TransLink is not for us

The time has come to talk about Surrey and the rest of the South Fraser municipalities leaving Vancouver’s sphere of influence

the TransLink message is finally getting through.

TransLink does not benefit South-of-the-Fraser cities and municipalities, only those who live north of the Fraser River.

We have to remember, then-GVRD chair and soon-to-be TransLink chair, former Vancouver councillor George Puil, only inked the TransLink deal when the province promised to pay two-thirds of SkyTrain construction, west of Commercial Drive in Vancouver.

From the start, TransLink was only about Vancouver and how everyone else must pay for Vancouver’s grand metro schemes.

Fast forward to 2013: TransLink now hovers near bankruptcy, demanding massive new tax hikes and user fees to fund SkyTrain subway construction in Vancouver, not caring a wit about transit, nor transit customers, in Surrey, Delta, and Langley.

A South Fraser transportation authority, made up of people directly elected to the board, would add some democracy and desperately needed fresh thinking, to the organization.

A separate South Fraser transit authority would add some much-needed competition to transit planning and show the ossified central command at TransLink that there are cheaper and just as efficient ways in moving people.

A good example is the Leewood/Rail for the Valley interurban plan, which shows that a Vancouver and Richmond to Chilliwack interurban route could be put into operation for less than $1 billion; not bad when one considers the 11-kilometre Evergreen SkyTrain costs over $1.4 billion.

The time has come to talk about Surrey and the rest of the South Fraser municipalities leaving Vancouver’s sphere of influence and plan for transit that best benefits transit customers on our side of the Fraser. We have grown up.

 

Malcolm Johnston

Delta

Surrey North Delta Leader

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