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Old 09-18-2012, 01:23 PM   #76
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I wonder if Translink did an experiment doing this before purchasing the god damn fucking ticket machines.

I'm kinda confused at this point when people are required to swipe when leaving the bus.
i feel there is a strong relation with your avatar to this thread when i read this thread.

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Old 09-19-2012, 08:53 PM   #77
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Some people think Peter Ladner is a crock, but IMHO, his editorial from the latest edition of Business in Vancouver (what? a publication that companies and financiers subscribe to) does a good job of explaining what's wrong with transit in Metro Vancouver:

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Politicians need to support transit tipping point“TransLink is politically unaccountable” really means “I don’t want to pay for someone else’s transit”

By Peter Ladner
Tue Sep 18, 2012 12:01am PST

When will we reach the tipping point where it will be considered safe for a political leader to authorize sustainable funding for public transit? Or will we ever reach that point again?

For now, many are convinced we’re not there, hence the mania for auditing TransLink, as though that will miraculously yield enough bus loaves and fishes to feed transit to the multitudes. It’s not going to happen. Neither the new three-year plan that will save $47 million a year and boost revenues by $60 million nor a miracle reversal of gas tax revenue declines will stop the slow strangulation our transit system is currently experiencing without new investment.

TransLink needs to be more efficient. It needs to be policed by people who aren’t double-dipping. It needs to regain trust with voters. But after all that, it’s still going to need new funding to properly maintain, service and upgrade transportation infrastructure in Metro Vancouver.

Much of the public chatter about TransLink reminds me of the joke about what men really mean when talking to women.

“What kind of work do you do?” really means “I want to go to bed with you.” “Do you like hiking?” really means “I want to go to bed with you.” “You look terrific” really means “I want to go to bed with you.”

According to Langley-based Jordan Bateman of the Canadian Taxpayers’ Federation (what is that, anyway?), most people think transit is a good idea for their friends and neighbours but not for them, so they don’t want to pay for it.

That’s the message that caused Premier Christy Clark to kick aside, without any consultation or negotiation, a painfully crafted proposal to approve a vehicle levy to keep transit moving and improving.

Here’s what I think is really going on: “We need to wait and see TransLink run more efficiently” really means “I don’t want to pay for someone else’s transit.”

“TransLink is politically unaccountable” really means “I don’t want to pay for someone else’s transit.”

“We’re being taxed to death” really means “I don’t want to pay for someone else’s transit.”

“We have to wait until the economy recovers before investing in more rapid transit” really means “I don’t want to pay for someone else’s transit.”

So the question becomes: When does “someone else’s transit” become “my transit, my way of getting around,” or something that benefits me – not just my friends and neighbours? When will enough voters view transit as being in their interest?

The evidence shows that the time is coming soon. Metro Vancouver ridership has jumped from 130 million trips a year in 2000 to 233 million last year. Higher costs of fuel are pushing people to look for more affordable and convenient ways to get around. Developers are clamouring for transit to development sites because those units served by frequent transit are selling faster and at higher prices than car-dependent sites.

Gen X and Y adults are buying fewer cars than their parents. Car trips into the city of Vancouver have been declining for the past 10 years. Proof that car-dependent suburbs create fat sick kids is now indisputable. The productivity possibilities on wifi-connected buses and trains are now well-known. The pressure to make this region more affordable to employees who need frequent and late-night transit is mounting. Students who are waiting two hours to get on buses out of UBC are rightfully pissed.

At some point, the political winds are going to change direction. They may already have, but no provincial politician has the guts to test them. Until someone does, this region will slowly choke on congestion, pass-ups and lost economic opportunities as bus routes continue to be curtailed, buses sold and new projects frozen.

Politicians need to support transit tipping point | Peter Ladner | Business in Vancouver
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Old 09-19-2012, 09:41 PM   #78
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Transit users should pay for using the transit - not property owners, not BC Hydro customers, not car owners, etc.
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Old 09-19-2012, 09:44 PM   #79
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Some people think Peter Ladner is a crock, but IMHO, his editorial from the latest edition of Business in Vancouver (what? a publication that companies and financiers subscribe to) does a good job of explaining what's wrong with transit in Metro Vancouver:

So he is saying we ALL share the cost of transit to build, maintain, and service the the system. great. how does he propose we do that? he seems to be in favor of a vehicle levy. ok great -add a couple hundred extra to my icbc insurance every year and let me pay it monthly - i wont feel so hard pressed.

what kind of guarantee will i get as a driver that after 18months, i can reduce the dependency on my car take the bus. translink has too much red tape and bs for it to have a clear plan and milestones that are SMART. until translink can give a solid value proposition to everyone it'll just be lipstick on a pig.
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Old 09-19-2012, 10:13 PM   #80
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Transit users should pay for using the transit - not property owners, not BC Hydro customers, not car owners, etc.
A self-funding transit system is not sustainable in Greater Vancouver; Translink could be the most efficient transit authority on the planet and that fact would remain unchanged. Only in a few select cities with extremely high population densities is a self-funding transit system possible, and not a single Canadian city fits that profile. As a citizen of a first world country, you will inevitably always help fund services you don't necessarily use, this is just one example. Get used to it.

