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Old 02-06-2013, 10:27 PM   #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pastarocket View Post
Translink is trying to keep operating costs down?? Really? What a joke!

Part of the sales tax hike is used to line the pockets of transit cops hired to work on existing and future Skytrain stations.

After I read a Translink Financial information report about their transit police costs, I was angry about how much these fare checkers make each year. Unbelievable.

Transit cops sure get paid for overtime:

A sample of Transit police salaries (Constable No 39 in the report also reported over a thousand bucks in expenses in 2011):

SOUTH COAST BRITISH COLUMBIA TRANSPORTATION AUTHORITY
SCHEDULE SHOWING THE REMUNERATION AND EXPENSES
PAID IN RESPECT OF EACH EMPLOYEE
FOR THE YEAR ENDED DECEMBER 31, 2011

Constable 25

98,210

Constable 26
125,689

Constable 33
88,326

Constable 34
106,808

Constable 35
101,764

Constable 36
88,857
-
Constable 37
90,843

Constable 38
86,184

Constable 39
87,600
1,062

Constable 40
108,647

Constable 41
82,783

Constable 42
95,986

Constable 43
86,928

Constable 58
99,038

Constable 59
117,427
Constable 60
84,523

Constable 61
85,877
-
Constable 62
83,302
I honestly do not mind high pay if it's worth it. But to me these translink police dont do enough to warrant the high pay, and the overtime pay policy is ridiculous.

Either show some productivity or efficiencies or at least make it appear to the public that they are doing something and not just standing there doing nothing.
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Old 02-06-2013, 10:34 PM   #27
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So if I don't drive and solely take Skytrain, then why should I pay taxes for maintenance of local roads and further infrastructure improvements?

Translink is not the most efficient system when it comes to using their money, but whenever a thread about transit comes around, the ignorance on RS comes right now.

The City of Vancouver is spending $9.4 million on re-paving roads and $8.9 million on the Granville Bridge Rehabilitation in 2013. You think all Vancouverites think money should be spent on this? Only people who use the Granville Bridge should pay for it according to this logic.

Metro Vancouver needs to stay pro-active and continue to build transit infrastructure before things get worse then they already are with commute times. I love to drive, but not if it's at 5 km/hr due to traffic volumes. Better transit infrastructure means less cars on the road for me.

People have to get on board and understand that you can't have a massively growing metro region, and want to continue having a strong quality of life, but don't want to pay for it. Everyone wants new bridges, new transit lines, nicely paved roads... but when it comes to pay for it... raise taxes? NO WAY!

I'd like to see members of RS come up with the city's operating and capital budget and see how they would do.

Edit: Personally I think raising money should come from a variety of sources. The biggest should be from income tax. So many countries use income tax for transit infrastructure, not sure why this doesn't occur much in Canada. Instead it goes straight to the Feds.
it cost me .25 cents per kilometre when gas is 1.30 to drive a relatively small truck i must drive due to my job, anyone with larger 3/4 tone vehicles of bigger pays much more, and even older domestic vehicles get similar gas milage to what my truck gets [poor]

paying $1-2 extra in transit fee's for a total of 5 or 6 to get from surrey to downtown is a small price to pay considering the drive from surrey central station to downtown would cost me a minimum of $15 on a day with zero traffic, and with parking on top of that.
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Old 02-06-2013, 10:35 PM   #28
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Originally Posted by Liquid_o2 View Post
So if I don't drive and solely take Skytrain, then why should I pay taxes for maintenance of local roads and further infrastructure improvements?

Translink is not the most efficient system when it comes to using their money, but whenever a thread about transit comes around, the ignorance on RS comes right now.

The City of Vancouver is spending $9.4 million on re-paving roads and $8.9 million on the Granville Bridge Rehabilitation in 2013. You think all Vancouverites think money should be spent on this? Only people who use the Granville Bridge should pay for it according to this logic.

Metro Vancouver needs to stay pro-active and continue to build transit infrastructure before things get worse then they already are with commute times. I love to drive, but not if it's at 5 km/hr due to traffic volumes. Better transit infrastructure means less cars on the road for me.

People have to get on board and understand that you can't have a massively growing metro region, and want to continue having a strong quality of life, but don't want to pay for it. Everyone wants new bridges, new transit lines, nicely paved roads... but when it comes to pay for it... raise taxes? NO WAY!

