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Translink & 0.5% vote (merged)

Dec. 15, 2014, 8:58 a.m.
Posts: 10077
Joined: Nov. 19, 2002

As for existing transit, there are a couple things that are done that I believe could easily be done better. The first is how you pay to use the bus. Exact change? For the longest time you could drop a bill into the money collector. Now, if you don't have $2 in coins you can't ride. I've been on buses in Europe where they take money and give change. Why can't they do that here? Then there is the charge for the distance you travel. If you get on a bus at Park Royal and go downtown, you pay $4 for a 10 minute bus ride. Meanwhile you pay half the price to go from Boundary Road to UBC, which is a much longer ride. Again, in European countries you pay by distance (they also have pay by distance on freeways).

That is why they are trying to get to install the compass system.

You'll pay for the distance you travel, not zones.
http://www.translink.ca/en/Fares-and-Passes/Compass-Card/Benefits.aspx

Dec. 15, 2014, 11:20 a.m.
Posts: 7707
Joined: Sept. 11, 2003

As for existing transit, there are a couple things that are done that I believe could easily be done better. The first is how you pay to use the bus. Exact change? For the longest time you could drop a bill into the money collector. Now, if you don't have $2 in coins you can't ride. I've been on buses in Europe where they take money and give change. Why can't they do that here? Then there is the charge for the distance you travel. If you get on a bus at Park Royal and go downtown, you pay $4 for a 10 minute bus ride. Meanwhile you pay half the price to go from Boundary Road to UBC, which is a much longer ride. Again, in European countries you pay by distance (they also have pay by distance on freeways).

You can ride from Deep Cove to Horseshoe Bay, 31 km, 1 hr 45 min bus ride for $2.25, but riding from Kootney Loop to Esmond Ave, 1 distance of 1 block, is $4.50.

I am a transit user and advocate but I have a problem that

1)Translink and the board are unelected and the public has no control over how the money is used or spent
2)They have a track record of pissing away money like there is no tomorrow. On things like car $950 to $1,200 a MONTH in car expenses for the top 7 executives. CEO Ian Jarvis makes more - over $100,000 a year more - than Transit CEOs of Montreal, Toronto, Portland or Seattle.

You'll pay for the distance you travel, not zones.
http://www.translink.ca/en/Fares-and-Passes/Compass-Card/Benefits.aspx

You'll also be paying for the delayed rollout which is 3 years behind schedule so far, with an indefinite future rollout date, and a massive bill - possibly around $100 million - over budget.

Dec. 15, 2014, 11:24 a.m.
Posts: 354
Joined: June 11, 2013

1)Translink and the board are unelected and the public has no control over how the money is used or spent
2)They have a track record of pissing away money like there is no tomorrow. On things like car $950 to $1,200 a MONTH in car expenses for the top 7 executives. CEO Ian Jarvis makes more - over $100,000 a year more - than Transit CEOs of Montreal, Toronto, Portland and Seattle.

The unelected thing is a big, big deal. We are taxed by body that does not actually represent voters.

Translink has a massive credibility program. I don't care if the contractor is to blame that the Compass card is over a year late, it's a Translink problem.

I like transit, support the idea of more subways, but really do not trust Translink to spend my money wisely.

Dec. 15, 2014, 11:33 a.m.
Posts: 10077
Joined: Nov. 19, 2002

The unelected thing is a big, big deal. We are taxed by body that does not actually represent voters.

Translink has a massive credibility program. I don't care if the contractor is to blame that the Compass card is over a year late, it's a Translink problem.

I like transit, support the idea of more subways, but really do not trust Translink to spend my money wisely.

I agree.

Translink's board:
http://www.translink.ca/en/About-Us/Governance-and-Board/Board-of-Directors/Board-Members.aspx

Only Richard Walton, Mayor of the District of North Vancouver was elected. Everyone else (9 people) is appointed.

Translink Governance is here:
http://www.translink.ca/en/About-Us/Governance-and-Board/Governance-Model.aspx

I didn't know they got a new governance model in June 25 2014, maybe since it was just before a long weekend I was out of town and missed it?

Edit: I wonder who is the Screening Panel? The page above doesn't say.
"appoints nine TransLink Board members, from a candidate list presented by the Screening Panel"

Dec. 15, 2014, 11:53 a.m.
Posts: 33725
Joined: Nov. 19, 2002

It would be nice to have a director that works or worked in the industry instead of only lawyers and accountants (or even worse, marketing people).

It is easy to dodge our responsibilities, but we cannot dodge the consequences of dodging our responsibilities.
- Josiah Stamp

Every time I see an adult on a bicycle, I no longer despair for the future of the human race.
- H.G. Wells

Dec. 15, 2014, 4:20 p.m.
Posts: 401
Joined: Nov. 28, 2002

The unelected thing is a big, big deal. We are taxed by body that does not actually represent voters.

Translink has a massive credibility program. I don't care if the contractor is to blame that the Compass card is over a year late, it's a Translink problem.

I like transit, support the idea of more subways, but really do not trust Translink to spend my money wisely.

Well, I think there's lots to complain about with Translink, but I think the Board being unelected is overblown. It's the Mayor's Council who appoints nine of the board members and controls the screening committee. And it's the Mayor's Council who is proposing the additional tax. You did get to vote for those guys, and it's part of their job to pick some decent directors.

