Jackson says TransLink not worthwhile for Delta

Delta mayor doesn't think taxpayers get a good return for investment in regional transit

Delta Mayor Lois E. Jackson.

Delta Mayor Lois E. Jackson.

An attempt by TransLink to charge drivers at park-and-ride lots in Tsawwassen and Ladner has led Mayor Lois Jackson to criticize the transportation authority’s service.

“We have a bylaw in place and basically I said we’re not going to allow this,” said Jackson in a telephone interview on Thursday (Nov. 22).

She said the municipality does not have pay parking anywhere, and will not allow TransLink to start now.

Going further, Jackson sharply criticized TransLink’s service levels.

She said taxpayers in Delta contribute $12 million every year but pay the most money to connect with the transportation network.

“Plus we pay for parking at Scott Road Station and we have very poor service. Usually in today’s world if you get good service, you pay more.”

Jackson went on to say that TransLink’s zone fare system benefits people in Burnaby and Vancouver where the service is good, but not for people in Surrey, Delta, or the Fraser Valley.

“[TransLink’s] board looks through a narrow glass. They are not elected. I am, and I’m accountable to my taxpayers. They are not.”

The situation makes Jackson wonder aloud whether the 17 cent surtax on gasoline is worth it for local drivers.

“If you cannot get to your workplace by transit you have to drive there, usually into the city or elsewhere, and so we pay [TransLink] the most again.”

She said the whole situation puts the idea of fairness for Delta into question.

TransLink was not immediately available for comment.

Surrey North Delta Leader