I'd like to see members of RS come up with the city's operating and capital budget and see how they would do.

Edit: Personally I think raising money should come from a variety of sources. The biggest should be from income tax. So many countries use income tax for transit infrastructure, not sure why this doesn't occur much in Canada. Instead it goes straight to the Feds.
I don't mind my taxes going up if I feel the services are worth it.
Honestly, $2.75 for me to skytrain a couple stations?, and don't even get me started on the 2 zone / 3 zone issue. $2.75 isn't that bad considering other cities in the states and even king county is $2.50, but their transit isn't as subsidized as translink.

This may be a bad idea, but what about having different rates during peak periods or cheaper during weekends? I know other cities use different rates during different times.
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Old 02-06-2013, 10:55 PM   #29
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Translink is trying to keep operating costs down?? Really? What a joke!

Part of the sales tax hike is used to line the pockets of transit cops hired to work on existing and future Skytrain stations.
I don't think Transit cops are necessary either, but safety seems to be a major concern for a significant segment of transit users. I have never had any issues myself, but people seem to fear the homeless, the addicts, and other ne'er do wells which explains the police presence.

Even if we got rid of the Transit cops, who would investigate crimes committed on the system? You would still need cops - either from RCMP of VPD to investigate crimes and enforce fares. More cops on Skytrain and buses means less cops for other parts of the region. You either hire more officers for the VPD and RCMP just to watch over the system, or you create a dedicated police force.

What do you suggest we do? Have unarmed police officers and pay them 30K/year like your run of the mill security guard from Garda security?
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Old 02-06-2013, 11:00 PM   #30
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Why won't Translink consider becoming a landlord/developer and build stuff above their stations? No one seems to like the idea of paying for something that they don't use. Also no one in Prince George would like to pay extra PST so that some student can get their extra bus on 49th Avenue.

While it's all nice and pretty to have your Canada Line station sitting at the corner of Cambie and Broadway or Cambie and King Ed, think of what would've been there had the land been owned by Aspac or Concord? For sure it'd be a 15+ storey building on top of the station.
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Old 02-06-2013, 11:07 PM   #31
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Why won't Translink consider becoming a landlord/developer and build stuff above their stations? No one seems to like the idea of paying for something that they don't use. Also no one in Prince George would like to pay extra PST so that some student can get their extra bus on 49th Avenue.
I suspect that it has to do with zoning restrictions from local municipalities. Translink properties are not fiefdoms. Nimbies, particularly those in Vancouver, would be out in full force. Besides, real estate development for Translink might provide less of a return on investment than one might think. They probably have little expertise and would have to hire consultants to run that business for them.

That whole argument about people living in other cities not having to pay for projects in the Lower Mainland is bunk. The fact is that the Lower Mainland generates more economic activity per capita than other parts of the province. Why should we pay for services in Prince George when there's no reason to have a city there? It's in the middle of nowhere and the forestry industry is dead in this province. If we carried this argument further, we wouldn't even have countries or provinces - we would all be contained in little city-states.
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Old 02-06-2013, 11:10 PM   #32
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Dont forget these numbers from gas tax

74 cents – Actual Gasoline
15.87 cents – Marketing/Service
10 cents – Federal Tax
5.56 cents – Carbon Tax (Managed by the Provincial government)
17 cents - Translink Tax (For Vancouver’s public transportation system)
6.75 cents – BC Transportation Authority Tax
1.75 cents – Provincial Tax
6.87 cents – Goods and Services Tax (GST)

based on 1.37/L gas prices

WHOOP WHOOPP!
the best part is we pay for tax on top of the tax and its complete BS. I work in the petroleum industry and the Americans laugh at us on a regular basis at having to pay tax on top of a tax. They had to specially design software to calculate the taxes when the tanker truck delivers the fuel.
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Old 02-06-2013, 11:24 PM   #33
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everybody feels they are entitled to getting the best of everything, but are not willing to contribute a single cent. if you want to live here, in one of the best cities in the world, you have to participate/contribute.

honestly, people just complain complain complain without understanding how shit actually works. the level of ignorance is mind boggling.

