TransLink funding crunch has mayors worried about Evergreen – From the Tri-City News


This is not surprising at all, with very little ridership potential and massive costs, it is real challenge to make the Evergreen Line SkyTrain, light-metro line successful! Again, TransLink completely ignores the folly of building hugely expensive metro lines on transit lines with not nearly enough ridership to demand metro service. TransLink is bankrupt, yet the highly paid mandarins that run the show are completely oblivious to this and plan to build even more expensive metro lines. Maybe we should do away with their $900 monthly car allowances and force the bureaucrats to take transit.

Postscript: For the cost of the Evergreen Line SkyTrain, we could have both a deluxe Vancouver to Chilliwack Interurban and a light-rail Evergreen line.


By Janis Warren – The Tri-City News

Port Moody’s mayor continued to sound the alarm bell last week over the TransLink funding crunch and its potential to derail the Evergreen Line to Coquitlam.

Joe Trasolini told a sold-out crowd at the Tri-Cities Chamber of Commerce’s annual mayors’ barbecue that he believes the regional transportation authority’s board of directors will come up short when it presents its budget to the TransLink mayors’ council later this month (a vote is expected in October).

TransLink has promised to pay $400 million of the $1.4-billion cost of building the rapid transit line while the federal government has already committed $416.7 million and the province $410 million. Another $173 million is expected to come from private-public partnerships for the 11-kilometre route.

Earlier this year, during a pre-election speech to the local chamber, Premier Gordon Campbell said construction for the line, which is to run from Lougheed Town Centre in Burnaby, through Port Moody to Coquitlam Town Centre, would start in late 2010, with service starting in 2014.

“I have the greatest confidence in the design team,” Trasolini said Thursday about the Evergreen planners and engineers but urged caution about TransLink’s current operational budget deficit. “TransLink alone will not be able to come up with $400 million.”

Coquitlam Mayor Richard Stewart said his city’s plans for growth are contingent on the Evergreen Line being built.

And Port Coquitlam Mayor Greg Moore complained about TransLink governance, which was imposed by the provincial government in 2007 to yank control away from elected politicians and put in the hands of appointees who meet behind closed doors.

During the hour-long discussion, which was also attended by the Tri-Cities’ two BC Liberal MLAs, Iain Black and Douglas Horne, the mayors also talked about how their municipalities are strapped for cash as well as this year’s hikes in property taxes. Downloading pressures from senior governments to build non-market housing and fix regional roads are ongoing, they said. Moore said revenues from lottery, liquor and goods and services taxes would help pay for infrastructure renewal, including aging pipes and civic facilities.

Other questions from the floor focused on homelessness, measures to address immigration needs and the lack of affordable commercial space for Share programs.

Still, despite some heavy topics, the mayors kept it light by responding to a question on what other Tri-City municipality they would like to head.

“Coquitlam — for the first hour — to leverage the casino money, then Port Moody to get the Evergreen Line to come to PoCo,” Moore said, adding he wouldn’t mind briefly ruling Belcarra and Anmore for their parks.

“Coquitlam because the pay is higher,” Trasolini said.

Stewart quipped he wouldn’t mind being mayor of all five municipalities at once — an answer that delighted Coquitlam businessman and pro-amalgamation lobbyist Doug Stead, who cheered and applauded.


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One Response to “TransLink funding crunch has mayors worried about Evergreen – From the Tri-City News”

  1. Richard Says:

    You really don’t know what you are talking about. It was the Province that decided to use SkyTrain for the Evergreen Line, not TransLink. The Province is also managing the project. Furthermore, if you will remember, on both the Expo and Millennium Lines, it was the Province that decided to use SkyTrain.

    Zweisystem replies: Sorry, it was TransLink’s very questionable business case that the province used to force the construction of SkyTrain on the Evergreen Line. TransLink’s planners so inflated the construction costs for LRT, that they were almost equal to that of SkyTrain. BC Transit did the same thing with the Broadway Lougheed Rapid Transit Project, increasing light-rail’s cost to about 7% less than SkyTrain.

    There is no debate that the province wants SkyTrain to be built, but it was a compliant TransLink (as BC Transit was before) that created the phony financial business case to support SkyTrain construction on both the Millennium Line and the Evergreen Line.

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