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So he is saying we ALL share the cost of transit to build, maintain, and service the the system. great. how does he propose we do that? he seems to be in favor of a vehicle levy. ok great -add a couple hundred extra to my icbc insurance every year and let me pay it monthly - i wont feel so hard pressed.

what kind of guarantee will i get as a driver that after 18months, i can reduce the dependency on my car take the bus. translink has too much red tape and bs for it to have a clear plan and milestones that are SMART. until translink can give a solid value proposition to everyone it'll just be lipstick on a pig.
Your post exemplifies, why you, as a resident of Surrey who commutes to Vancouver, are in somewhat tough position with transit levies for system upgrades. You commute to the city with the most established transit network in the GVRD, via one of the most well established transit routes, from a city with a well established network. Even if a vehicle levy were to be attached to your annual insurance payment, you would personally experience borderline no improvement, because there's simply not that much room for it. However, if you lived in Richmond, you would have relatively recently had your city connected to the Canada line. If you lived in PoCo, PoMo, or Maple Ridge, you could look forward to Evergreen line and the substantial improvements it offers. I am looking forward to the Rapid-bus line (I have faith it will still happen) in the near future. Big picture, our transit system has grown and improved monumentally in recent years. It just usually doesn't improve our connection to it, even when we're the ones paying. I do get what you're saying, and where you're coming from though; it would be great for a more clear plan to exist, and there's definitely room for improvement at the upper tiers of Translink.

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Transit vs Driving

Start: Guilford, Surrey
End: Nelson @ Hamilton - downtown

Driving:
Leave home at 8:15
Arrive at destination by 9:30
Duration: 1hr 15mins
Distance: 33km
Parking: 10.75/all day
Fuel Economy: 10L/100km
Fuel Cost: $3.30

Transit:
Walk to bus stop, take bus, get on train, transfer at granville to canada line, walk to work - Total duration 1hr:10mins
Buss fare: $10 (3 zone)


I value my comfort more than $3.30
It's a bit more than $3.30, you're not factoring wear and tear on your vehicle

I know you're deliberately not being overly specific though.

I would be stoked to have transit as an option with a slight time savings, and slight cost savings for my commute. The biggest benefit being that I would rather relax and zone out or read than drive in busy traffic, but we're all different.

Last edited by MindBomber; 09-19-2012 at 11:51 PM.
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Old 09-19-2012, 10:36 PM   #81
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Property taxes aren't exactly "small fees" for Translink, it is one of their leading revenue sources.

There is also fuel tax, parking tax, plus contributions from the provincial and federal government (which let's face it, comes indirectly from other taxes).

In addition to those taxes, there is fare revenue, toll revenues, interest income, and AirCare revenues.
Aircare is a revenue neutral program. Translink doesn't see a dime of it.
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Old 09-20-2012, 12:06 AM   #82
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Transit users should pay for using the transit - not property owners, not BC Hydro customers, not car owners, etc.
Did you not read the article?

Everyone benefits from increased public transit - whether it's because there's less cars on the road so you can get to work, or you decide to take it.

If I wasn't a car owner, then I would be inclined to say that my taxes shouldn't subsidize car owners (because they do.) Every bridge and highway into every municipality should be tolled.

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what kind of guarantee will i get as a driver that after 18months, i can reduce the dependency on my car take the bus. translink has too much red tape and bs for it to have a clear plan and milestones that are SMART. until translink can give a solid value proposition to everyone it'll just be lipstick on a pig.
"Red tape" is a phrase that's thrown around an awful lot. Define red tape:
- Executive salaries - even if they were slashed 50% (say to $70-100K) per year, the savings would be a drop in the bucket
- The mayor's board - it's the only structure that we, the citizens, have to keep Translink somewhat accountable
- Transit police - I could definitely get on-board with this one
- Bus drivers - cut the unions, hire drivers back at half salaries and no benefits. Sure, but what types of people would you get driving a bus for $15/hour?
- Hand transit back to the Province, where it belongs - I would be on the fence about this one. Translink is an arms-length body and it is still the victim of politicking. Sure, you might save some on salaries (after all, BC public servants are among the lowest paid in the country), but you definitely won't get decisions that are less manipulated politically (unless, we have a future leader like the 'Zalm who rammed things down our throats for our own good - see the Expo Line.)
- Faregates (!) - they're coming, F-F-S
- Dismantle the system and let each municipality run its own system (to hell with that enviro-facist Gregor!) - . Ever use different systems in Toronto?