i'd be willing to bet if, hypothetically, all these extra taxes were eliminated and instead tacked onto the provincial side of your personal income tax (say, X% instead of 5.05% at the lowest tax bracket), we'd hear a lot less complaining even though it would work out to be the exact same thing.
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Old 02-07-2013, 12:38 AM   #34
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everybody feels they are entitled to getting the best of everything, but are not willing to contribute a single cent. if you want to live here, in one of the best cities in the world, you have to participate/contribute.

honestly, people just complain complain complain without understanding how shit actually works. the level of ignorance is mind boggling.

i'd be willing to bet if, hypothetically, all these extra taxes were eliminated and instead tacked onto the provincial side of your personal income tax (say, X% instead of 5.05% at the lowest tax bracket), we'd hear a lot less complaining even though it would work out to be the exact same thing.
The point a lot of people are making is that PST affects the entire province (from Victoria right up to Fort Nelson). Translink only looks after a tiiiiiiiiiiiny portion of BC's roads and transit needs. Why should people in Kelowna or Dawson Creek pay for the Lower Mainland's transit woes? Should we then add yet another tax on top for us to pay for bus service in Kelowna? And then another tax for Prince George?
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Old 02-07-2013, 07:08 AM   #35
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The point a lot of people are making is that PST affects the entire province (from Victoria right up to Fort Nelson). Translink only looks after a tiiiiiiiiiiiny portion of BC's roads and transit needs. Why should people in Kelowna or Dawson Creek pay for the Lower Mainland's transit woes? Should we then add yet another tax on top for us to pay for bus service in Kelowna? And then another tax for Prince George?
just as we pay for things that we dont need, but are needed elsewhere. other people elsewhere pay for things that they dont need, but we do. if we didnt do this, we wouldn't have much of a city/country. i think Tapioca explains it best 3 or 4 posts up.
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Old 02-07-2013, 09:50 AM   #36
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Maybe they just need to stop. Stop expanding....stop building....stop proposing....stop improving....stop 'beautifying' shit.

Why are we spending fast than we make? You know what happens when a business does that? They go under!

We don't need a skytrain station and every block and a bus stop at every fucking door! Lets freeze everything for 5 years! Pay off some shit and bank some fucking money!

I am tired of being punished for owning and driving a car and their piss-poor money management!
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Old 02-07-2013, 10:12 AM   #37
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^ Translink manages roads and bridges also. If they cut, they should cut back equally on everything, including road maintenance.

Translink actually provided the mayors 3 options a couple of years ago and one of them was a freeze which would have resulted in cut services. The mayors chose to spend more money to keep existing levels of service. Like I said, no politician has the courage to make a tough choice. On the other hand, have you seen a mayor or provincial politician advocate for more cuts? Of course not - it would be political suicide.
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Old 02-07-2013, 11:12 AM   #38
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Translink, City of Vancouver and Fed Gov't spent $97,600 the Main Street Poodle. So Translink is short on cash as usual but can still find money to help fund this piece of crap on Main St
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Old 02-07-2013, 11:28 AM   #39
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^ Translink manages roads and bridges also. If they cut, they should cut back equally on everything, including road maintenance.

Translink actually provided the mayors 3 options a couple of years ago and one of them was a freeze which would have resulted in cut services. The mayors chose to spend more money to keep existing levels of service. Like I said, no politician has the courage to make a tough choice. On the other hand, have you seen a mayor or provincial politician advocate for more cuts? Of course not - it would be political suicide.
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Old 02-07-2013, 02:10 PM   #40
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I don't think Transit cops are necessary either, but safety seems to be a major concern for a significant segment of transit users. I have never had any issues myself, but people seem to fear the homeless, the addicts, and other ne'er do wells which explains the police presence.
I think if transit cops are needed, its usually only on the Millennium/Expo line. I feel very safe on the Canada Line (I traveled on all three lines regularly for about 1/2 a year).

I have heard in class that many transit cops are former RCMP, VPD, etc and that after working for 25 years they receive a full pension. Now they can double dip by simply joining the transit force when they have retired/too old and collect a pension while still getting a paycheck on the taxpayer purse. I'm not sure if this is possible, but my impression is that they can possibly work towards a second pension?
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Old 02-07-2013, 02:42 PM   #41
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I think if transit cops are needed, its usually only on the Millennium/Expo line. I feel very safe on the Canada Line (I traveled on all three lines regularly for about 1/2 a year).

