EDITORIAL: TransLink 3.0?

Something has to be done about TransLink and the string-pulling provincial government – whether BC Liberal or NDP – has to do it.

A mad scientist couldn’t have come up with an odder creation than TransLink. And a new consultant’s report paid for by the Mayor’s Council on Regional Transportation seems to agree. Recognizing the fact that TransLink is essentially a provincial creation responsible for overseeing regional priorities yet beset with funding woes and lack of accountability, the report suggests numerous reform options. None appear to be ideal.

Critics say it’s time for a change but what changes are necessary?

Former transportation minister Kevin Falcon thought he solved the problem when he took priority-setting responsibilities away from the mayors and gave them to a professional board. But that hasn’t worked the way it was hoped. There’s never enough money for transportation priorities so the mayors always seem to be going cap-in-hand to the province, only to be told to look under the couch for spare change or pare down the priorities.

TransLink’s mayors’ council has only enough power to be a ready scapegoat for the province.

Thus, when big decisions are made — say, building the new Port Mann Bridge or choosing the transit technology for the Evergreen LIne — they’re made by the province, leaving the mayors and the TransLink board responsible for unpopular actions such as cutting bus routes or hiking property taxes.

According to the consultants, TransLink’s structure — an appointed board of directors in control of all decisions except major revenue increases — is an anomaly worldwide; most other cities have democratically elected representatives who answer directly to their constituents.

But does the public want another emasculated but elected board, like boards of education, which have a little responsibility and no authority or revenue-raising power? Not likely.

More radical surgery might be necessary. One idea would be to create a democratically elected Metro Vancouver land-planning board with responsibility for setting transportation priorities as well as budgets — replacing both the Metro Van board and the TransLink mayors’ council.

Voters might yawn at the idea but something has to be done about TransLink and the string-pulling provincial government — whether BC Liberal or NDP — has to do it.

 

Just Posted

Gas tank of Langley man’s pickup drilled to steal fuel

Record-high gas prices may be to blame for the theft that has left him without a truck

Reconciliation walk builds relationships between settlers and Indigenous peoples

Walk in the Spirit of Reconciliation begins May 25 in Fort Langley

RCMP seeks dash cam footage in Cloverdale hit and run

RCMP believe same Acura TL involved in two accidents within minutes of each other

South Surrey parents plan appeal of air-contaminants permit

Metro Vancouver gives 15-year OK to galvanizing-plant emissions

Fraser Valley photo clubs to compete at Clayton event

Photo clubs from Vancouver to Chilliwack will compete in the Langley Camera Club’s annual event

VIDEO: B.C. man recognized for spinning basketball on toothbrush

Abbotsford man holds world record for longest duration of time of 60.5 seconds

83-year-old convicted murderer escapes from B.C. prison

RCMP are asking for the public’s help to locate Ralph Whitfield Morris

VIDEO: Vets, volunteers set up vaccination station for sick bunnies

Volunteers, vets try to stop spread of lethal virus

If you see a dog in a hot car, don’t break in: SPCA

People are being discouraged from smashing windows to free animals. The SPCA has tips on what else you can do.

Municipal election loophole will be fixed, premier says

Union, corporate donations still allowed for slate party ‘operational’ needs

Cat found stuffed in box in Dumpster in northeastern B.C.

Still alive, cat was found near Dawson Creek restrained with zip ties, legs forced behind neck

Fears prompt feds to establish BBQ brush safety standards

Wire-bristle safety fears prompt Ottawa to establish BBQ brush safety standards

Don’t forget about women left to sweep up shards of glass ceiling, W7 urges G7

When Prime Minister Justin Trudeau champions gender equality at the G7 he is being asked to raise the concerns of marginalized women

Canadian air travel industry fears pilot flight-time limits will go too far

Air carriers urge feds to slow down flight-time limits for sleepy pilots

Most Read