Split from TransLink makes little sense

I’m all for better transit south of the Fraser, but a separate south-of-Fraser transit authority is not the answer.

There are some things I just can’t grasp when it comes to south-of-Fraser views on transit issues, from the notion from our leaders that SkyTrain expansion will split communities (SkyTrain has built communities), to the idea that the south-of-Fraser region should split from TransLink.

Take the recent column by Frank Bucholtz suggesting splitting from TransLink, for instance.

Frank is fed up by the seemingly “discriminatory” attitude towards transit expansion south of the Fraser.

Yet, in the past several years, the south-of-Fraser area has received the highest proportion of service hours during expansions. There would have been more, were it not for the limits being set by funding issues for everyone in the region.

He is also fed up with three-zone fares ($5.50) to reach Vancouver from Surrey or Langley. But it must be realized that the distance between Surrey and Vancouver is at least 17 kilometers; many trips exceed 30 kms, and TransLink often has to pay for one or two buses and a SkyTrain trip from your flat-rate fare.

Trying to travel the same distance in Metro Toronto between cities would cost between $6.25 and $7.75 each way, every day. It costs just $5.50 here, during peak commuting hours only – and just $2.75 on evenings and weekends.

True, there are some inexcusable nitpicks like the lack of a Surrey stop on the Highway 1 RapidBus.

However, it’s hard to say whose fault that is. Neither the province nor nearby developers were able to build a place for TransLink to safely stop without incurring delays and/or extra costs.

I’m all for better transit south of the Fraser, but a separate south-of-Fraser transit authority is not the answer.

It doesn’t make sense. Attempting to split off would complicate decisions on funding methods, and it would affect transit service during the process.

Daryl Dela Cruz

Surrey

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