I have heard in class that many transit cops are former RCMP, VPD, etc and that after working for 25 years they receive a full pension. Now they can double dip by simply joining the transit force when they have retired/too old and collect a pension while still getting a paycheck on the taxpayer purse. I'm not sure if this is possible, but my impression is that they can possibly work towards a second pension?
"Double [dipping]" is common amongst retired RCMP and Municipal Police, and I have no opposition to it. I've personally met retired members of the law enforcement community who have become university instructors, building contractors, and private security guards. Once a person retires, they're entitled to a pension, and it does not preclude the right to pursue other employment. Yes, Transit Police pursue employment similar to the positions they formally held, but that does not negate the fundamental rights they have.
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Old 02-07-2013, 03:41 PM   #42
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Why won't Translink consider becoming a landlord/developer and build stuff above their stations? No one seems to like the idea of paying for something that they don't use. Also no one in Prince George would like to pay extra PST so that some student can get their extra bus on 49th Avenue.

While it's all nice and pretty to have your Canada Line station sitting at the corner of Cambie and Broadway or Cambie and King Ed, think of what would've been there had the land been owned by Aspac or Concord? For sure it'd be a 15+ storey building on top of the station.
This is the idea of land value capture. Translink builds a Skytrain line and properties near stations and along the line increase in value for private property owners, even though they directly are not paying the capital costs that are creating the increased value in their land.

As Tapioca mentioned, expertise is a big problem, as Translink does not currently have a real estate arm from what I know of (if someone could please correct me if they do). Land value capture techniques aren't used by too many transit authorities across North America unfortunately, allowing private developers to come in and build transit-oriented developments at stations and making a healthy profit. I know Hong Kong's rail system has been funded by a large part through land value capture (MTRC I believe?), using joint ventures to fund many of their expansion projects.

In Toronto, the TTC is starting to do some public-private partnerships on pieces of land that they own, pairing up with a developer who has the expertise to build the project.

I don't know how many land holdings Translink has, but I'm sure they have quite a bit that they could potentially play with. In the end though, say they develop a mixed-use tower project in a P3 scenario and come out with $10 million in profit. It's a nice sum but it won't go nearly far enough to fund anything major. They would have to go large scale with big master developments to see high earnings that could fund large capital projects and can't see that happening anytime soon.
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Old 02-07-2013, 05:33 PM   #43
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i think they should revisit leasing names for stations....but if course the names have to make sense like telus science world or granville station by the bay downtown...
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Old 02-07-2013, 08:05 PM   #44
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A group that opposes higher taxes is calling on the province to “outright reject” a plan by Metro Vancouver mayors to raise money for TransLink by hiking the PST by a half per cent.

The regional provincial sales tax boost is among the funding recommendations for sustaining and expanding transit that the Mayors Council on Transportation sent to Transportation Minister Mary Polak at her request.

Jordan Bateman of the Canadian Taxpayers Federation said the recommended hike should be rejected and TransLink should cut more from their own budget before looking for more revenue.

“The taxpayer cannot bear any more of the burden,” Bateman said. “To claim that they need $750 million more when audits have shown that one out of every $10 is inefficiently spent, that’s a real stretch.

“Future megaprojects will have to wait until the economy rebounds,” he added.

Council chair Richard Walton, mayor of North Vancouver district, said a half-per-cent slice of the PST would generate $250 million a year. Walton said sales taxes are used around the world to fund transit.

“It’s very, very common,” he said.

He agreed TransLink needs to keep its own operating costs low, but said that’s not enough to sustain or expand transit services as demand grows over the years.

Walton said other proposals include the unpopular vehicle levy, first proposed in 1999 but never implemented, or the use of revenue from the provincial carbon tax.

And Walton said a viable solution to transit funding can come through road pricing, which is becoming popular in European cities and which gives drivers choices and options on how much they pay by how much they drive.

He is to meet next week with Polak to discuss the proposals.

The Province is awaiting a callback from the minister.

