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Old 08-28-2013, 12:37 PM   #26
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Blows my mind that these idiots want to spend more money on useless art projects when every month they give us a sob story about how short on funding they are. Yea, spending ~$100,000 on that ugly Main St poodle statue really improved transit infrastructure

And pro transit people wonder why most get so angry and are against more funding for transit even though improvements are needed, its because of crap like this, crying broke/not enough funds while throwing hundreds of thousands at pointless art projects and bloated salaries for everyone from bus drivers to management for the shitty job they all do.
I walk by that poodle on a daily bases and every time I look at it makes my blood boil. The worst part about it is the park infront of TD bank, it was built after they built the building, so they built a new building with a nice front space and then a year later the city came and tore it apart to build a stupid orange rack and a hill... for 6 months the whole front of this building and the new businesses there had fencing all around the front. They also spared no expense using holland landscaping, a very pricey company. Shit like that makes me furious.
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Old 08-28-2013, 01:16 PM   #27
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The entire Expo Line Upgrade Project is worth $164M. Translink's share is $40M, which includes arts. Pretty straight forward reading comprehension.
so how much total does the art collection cost? Why didn't they mention it? Maybe becasue it cost millions and upon millions? If ti is less than a mill I am sure they would have mention it.

Next thing you know tranist will start taxing RS. Make a thread $5, make a post $3 fail/like a post $2.
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Old 08-28-2013, 02:20 PM   #28
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I read this in the paper yesterday and would acutally be totally for it if it actually meant all the proposed lines would be built.
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Old 08-28-2013, 02:22 PM   #29
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lol of course it could help fund their wish list why would they even mention that?

any tax will help fund their wishlist but the answer to their wishes shouldnt be simply to take more money out of our pockets to fill their wishes and to fill their pay raises and bonuses
FYI this is not Translink proposing it. It's an independent group which has done a lot of research and written a full and in depth proposal.
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Old 08-28-2013, 02:24 PM   #30
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Acutually reading all the posts again you all need to read the OP carefully. This is NOT Translink proposing the tax. Really guys, reading comprehension.
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Old 08-28-2013, 02:32 PM   #31
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Acutually reading all the posts again you all need to read the OP carefully. This is NOT Translink proposing the tax. Really guys, reading comprehension.
I know it's a transit advocate recommending the 0.5% regional tax, but I can't see how that could possibly be a good solution at all. There is so much waste happening left, right, and center at Translink that the real solution should be to trim some major fat from the de facto crown corp first.
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Old 08-28-2013, 03:06 PM   #32
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Noticed the first column is up for the evergreen line the other day.
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Old 08-28-2013, 04:28 PM   #33
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I know it's a transit advocate recommending the 0.5% regional tax, but I can't see how that could possibly be a good solution at all. There is so much waste happening left, right, and center at Translink that the real solution should be to trim some major fat from the de facto crown corp first.
Even if you trim the fat, you still wouldn't get a major project, like a Skytrain extension to UBC built. Get your head of the sand. The only way you get transit funding under control is to cut service and cut staff.

The provincial government which has every political incentive to make Translink a scapegoat for its own failures to properly find a solution to transit funding performed an audit and found nothing glaring with Translink's finances, at least nothing worth causing a political fuss about. Mary Polak, the former transportation minister, said nothing about the audit which means that if the corporate fat was there, it would have been trimmed.

And each time a thread like this comes up, it makes me wonder if people actually spend a few minutes on Wikipedia or on Translink's website to research the organization, how it works, etc. The fact that there are people here stating that Translink is a private company makes me wonder how people actually passed grade school.
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Old 08-28-2013, 04:44 PM   #34
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Even if you trim the fat, you still wouldn't get a major project, like a Skytrain extension to UBC built. Get your head of the sand. The only way you get transit funding under control is to cut service and cut staff.
I think you should be the one that gets your head out of the sand, Tapioca. Nobody is saying the fat trimming can fund any of the major projects, but given the excessive waste that is happening at Translink, a million or two could still go a long way. This bullshxt art stuff has already amounted to $615k. The top Translink execs make well in excess of $300k/yr -- a salary figure that is higher than Steve Harpy's salary as PM of Canada, and there are several of these people in Translink.