Dec. 15, 2014, 4:42 p.m.
Posts: 7594
Joined: July 25, 2007

They need the money for more turbos!!!!!!

Dec. 15, 2014, 7:22 p.m.
Posts: 0
Joined: Oct. 9, 2009

That is why they are trying to get to install the compass system.

You'll pay for the distance you travel, not zones.
http://www.translink.ca/en/Fares-and-Passes/Compass-Card/Benefits.aspx

That system seemed really cool, until you find out how buggy it is and how far behind. If I recall the system had already proven a failure multiple times before translink thought - hey lets try this!

Pretty much just another example of translink making terrible use of our money, and driving ticket prices up with no improvement in service.

Dec. 15, 2014, 8 p.m.
Posts: 3647
Joined: May 23, 2006

^ they tried that in Beijing. Motorists just bought a cheap second car.

How does it work in London town then?

Everyone else (9 people) is appointed.

Yeah. By the Liberal govt.

Freedom of contract. We sell them guns that kill them; they sell us drugs that kill us.

Dec. 15, 2014, 8:56 p.m.
Posts: 1224
Joined: May 4, 2006

Just gonna throw these thoughts out there…

Funding:
those who benefit from public transport should pay. But let's be clear who benefits…you can be sure that those unfortunate people who are crammed onto an over-crowded 99 aren't the ones who "benefit". Apart from a couple of eco-warriers, I bet the vast majority would rather be driving in their own car but can't (maybe the can't afford it or there may be nowhere to park at home or at work)
No, they are not the people who would benefit from a subway…it's the people who are currently driving. Take that crammed 99 off the road and replace it with 70 (?) single occupancy cars and see who complains the most…ergo, slap more tax on gas…

Also, at peak times, its commuters who cause gridlock and businesses that benefit from having a workforce that can actually get into work. Ergo businesses should not shirk their financial responsibility either.

Now, as regards how Translink is managed. Frankly, infrastructure projects of this importance should not be left in the hands of politicians with an eye of the next election results. Too much opportunity for flip flopping of decisions (which contractors love because they can charge $$$). Nor should whoever commissions this work skimp on getting top qualify management which also costs $$$

Jeremy Clarkson made an infamous remark that "at least Hitler got jobs done" meaning dictators didn't have to fanny around appeasing NIMBYs - he has a point. Far too many self-interest groups results in a lot of talking, lots of "studies" but very little action…

Vancouver needs to grow a pair and just get on with infrastructure projects such as this…

BTW: next big project should be to throw up a sky train along Marine Dr in North Van to the seabus terminal IMHO

Dec. 15, 2014, 10:22 p.m.
Posts: 9
Joined: Aug. 20, 2010

The unelected thing is a big, big deal. We are taxed by body that does not actually represent voters.

Not totally true, the Mayors are in there with their council. And the power of that Council is increasing.

But yeah, generally, true. Exactly the same as Metro Vancouver, not directly elected and I would say a lot less thrifty with the tax dollar than the individual munis are.

However, are you willing to wait 15 years for a governance change, which likely will have little impact anyway, to get some good projects in the ground? That's the decision we all face.

Dec. 15, 2014, 10:27 p.m.
Posts: 9
Joined: Aug. 20, 2010

Is be quite skeptical that all the collected taxes would go towards transit. The extra cash will likely be skimmed to "balance" the budget.

I don't think so. The Mayors would blow a gasket if a dedicated appropriation were misued or misreported by the Province, and it may well be illegal. Audits and accounting for how the funds are used is part of the referendum question.

You gotta remember that munis hate the Province, and the Province hates the Feds…. Helps create accountability.

Dec. 16, 2014, 9:01 a.m.
Posts: 10077
Joined: Nov. 19, 2002

That system seemed really cool, until you find out how buggy it is and how far behind. If I recall the system had already proven a failure multiple times before translink thought - hey lets try this!

From what I've read and heard, the system works on rapid transit systems in a bunch of other areas, but what hadn't been done is put it on buses.

That is the issue is that the buses lose connection with the network so people can't tap out, or if it is connected it is too slow to allow a bus to empty without creating a big backlog.

Dec. 16, 2014, 9:07 a.m.
Posts: 2658
Joined: July 6, 2003

From what I've read and heard, the system works on rapid transit systems in a bunch of other areas, but what hadn't been done is put it on buses.

That is the issue is that the buses lose connection with the network so people can't tap out, or if it is connected it is too slow to allow a bus to empty without creating a big backlog.

That is my understanding of the problem as well. Sounds like a poorly thought out plan!

I don't know why the busses just don't store the data on board and send it back in a large packet of data in between stops when it has a reliable connection to the base station…. But I am not an engineer!

Originally posted by Purecanadianhoney
I don't see how hard it would be to scrape out the head of your cock once in a while.

Dec. 16, 2014, 9:20 a.m.
Posts: 7707
Joined: Sept. 11, 2003

^ they tried that in Beijing. Motorists just bought a cheap second car.

In places like London and Singapore, private vehicles pay a hefty fee to drive into the Central Business District during rush hour.

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