Read more: Metro Vancouver mayors want to fund transit with sales-tax hike

Metro Vancouver mayors want to fund transit with sales-tax hike

Why I take the transit and I think this is a stupid idea......... If you are losing money with current operation why the hell do you need to expand........... Keep the current system under budget then talk aobut expanding......
if you keep the current system under budget now, you will see a lot of service cuts, meaning less buses on the roads meaning transit users like yourself will have a crappier commute than it already is.

this topic has been beat so many times, there is really no happy resolution. transit users want better service, prices get jacked up somewhere and people are unhappy. transit cuts services to save money and people are unhappy.
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Old 02-07-2013, 11:18 PM   #45
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"Double [dipping]" is common amongst retired RCMP and Municipal Police, and I have no opposition to it. I've personally met retired members of the law enforcement community who have become university instructors, building contractors, and private security guards. Once a person retires, they're entitled to a pension, and it does not preclude the right to pursue other employment. Yes, Transit Police pursue employment similar to the positions they formally held, but that does not negate the fundamental rights they have.
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Yup, I don't think they should be precluded from getting other jobs at all. I should definitely re-word that if its giving that impression.
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Old 02-07-2013, 11:34 PM   #46
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Old 02-08-2013, 02:23 AM   #47
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hate to be realistic here but the subsidizing costs in keeping the transit fares affordable and keeping up with the increasing population is vital to our economy... Not everyone cant afford to drive and NEED to take transit. At minimum wage, paying for a 3zone pass is a huge chunk already. If you get rid of the supports, we all crumble...
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Old 02-08-2013, 10:17 AM   #48
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There are SO many flaws in the system here, that it's just RIDICULOUS.
Translink will NEVER catch up.

Today they say they want to raise PST by 0.5%, or tax the road user $XX.XX/km.
Tomorrow they are going to bitch and complain and say, well we need to raise the tax from 0.5% to 1%, or double the road tax for greater expansion.

This has legit been beaten to death with an iron pole.

IMHO I am fully against doing any kind of vehicle levy/road tax for Translinks Skytrain/Bus expansion. They have such a shitty system of calculating the "zone" system, I can see this idea fucking EVERYONE over. And once we open the door for Translink, they're never going to leave or decrease. They're only going to raise the taxes/levies more.
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Old 02-08-2013, 05:12 PM   #49
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There are flaws with EVERY system and the flaws are the only things most people will ever be able to point out, because they don't understand what the actual benefits are.

what's RIDICULOUS is how Vancouver is one of the top cities to live in, and yet we have people (not anyone here in particular, just in general) bitching about everything.

the population is Canada is 34 million. the population of the ENTIRE province of BC is 4 million. do you know what the population of the United Kingdom is? 62 million freaking people on an island the size of a pea compared to Canada. The population of LA, not the state of california, just the city of LA? 4 million. New york CITY, not the state, just the city, 8 million. even toronto, by itself, has 2.6 million.

we have a fraction of people to pay for services and to pay for taxes compared to other major cities (or countries). there are fixed costs that exist regardless of the population. Sure, we have lesser people to serve, but buses have to travel the same distance. the same lengths of roads must exist. we dont maintain our roads less often just because we have less people that use them compared to bigger cities. also, gas is increasingly more expensive for the same buses that travel the same distances.

what happens if you cut services? unhappy transit users, less transit use by the population, increased traffic congestion.... oh, and increased costs for transit use because less people will use it, which could also mean another tax, or worse yet, further service cuts to save money, which then leads to even less transit use, and therefore more service cuts and more service cuts.... until we have no more transit system. oh right, and less users/services mean less money to maintain roads.

everything comes down to money. and as a growing city with a significantly smaller population than most other cities, the taxpayers here are always going to be at more of a disadvantage. but guess what? you CHOOSE to live here and you can choose to live elsewhere if you do not want to participate, it sucks, but it's the truth. if you want to live here, then you must participate.

we're not one of the top places to live just because our scenery is nice. and our city isn't what it is today because it magically happened that way. other people IN THE PAST had to PAY TAXES and CONTRIBUTE to help make what it is today. for us to be where we are right now, given our small population and therefore limited funding (through taxes), it's pretty damn impressive
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Old 02-08-2013, 08:01 PM   #50
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Originally Posted by melloman View Post
There are SO many flaws in the system here, that it's just RIDICULOUS.
Translink will NEVER catch up.
Please, do go on. Elaborate on these flaws.
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