The Night of the Blunt Butter Knives – TransLink Fires Three Executives

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It looks like TransLink has sacrificed three executives, to give an appearance of “getting their house in order” after two very recent uncomplimentary reports; nothing like firing three top executives (of course leaving with handsome golden handshakes) to give the public confidence that TransLink is cleaning house.

Sorry, no it’s not – not even close.

If TransLink was really concerned how taxpayers money was spent, it would cut non-productive bus routes like the South Delta 609 service, that only carries five to ten passengers a day. How many more 609 like bus routes operate in the region? If TransLink was really interested in revenue protection, they would disband the SkyTrain police (which more and more seem like a sop for retired RCMP officers), with real fare inspectors or conductors and do actual revenue protection duties on the trains. In Europe, it is not turnstiles (which TransLink is being forced to install by the BC Liberals) that ensures fare compliance, but roving conductors checking tickets and issuing on the spot fines for noncompliance.

Why does TransLink have or even need expensive spin-doctors, unless they want to continue to deliberately confuse the public. What is TransLink trying to hide?

What is needed is a forensic audit by the Auditor General, to root out the real financial problems with TransLink and the RAV/SkyTrain light-metro system. Only after a complete and thorough audit is done will the public, politicians, and TransLink’s management will know where real economies can be made.

TransLink fires three executives

Move linked to ‘finding efficiencies’

By Kelly Sinoski, Vancouver Sun December 12, 2009

Three top senior TransLink executives have been let go, a little more than a month after a comptroller-general’s report criticized the transit authority for its “excessive” number of senior staffers.

But TransLink spokesman Ken Hardie said the departures of the three executives — who held posts in human resources, information technology and capital management — were part of a move by TransLink to “find efficiencies” and not related to the report.

The move started before the provincial government had even asked for the comptroller’s report, he said.

Hardie couldn’t say how much money would be saved by the loss of the three executives, saying TransLink would need some time to work through some of the details with them.

TransLink, under the guidance of then CEO Tom Prendergast, had sought late last year to find efficiencies in the transit system and “get more for less,” Hardie said.

“We went at this looking at the work that needed to be done and the resources needed to do it,” Hardie said.

This included eliminating duplication of services.

The capital management division, for instance, which is involved in vehicle acquisitions and the Vancouver Transit Centre, was doing similar work to that undertaken by Coast Mountain Bus.

As TransLink isn’t currently involved in building large new projects, it’s looking at redesigning its corporate management structure.

The move to find efficiencies came as TransLink was facing a looming cash crunch. The regional mayors’ council has since approved a $130-million supplement to help keep transit services running at existing levels.

Hardie noted TransLink has about 23 vacancies right now and more are anticipated as a result of a hiring freeze.

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