This time, TransLink and the mayor’s council did not fool all the people all of the time.
TransLink’s crashing into a financial iceberg has been long predicted, ever since the first SkyTrain line was built.
Why? Simple math. SkyTrain costs two to four times more to build and costs more to operate and maintain than modern LRT. This means that the taxpayer was/is paying lot more for SkyTrain than most other cities without any operational benefit. This is why the cost per revenue passenger is a full one-third higher for TransLink than cities like Calgary, Edmonton and Toronto.
No one builds with SkyTrain and only seven such systems have been built in over 35 years. Do people buy Edsels anymore?
The mayors’ plan was to do the same thing over again, building a $3-billion vanity subway in Vancouver and light rail designed as a poor man’s LRT in Surrey, driving up the cost of transit while not attracting many new customers – a recipe for TransLink to hit another financial iceberg in a decade’s time.
The result? The taxpayers saw TransLink for what it is –a ponderous and inept bureaucracy unable to plan for transit for the 21st century – and voted accordingly.
It is now time for the premier to rectify the situation, but I doubt this will happen as the B.C. Liberals have a strong appetite for expensive vanity transit projects.
D. Malcolm Johnston, Delta