Last edited by Tapioca; 09-20-2012 at 12:17 AM.
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Old 09-20-2012, 09:11 AM   #83
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When they were first discussing a 2c/l gas tax to help fund the Evergreen Line, I remember hearing one woman phone in to the radio, saying she lived in Surrey and didn't want to have to pay for "people on that side of the river" to get transit that she "would never use anyway"...

And I thought, "people on THIS side of the river have been paying for YOUR SkyTrain line for 20+ years. So STFU."
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Old 09-20-2012, 09:18 AM   #84
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"Red tape" is a phrase that's thrown around an awful lot. Define red tape:
- Executive salaries - even if they were slashed 50% (say to $70-100K) per year, the savings would be a drop in the bucket
- The mayor's board - it's the only structure that we, the citizens, have to keep Translink somewhat accountable
- Transit police - I could definitely get on-board with this one
- Bus drivers - cut the unions, hire drivers back at half salaries and no benefits. Sure, but what types of people would you get driving a bus for $15/hour?
- Hand transit back to the Province, where it belongs - I would be on the fence about this one. Translink is an arms-length body and it is still the victim of politicking. Sure, you might save some on salaries (after all, BC public servants are among the lowest paid in the country), but you definitely won't get decisions that are less manipulated politically (unless, we have a future leader like the 'Zalm who rammed things down our throats for our own good - see the Expo Line.)
- Faregates (!) - they're coming, F-F-S
- Dismantle the system and let each municipality run its own system (to hell with that enviro-facist Gregor!) - . Ever use different systems in Toronto?
By "red tape" I meant all the "consulting" that goes back and forth and then plans are drawn up, then the project is put on hold because of funding and then it's restarted then plans are made again costing more money. There was a post by someone here, that their firm did some consulting for translink (iirc it was about evergreen line) and they did it twice.

Salaries / unions - I have no issues. Keep it reasonable. It's a tough job to be a bus driver but it's not a $35/hr job (maybe there needs to different wages for different shifts Costco/Longshorman style). I dont know much about the operational level hierarchy, but i'm sure like any crown funded by tax $ there is a lot of fat.

All the other crap - I agree. Anyone know when the fare gates will be working?
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Old 09-20-2012, 11:28 AM   #85
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By "red tape" I meant all the "consulting" that goes back and forth and then plans are drawn up, then the project is put on hold because of funding and then it's restarted then plans are made again costing more money. There was a post by someone here, that their firm did some consulting for translink (iirc it was about evergreen line) and they did it twice.

Salaries / unions - I have no issues. Keep it reasonable. It's a tough job to be a bus driver but it's not a $35/hr job (maybe there needs to different wages for different shifts Costco/Longshorman style). I dont know much about the operational level hierarchy, but i'm sure like any crown funded by tax $ there is a lot of fat.

All the other crap - I agree. Anyone know when the fare gates will be working?
Consultations are part of my daily work and unfortunately, they are a necessary evil when it comes to public projects. You need buy-in from interested parties because if you don't, someone will complain. Public projects differ in that you can't just vote with your dollars and sell your stock or buy from another company - once a decision is made, you have to live with it for a long time.

There is definitely fat to trim, but trimming fat is not a panacea. The problems are larger: attitudes, political, city design, etc. Think about the most innovative and dynamic companies in the private sector - they don't get to the top because they only cut costs.
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Old 09-20-2012, 04:57 PM   #86
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Salaries / unions - I have no issues. Keep it reasonable. It's a tough job to be a bus driver but it's not a $35/hr job (maybe there needs to different wages for different shifts Costco/Longshorman style). I dont know much about the operational level hierarchy, but i'm sure like any crown funded by tax $ there is a lot of fat.

All the other crap - I agree. Anyone know when the fare gates will be working?
Realistically, $35/hr is not especially high.

A moderately experienced class 1 driver earns an average of $23-25/hr working in the city, and that is a much less strenuous, and less demanding position. $10/hr more for the added responsibility, stress and risk associated with dealing with disorderly passengers, more demanding driving, and so on, actually seems pretty fair.