In terms of providing practical services to the general public, it makes no sense to cut staff and services when reduction at the top can bring dramatically more savings.

How many more bus drivers can we hire for $1M? 15 additional drivers, maybe? That should be enough to support an additional bus route if the frequency isn't too high. I'd much rather see that happening than to see the money lining these executives' pockets.
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Old 08-28-2013, 04:57 PM   #35
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The amount of non-information in this thread makes me want to punch a baby. If you guys haven't actually read the financial statements of Translink, then STFU about how it should spend its money. I have, so here's a TLDR:

Translink had revenue of $1.42 billion dollars in FY2012. Translink had expenditures of $1.43 billion dollars in FY2012. They reported a loss of approximately 0.7% on revenues.

Of their $1.43 billion dollars in expenses in FY2012, they spent 4% of it total on administration - including all these "overpaid executives" and every middle-level manager in a company that employs *6,100 PEOPLE*. To put this in perspective, they spent 13% of that total on interest on loans. Translink spent over 3 times as much on paying interest on the money it requires to build the infrastructure that everybody bitches about than every single administration cost to run the whole company.


Translink has approximately 6,100 employees and an annual budget of almost $1.5 billion dollars. You can't just expect that you are going to attract a qualified CEO for $150k a year. CEOs of crown corps like Translink, BC Ferries, BC Lottery Corp, are all capable executives with long careers behind them that have many options, most of which are private companies can not only pay more salary but also cast the executive in much less public light. Lululemon has revenue almost exactly the same at about $1.4 billion per year and has less than half as many people employed - their CEO earns just a little over $3,000,000 per year - about 10 times what Translink's CEO does.

I don't support bullshit artwork by a long shot, it's not in their mandate and shouldn't be a priority. But this thread is so full of people with their heads up their asses it's no wonder that more major decisions are not made by referendum and it's not so hard to see how the HST got repealed in the province.

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Old 08-28-2013, 05:19 PM   #36
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Old 08-28-2013, 05:50 PM   #37
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Translink has approximately 6,100 employees and an annual budget of almost $1.5 billion dollars. You can't just expect that you are going to attract a qualified CEO for $150k a year. CEOs of crown corps like Translink, BC Ferries, BC Lottery Corp, are all capable executives with long careers behind them that have many options, most of which are private companies can not only pay more salary but also cast the executive in much less public light. Lululemon has revenue almost exactly the same at about $1.4 billion per year and has less than half as many people employed - their CEO earns just a little over $3,000,000 per year - about 10 times what Translink's CEO does.
Even if you cut the salaries of the big whigs by half or 2/3s and pay them 80K/year instead of 300K, what would the organization be able to do with that money? Buy a few buses, possibly. But, if you take the average professional RS'er who makes 70K to six figures, why would any smart person here work for an organization that has no sympathy from the public and that is no way glamourous when they could easily fetch that money working for a large private company that has more status, more potential for career growth, bonus structures, etc.?

I personally believe that salaries should be capped at the mid 150K level, but I don't know much about the market for transportation CEOs. For comparison's sake, my partner's CEO makes in the 170K range working for a non-profit. He made millions working for private companies before working for the non-profit.
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Old 08-28-2013, 06:33 PM   #38
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the amount of money they spend on artwork should be redirected on cleaning up some stations. main street station would be my number 1 pick to clean up. i mean, you have lougheed looking nice and all and i don't recall artwork there.
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Old 08-28-2013, 06:46 PM   #39
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the amount of money they spend on artwork should be redirected on cleaning up some stations. main street station would be my number 1 pick to clean up. i mean, you have lougheed looking nice and all and i don't recall artwork there.
Main St is already undergoing an extensive renovation. Lougheed Mall looks the way that it does (nice by Skytrain station standards) because it's a uniquely designed station. In fact, all of the Millennium Line stations have unique design features because they were built when the socialists (NDP) were in power. The Expo Line and the Canada Line were built according to a single design template for the most part. The Expo Line hasn't aged well, but this is Vancouver where people think cookie cutter Vancouver specials are cutting edge design.

