NEWS FLASH – Province launches review of BC Ferries and TransLink – From News 1130

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Of course the province and Transportation Minister, Shirley Bond will not look at the real reasons of Translink’s financial problems: building light-metro (RAV & SkyTrain) on routes that do not have the ridership to sustain them. It seems the newly announced combined GST/PST (now known as HST) and potential massive new TransLink taxes and auto levies has raised the publics ire. But, unless the province employs BC’s Auditor General or engage an accredited organization such as the UK’s National Audit Office or NAO to look at TransLink, the review will be nothing more than self serving bumf, justifying Gordon Campbell’s inept and extremely expensive transit initiatives forced upon Translink.

Review will be completed by September 30th

Connie Thiessen / Mike Hanafin VICTORIA (NEWS1130) | Tuesday, July 28th, 2009

VICTORIA (NEWS1130) – The provincial government is launching a review of BC Ferries and TransLink, the publicly funded, independently regulated transportation authorities.  The Finance Ministry and Transportation Ministry say it is to ensure customers and taxpayers are receiving maximum value for services.

Finance Minister Colin Hansen says that during challenging economic times, they must ensure that services are provided in a way that is financially sustainable and provides maximum value for people in B.C.  “Both BC Ferries and TransLink have been mandated to provide vital transportation services for millions of people, and we must ensure the governance arrangements are operating as efficiently as possible and the authorities are meeting their service objectives.”

The review was requested by transportation Minister Shirley Bond and are to be completed by September 30th.  The province says they’ll look at all aspects of the operations, from regulatory environment to
corporate structure to financial performance. A final report containing recommendations will be made public.

Bond says, “It has been six years since BC Ferries became a private operation, and two years since TransLink’s governance model was revised. It is important we ensure both organizations are
meeting their financial and service expectations that came about with the new models.”

The review will specifically look at:
* The division of responsibility between the Province and the respective
entities.
* The size, composition, appointment process and compensation for the
board of directors.
* The regulatory environment, including responsibilities, authorities and
powers of the Ferry Commission as well as the regional transportation
commissioner and Mayors’ Council on Regional Transportation.
* The operating costs and service delivery models, including the
company’s efforts to reduce costs using Alternate Service Providers, and
actions to increase productivity and quality customer service.
* A review of options available to the Province that are consistent with
the entities’ independence under generally accepted accounting principles
(GAAP) and which would ensure that existing and future independent,
regulated, publicly created authorities such as BC Ferries and the South
Coast British Columbia Transportation Authority are effectively
structured to:
o Protect ratepayers’ interests with minimal administration costs,
including hard caps on compensation levels for senior executives and
board members.
o Protect clearly mandated customer service levels.
o Improve transparency and public accountability for decisions and
performance levels.

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