Friday, August 8, 2008

Bus service may be halved: TransLink

Apropos of my Transit post this morning, try this:



Frank Luba
The Province


Thursday, August 07, 2008


Looming cuts at TransLink are a big concern for bus drivers' union boss Don
MacLeod.

"It's always the bus service they go to first," said MacLeod, president of
Local 111 of the Canadian Auto Workers.

"We make all these commitments and promises but we have no money to support
it," he said of TransLink plans.

Provincial legislation requires TransLink to have a balanced budget, so when
its accumulated surplus of $400 million runs out in 2011, there will have to
be $150 million annually in cuts.

For "simplicity," according to the transportation authority's recently
passed 10-year transportation and financial plan, that massive cut is
achieved by cutting more than half the region's bus services.

There are 4.181 million bus-service hours scheduled for 2008 and that total
is projected to grow to 4.722 million by 2011. In 2012, and out to 2018,
that number is chopped to 2.122 million.

"If expenditure reductions are required, we would effect a reduction through
a combination of reduced bus service, roads funding and administration and
program support costs," reads the plan.

The bus service, which carries about 80 per cent of transit users,
represents the biggest opportunity for cuts with an expected expenditure in
2011 of $668 million.

TransLink spokesman Ken Hardie identified annual administration costs at $48
million to $49 million and funding for the road network at $55 million.

"Ultimately, there's not nearly enough money in those budgets to offset the
$150 million," said Hardie.

"Our goal is to not cut anything."

But unless a ready source of ongoing funding materializes, there have to be
cuts.

"After 2011, we'd have to find $150 million in savings somewhere," said
Hardie. "Some would come from programs and some would come from service."

There was a huge outcry in 2001 when TransLink cut just 160,000 hours of
service in response to not getting its reviled vehicle levy approved.

4 comments:

nowhere man said...

If Metro Vancouver were to have it's own sales tax of 3 per cent, there would be over $1 Billion revenue that would cover Translink's budget with a surplus.
Translink could become a completely free service with all the present levies and translink taxes eliminated.
The sales tax would grow with inflation and population growth, increasing revenue to $1.7 Billion in ten years.
This sales tax could be piggy backed onto the provincial sales tax.

Martino said...

How about the board of Translink take a pay cut, as a nice gesture and to show their seriousness about balancing the budget.

Light Rail Guy said...

Here are some facts that may further contribute to the TransLink fiasco.

- Expo Line rebuild + 10 km. extension in Surrey - $3 billion.

- Cost of SkyTrain to build - almost $200 million a km.

- Cost of Véléz Malaga (Spain) new LRT - $7 million a km.

- Cost of Canada Line subway - $2.5 billion+

- Capacity of Canada line subway as built - 15,000 persons per hour per direction.

- Cost of LRT on Arbutus Corridor - $20 million to $25 million a km.

- Capacity of LRT on Arbutus Corridor - 20,000 persons per hour per direction.

- Capacity promised with the SkyTrain Expo Line - 30,000 pphpd

- Capacity by contract, Millennium Line - 26,000

- Capacity of Expo Line, delivered - under 15,000 pphpd.

- Maximum capacity achieved by Hong Kong's Tuen Mun (at-grade) LRT - 25,000 pphpd.

- Estimated cost of a Vancouver to Steveston LRT (using the Arbutus Corridor) - $800 million.

- Operational costs of SkyTrain is about twice of that of LRT.

- Lifespan of LRT line before refurbishment 30 to 50 years.

- Lifespan of SkyTrain line before refurbishment - about 30 years.

Cities operating LRT - over 600

Cities operating SkyTrain - 5

It seems SkyTrain and its very high costs are strangling TransLink, yet we build more!

Anonymous said...

The fallacy of operating metro, on routes that do not have the ridership to sustain them is truly apparent. But to TransLink and Gordo learn? No, Nada, spend, spend, spend is heir credo. And after next years election, tax, tax, tax!