It's hard to justify art because there's no money. On the other hand, when I travel to places like New York, or London, or even Toronto, having something different to look at when riding the rails is pleasant and says a lot about the city and its aspirations.
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Old 08-28-2013, 06:50 PM   #40
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^^^ except cities like New York and London have fully developed transit systems so they can afford to spend some money on art to make their stations more interesting. Vancouver's transit system is needs to be expanded to actually be large enough to service the population first, then spend money on art and other useless shit
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Old 08-28-2013, 06:52 PM   #41
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The amount of non-information in this thread makes me want to punch a baby. If you guys haven't actually read the financial statements of Translink, then STFU about how it should spend its money. I have, so here's a TLDR:

Translink had revenue of $1.42 billion dollars in FY2012. Translink had expenditures of $1.43 billion dollars in FY2012. They reported a loss of approximately 0.7% on revenues.

Of their $1.43 billion dollars in expenses in FY2012, they spent 4% of it total on administration - including all these "overpaid executives" and every middle-level manager in a company that employs *6,100 PEOPLE*. To put this in perspective, they spent 13% of that total on interest on loans. Translink spent over 3 times as much on paying interest on the money it requires to build the infrastructure that everybody bitches about than every single administration cost to run the whole company.


Translink has approximately 6,100 employees and an annual budget of almost $1.5 billion dollars. You can't just expect that you are going to attract a qualified CEO for $150k a year. CEOs of crown corps like Translink, BC Ferries, BC Lottery Corp, are all capable executives with long careers behind them that have many options, most of which are private companies can not only pay more salary but also cast the executive in much less public light. Lululemon has revenue almost exactly the same at about $1.4 billion per year and has less than half as many people employed - their CEO earns just a little over $3,000,000 per year - about 10 times what Translink's CEO does.

I don't support bullshit artwork by a long shot, it's not in their mandate and shouldn't be a priority. But this thread is so full of people with their heads up their asses it's no wonder that more major decisions are not made by referendum and it's not so hard to see how the HST got repealed in the province.

Mark
Lululemon can pay whatever they want to their staff; they are not taxing the general population to fund their clothing production.

My problem with translink is all this stupid tax being paid on gas to fund them and they are paying the CEO an insane amount of money and spending money on art for the stations.

If they try and raise taxes I hope people actually start protesting this..

They should put the money they have towards improving actual transportation first before looking at decorating
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Old 08-28-2013, 06:55 PM   #42
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The amount of non-information in this thread makes me want to punch a baby. If you guys haven't actually read the financial statements of Translink, then STFU about how it should spend its money. I have, so here's a TLDR:

Translink had revenue of $1.42 billion dollars in FY2012. Translink had expenditures of $1.43 billion dollars in FY2012. They reported a loss of approximately 0.7% on revenues.

Of their $1.43 billion dollars in expenses in FY2012, they spent 4% of it total on administration - including all these "overpaid executives" and every middle-level manager in a company that employs *6,100 PEOPLE*. To put this in perspective, they spent 13% of that total on interest on loans. Translink spent over 3 times as much on paying interest on the money it requires to build the infrastructure that everybody bitches about than every single administration cost to run the whole company.


Translink has approximately 6,100 employees and an annual budget of almost $1.5 billion dollars. You can't just expect that you are going to attract a qualified CEO for $150k a year. CEOs of crown corps like Translink, BC Ferries, BC Lottery Corp, are all capable executives with long careers behind them that have many options, most of which are private companies can not only pay more salary but also cast the executive in much less public light. Lululemon has revenue almost exactly the same at about $1.4 billion per year and has less than half as many people employed - their CEO earns just a little over $3,000,000 per year - about 10 times what Translink's CEO does.

