and policy, Tamim Raad, and the director of systems planning and research, Brian Mills, are on the way out.

This comes less than three months after the board of directors replaced CEO Ian Jarvis with interim CEO Doug Allen.

The Straight has asked TransLink media relations for a comment. Nobody has responded as of this writing.

Raad and Mills are both UBC graduates and each reported to recently appointed vice president of transportation strategy, Tim Savoie.

Savoie, former director of planning and development services in Port Moody, has extensive experience as a municipal planner. However, he does not have nearly as much experience in dealing with transit Mills or Raad.

Mills has been involved in this work for 27 years and led TransLink’s long-term vision and strategy document, Transport 2040.

Raad has been with TransLink for 16 years. In February, he told the Georgia Straight that the regional transportation authority’s goal was to create a “frequent-wide transit network” serving 70 percent of the population.

‘You head out your door in Surrey, say and walk a few blocks,” he explained. “You dont need a schedule. A bus comes every 15 minutes. Average wait: seven-and-a-half minutes. Thats the plan?

Last year, Raad told the Vancouver Sun that TransLink “thinks a light rail line from Commercial to UBC is workable”.

The Vision Vancouver controlled council has adamantly demanded a more expensive subway. This was included in the suite of projects supported by the Mayor’s Council and put before voters in the plebiscite.

Even if the plebiscite passes, the provincial and federal governments will each have to kick in nearly $700 million to build the subway. If it’s constructed, trains would travel underground from VCC-Clark Station to Arbutus Street.




3 Responses to “TransLink dumps planning veterans Tamim Raad and Brian Mills – Adios Surrey’s LRT?”
  1. Haveacow says:

    I remember reading an article that was in one of the newer textbooks that planning students use. That article was by Brian Mills. What was important here was he has a very modern understanding of what kind of development is good around transit stations and what isn’t that good. The tittle of Director of Systems Planning and Research was a good tittle for what one of his major strengths. He seems to have a real ability to separate the wheat from the chaff, when it came to planning development around and designs of, transit stations, losing him is bit of blow for the lower mainland of BC. I hope is replacement is as good.

    Zwei replies: There is far more to this story, than I can say, but this dirty little opus seems to be a power struggle between the UBC (LRT trams) transit philosophy (Prof. Peter Boothroyd/Patrick Condon) and the SFU (SkyTrain, subway and bus) philosophy (Prof. Gordon Price et el). Vancouver wants subway and woe to those who advocate LRT in the city.

  2. eric chris says:

    I’m not sure whether it might be appropriate for me to post an email to me from Brian Mills in 2012, so I won’t. It was your typical deadbeat government employee blow-off. Mary Polak,, former TransLink minister, assigned Brian to solve the 99 B-Line “noise” issue after I contacted her. Brian solved it like he solved the Compass debacle (his baby) which likely got him fired after everyone realized that FTN service can’t be used with Compass (not enough time to tap in or out)..

    Mary only lasted one year and Brian stalled until she was gone. Then he went back to doing what every deadbeat government employee does best – nothing.

    I never met either TM or BM but don’t ever recall either of them opposing s-train and subway lines and don’t ever recall either of them promoting LRT. If you have any information to the contrary, please forward it, Haveacow; maybe I’m mistaken.

    Transit here is a disaster. Subway and s-train lines here work because TransLink has literally thrown billions of dollars on FTN service over the years (diesel buses) to make them work. It is perverse to build rail transit which adds more diesel buses to the roads. These fools (TM and BM) made preposterous claims that their FTN service reduced carbon emissions and won awards from APTA for it (APTA just took their word for it).

    Bus transfers to s-train and subway lines are mostly one way to the s-train and subway lines – few people really transfer from the s-train and subway lines to buses. This indicates that TransLink is loading up the s-train and subway lines with forced transfers to build up their ridership. Few people grasp this. Every time that a new s-train or subway line goes into service, ridership jumps – yet driving remains unchanged.

    How can that be? It can’t, and TransLink is recycling riders. This adds time to the commute and LRT is faster for most transit users, as a result. Good riddance, these two fools ran transit into the ground here – in my opinion.

    There is only one solution for the resident evil at TransLink. We fight the infection at TransLink and end the endless waste growing at a geometric rate. We shut down the flow of money financing the $150 million/year bureaucracy at TransLink siphoning away money from transit operations to pay for the hundreds or grossly overpaid mindless minions at TransLink.

    It really is the end of transit unless Stevie and his friends at TransLink are made extinct. Sorry about this Stevie… but you didn’t listen and now you’re gone. Your friends are next in line.

  3. retiredpro says:

    Yes, they generally promote whatever keeps them rising up in their job ladder climbing. Don’t think for a moment they were let go on noble terms. It was much overdue. The inflated bubble finally burst.

    One of the reasons for TransLink’s recent demise is due to the pain these two caused not only staff at TransLink but municipal staff. They acted like they were god’s gift to the region but they really had little clue as to how to run a complex system like TransLink. They fueled the implosion and professionals there and around the region rejoiced when the news came out.

    An example years ago, Mills was appointed with much fanfare to be TransLink’s expert on the Olympics. In a few months VANOC kicked him back to TransLink because he knew nothing on his own. That’s what happens when you have narrow-minded big-headed so-called experts who freeze up when having to face real-world without much consulting budget or staff to kick around. It’s unfortunate they may now have to actually think and do work on their own. Life is cruel.

    I don’t know who you are Eric, but you have more insight on how the system runs in your short comment than both of these fools combined.