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TransLink’s proposed plan for 2013: What the heck does it mean?

September 17th, 2012 · 24 Comments

The full news release from TL is below. Interpreters, please? I notice Jeff Nagel is writing that this depends on mayors agreeing to the property-tax increase they refused in the spring.

I notice elsewhere Coast Mountain drivers are claiming 50,000 of hours are being cut, but TransLink said about 100,000 hours are being added.

Can we crowd-source the deeper implications of this, please?

TransLink’s plan delivers fiscal responsibility
$98 million in annual efficiencies over the next three years

VANCOUVER –  Cutting costs and making the best use of existing resources to drive new revenue is the focus of TransLink’s transportation plan for the next three years.

“Our focus is being fiscally responsible,” said TransLink Board Chair Nancy Olewiler. “We are delivering an integrated transportation system to keep people and goods moving in the region, while making the most of every dollar we have. Over the next three years, we will live within our means and only deliver those services for which we have the necessary funding.”

The draft 2013 Base Plan tabled today identifies an average of $98 million in new efficiencies annually over the next three years. These efficiency measures, along with drawing on the reserve fund, will fill a portion of the funding gap needed to maintain existing services and allow a number of planned transportation improvement projects to proceed.

“We evaluated every project and placed priority on those that not only address immediate needs like overcrowding, but also support long-term goals for the region,” said TransLink Executive Vice President of Strategic Planning and Public Affairs Robert Paddon. “While this draft plan will not fulfil these goals entirely, we are doing everything we can to keep us on a path to a more sustainable future in a fiscally responsible way.”

The following planned projects will proceed:

*   The region’s contribution to the Evergreen Line project.
*   109,000 new hours of transit service. Some hours were implemented in April 2012.
*   Rapid Bus service on Highway 1 over the Port Mann Bridge from Carvolth Transit Exchange in Langley to SkyTrain in New Westminster, every 10 minutes during peak hours and 30 minutes during off-peak hours.
*   B-Line service every seven to eight minutes on King George Boulevard and 104th Avenue between Newton and Guilford.
*   Upgrades to Expo Line stations including improving capacity and accessibility at Main St. and Scott Road, Metrotown, Commercial-Broadway, Surrey Central, New Westminster and Joyce-Collingwood stations.

In April, the Regional Transportation Commissioner rejected a supplementary fare increase and made several recommendations for more efficient operations. Since then, TransLink’s budget has been further challenged by a number of factors, including lower than expected fuel tax revenues, lower than expected fare and toll revenues, and the deferral of the sale of surplus real estate.

Despite aggressive efforts on efficiencies and drawing on reserves, the impact of these lower than expected revenues means that several planned improvements will not proceed:

*   306,000 hours of bus service hours.
*   10-minute, off-peak frequency on the Highway 1 Rapid Bus service.
*   The White Rock Centre extension on the King George Boulevard B-Line service.
*   Expanded SeaBus service to provide 15-minute service on Sundays and holidays in fall, winter and spring.
*   Restoring original funding for cycling programs and the Major Road Network.

TransLink is engaging elected officials, key stakeholders and the public to discuss the draft plan before it is finalised by November 1 and submitted to the Transportation Commissioner for review.

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