I don't support bullshit artwork by a long shot, it's not in their mandate and shouldn't be a priority. But this thread is so full of people with their heads up their asses it's no wonder that more major decisions are not made by referendum and it's not so hard to see how the HST got repealed in the province.

Mark
one thing about crown corporations financial statements, they are very good at hiding profits and making it seem like they are not making any money. Take ICBC's financial statements for example. they also tend to spend more money than they take in... but somehow their executives enjoy great bonuses and large expense accounts. same goes for Translink and other crown corp executives. they pay themselves first, then decide what they can do with the left over money and declare that they can't afford to expand the system and need to raise taxes... i don't know about everyone else, but I'm getting tired of paying through the nose for a system I haven't used since I got my driver's license
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Old 08-28-2013, 07:14 PM   #43
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at a minimum, translink should be regulated by a body like the Utilities Commission that approve expenditures for BC Hydro, Fortis, etc.

right now, translink spends without any formal oversight.
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Old 08-28-2013, 07:15 PM   #44
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Main St is already undergoing an extensive renovation. Lougheed Mall looks the way that it does (nice by Skytrain station standards) because it's a uniquely designed station. In fact, all of the Millennium Line stations have unique design features because they were built when the socialists (NDP) were in power. The Expo Line and the Canada Line were built according to a single design template for the most part. The Expo Line hasn't aged well, but this is Vancouver where people think cookie cutter Vancouver specials are cutting edge design.

It's hard to justify art because there's no money. On the other hand, when I travel to places like New York, or London, or even Toronto, having something different to look at when riding the rails is pleasant and says a lot about the city and its aspirations.
I don't think the extensive renovation is going to make the station look any better. Its simply to allow the compass gates to be fitted in. I mean making it clean by actually painting or replacing things that looks like its past it's due dates. A lot of parts of some stations look like its ready to fall apart. If you ever use the elevators in some of these stations, you'll know what I mean. I think the best looking elevators are at waterfront and dunsmir
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Old 08-28-2013, 07:31 PM   #45
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^^^ except cities like New York and London have fully developed transit systems so they can afford to spend some money on art to make their stations more interesting. Vancouver's transit system is needs to be expanded to actually be large enough to service the population first, then spend money on art and other useless shit
Expansions require money - money that Translink doesn't have and money we don't want to put in.

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Lululemon can pay whatever they want to their staff; they are not taxing the general population to fund their clothing production.

My problem with translink is all this stupid tax being paid on gas to fund them and they are paying the CEO an insane amount of money and spending money on art for the stations.

If they try and raise taxes I hope people actually start protesting this..

They should put the money they have towards improving actual transportation first before looking at decorating
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The Canada Line cost just under 2 billion beans (using imported and illegal labour to boot). It costs money, a lot of money, to build the improvements people want. They could fire the management and every single employee and cease operations for one year and build one Skytrain extension. Then, they would have to rehire people to run, clean, and manage the system.

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one thing about crown corporations financial statements, they are very good at hiding profits and making it seem like they are not making any money. Take ICBC's financial statements for example. they also tend to spend more money than they take in... but somehow their executives enjoy great bonuses and large expense accounts. same goes for Translink and other crown corp executives. they pay themselves first, then decide what they can do with the left over money and declare that they can't afford to expand the system and need to raise taxes... i don't know about everyone else, but I'm getting tired of paying through the nose for a system I haven't used since I got my driver's license
Okay. So you're saying that the audit performed by the province last year was a farce? That everyone - from the province, to the auditors, and everyone else involved - is all in some sort of conspiracy to cover up Crown corporation profits so that a select few can enrich themselves every year?