If I were looking for that type of work and offered a position as a bus driver, I would turn it down without hesitation because of what it entails.
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Old 10-16-2012, 02:40 PM   #87
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TransLink audit finds $41M in savings - British Columbia - CBC News



tl;dr
- Translink conducts its own audit, finds $98 MILLION in ineffeciencies it plans to address.
- Provincial govt' launches own surprise audit
- Finds an ADDITIONAL $41M in ineffeciencies, for a total of almost $140 million dollars in money it could have saved it smart decisions were made.

Anybody remember Translink proposing to the mayors to raise property taxes, so they can find $30 million for the Evergreen?

Fuck this company.
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Old 10-16-2012, 03:19 PM   #88
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Old 10-16-2012, 03:20 PM   #89
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increase the cost of fair, gst, gas, tolls, ect ect...

dont fucking increase the cost of my property tax or my hydro, things I cant avoid.
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Old 10-16-2012, 03:24 PM   #90
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TransLink audit finds $41M in savings - British Columbia - CBC News



tl;dr
- Translink conducts its own audit, finds $98 MILLION in ineffeciencies it plans to address.
- Provincial govt' launches own surprise audit
- Finds an ADDITIONAL $41M in ineffeciencies, for a total of almost $140 million dollars in money it could have saved it smart decisions were made.

Anybody remember Translink proposing to the mayors to raise property taxes, so they can find $30 million for the Evergreen?

Fuck this company.
Are the details of the audit public, does anyone know where we could find them?
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Old 10-16-2012, 03:29 PM   #91
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Old 10-16-2012, 03:50 PM   #92
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Are the details of the audit public, does anyone know where we could find them?
The audit is here: http://www.th.gov.bc.ca/publications/reports_and_studies/Review_of_Translink.pdf

The fact that Mary Polak downplayed the findings of the audit (I.e. Solving transit issues in Metro Vancouver is not just about cutting costs) says to me that this audit was primarily for political purposes.

The audit was particularly critical of the management of the bus system (routes and union salaries and absenteeism) and on Translink's risk-averse management of its budgeting and assets.
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Old 10-16-2012, 03:57 PM   #93
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Still not running Skytrains 24/7.
The audit was highly critical of Translink's responsiveness to demands for increased service even if they don't make economic sense. The audit suggested that Translink cut bus service on seldom used routes and cut off-peak service on Skytrain.

But hey, kids these days just have to whine and cry louder in order to get what they want, right?
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Originally Posted by inv4zn View Post
TransLink audit finds $41M in savings - British Columbia - CBC News



tl;dr
- Translink conducts its own audit, finds $98 MILLION in ineffeciencies it plans to address.
- Provincial govt' launches own surprise audit
- Finds an ADDITIONAL $41M in ineffeciencies, for a total of almost $140 million dollars in money it could have saved it smart decisions were made.

Anybody remember Translink proposing to the mayors to raise property taxes, so they can find $30 million for the Evergreen?

Fuck this company.
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Old 10-16-2012, 04:37 PM   #95
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Still not running Skytrains 24/7.
Find me a city the size and population of Vancouver/Surrey that has a skytrain/subway system running 24/7 first...
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Old 10-16-2012, 04:51 PM   #96
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Originally Posted by inv4zn View Post
TransLink audit finds $41M in savings - British Columbia - CBC News



tl;dr
- Translink conducts its own audit, finds $98 MILLION in ineffeciencies it plans to address.
- Provincial govt' launches own surprise audit
- Finds an ADDITIONAL $41M in ineffeciencies, for a total of almost $140 million dollars in money it could have saved it smart decisions were made.

Anybody remember Translink proposing to the mayors to raise property taxes, so they can find $30 million for the Evergreen?

Fuck this company.
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Old 10-16-2012, 04:54 PM   #97
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Old 10-16-2012, 05:17 PM   #98
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they all had to do that to land that executive job

I didn't read the audit or find out what the efficiencies are, but I'm willing to bet a bunch it is not even real $ - just depreciate the assets over a longer period of time. So just more accounting trickery.
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Old 10-16-2012, 05:30 PM   #99
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someone just fire everyone and start over for gods sakes
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Old 10-16-2012, 06:05 PM   #100
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I'm reading through the report and it's highly interesting. The executive summary is only four pages, and it gives an overview of what they found. I dislike the vagueness of things like "increase efficiency and effectiveness", which just sounds like bullshit, so I'm reading through the report.

Full report is 61 pages, but it's a very interesting read so far. And yes, it has pictures too, so y'all can see that.
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