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at a minimum, translink should be regulated by a body like the Utilities Commission that approve expenditures for BC Hydro, Fortis, etc.

right now, translink spends without any formal oversight.
Maybe. But don't forget that Translink was created so that decisions could be made without political oversight. Political decisions tend to be worse because people are generally uninformed about the issues and can't think beyond themselves. Witness the HST referendum.

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I don't think the extensive renovation is going to make the station look any better. Its simply to allow the compass gates to be fitted in. I mean making it clean by actually painting or replacing things that looks like its past it's due dates. A lot of parts of some stations look like its ready to fall apart. If you ever use the elevators in some of these stations, you'll know what I mean. I think the best looking elevators are at waterfront and dunsmir
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Painting requires money. Should Translink hire College Pro Painters to do the job?

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Old 08-28-2013, 09:37 PM   #46
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Painting does require money. That's why I said in my original post that instead of using money for arts, they should use the arts money for bettering the station. Unless they are restricted to use that budget strictly for arts, then I don't know.
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Old 08-28-2013, 09:47 PM   #47
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But why does Translink want to expand? GVR doesn't have the population density to support a public transportation system that Translink has envisioned them to be one day.

If they can't make money now, they would lose even more money once all the planned new expansion become operational. The maintenance cost alone would bankrupt the company (considering its capital). It has been on life-support long ago. It only survived due of being a crown corp. But it should find way to be financially responsible rather than always trying to find money money from tax-payers.
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Old 08-28-2013, 10:03 PM   #48
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But why does Translink want to expand? GVR doesn't have the population density to support a public transportation system that Translink has envisioned them to be one day.

If they can't make money now, they would lose even more money once all the planned new expansion become operational. The maintenance cost alone would bankrupt the company (considering its capital). It has been on life-support long ago. It only survived due of being a crown corp. But it should find way to be financially responsible rather than always trying to find money money from tax-payers.
As far as public transit / infrastructure goes, I'd say Translink definitely has a need to grow. In particular, in Vancouver and Surrey where both the population and density are going up, Translink definitely has some voids to fill. I might even go as far saying that Surrey has a more urgent need than Vancouver to evolve beyond just buses.

I 100% agree that Translink needs to be more financially responsible though. From their front line drivers to their office staff to the executives, it seems to me that their salaries are too high. And of course, their recent spending spree is probably indicative of their usual (lack of) financial responsibilities too.
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Old 08-28-2013, 11:55 PM   #49
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Although I agree on everyone's input on Translink's spending spree's, I also disagree with everyone's hate on the "high salary" issue. Now, I don't agree/disagree with what their rate of pay is, but the fact is, its a job.

If you had a set of skills, and someone came along and offered a substantial salary increase over your present job or previous job, you would take it. You won't think twice about how that affects the company. Who in the right mind would cut their salary from a company that they do not own, to make the company financially better? I understand that if it was your own company, your own bread and butter, then yes, you would do that.

It's easier for us to bitch about this because we're the ones ending up with the bill on paying for this system (regardless if you use it or not). Now if YOU were the CEO of Translink, it'll be more like milk this shit, fuck those bitches, get paid and
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Old 08-29-2013, 02:46 AM   #50
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A portion of that $100k is probably kicked-back to someone over at TransLink.

Think about it, how could this statue cost $100k? That's a lot of money. Let's break it down, of course these figures are estimates:

$35,000 price statue (materials, design, freight)(very generous estimate)
$6,000 TransLink internal administration costs/project management
$12,000 materials (foundation, pole, others), labour, equipment rental to install the statue
$1,000 construction permit
$15,000 consulting architectural engineer design
$6,000 geo assessment, post construction safety inspection, certification

That's $75,000 right there. Now if the artist charged $60k for the statue, that's $25,000 in money that could be split up and a portion of it given back to the decision maker at TransLink. "Thanks for hiring us, here's a token of our appreciate *$15k cheque*"

Note: Some other articles quote the cost to be as high as $165,000 for the poodle statue alone
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