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Old 03-13-2015, 09:34 AM   #226
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Funny how the government keeps people believing their vote matters. Yes or no, we are just going to take the money from you anyways with no accountability or acknowledgement of the reasoning for 70% of the population voting no.
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Old 03-13-2015, 11:01 AM   #227
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Vancouver mayor urges for changes to TransLink?s governance

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Vancouver mayor urges for changes to TransLink’s governance
Gregor Robertson cites ‘need for change’ to restore public confidence and bolster Yes vote

By Kelly Sinoski, Vancouver Sun March 13, 2015 8:05 AM

Vancouver Mayor Gregor Robertson wants Premier Christy Clark to promise to make changes to TransLink’s governance structure in hopes the move would bolster the Yes side in the upcoming transportation plebiscite.

Robertson, who made his comments to The Vancouver Sun’s editorial board, said he would like to see a majority of mayors sit on the TransLink board to ensure it is more accountable to the public. Two mayors — Robertson and Surrey’s Linda Hepner — now sit on the board, which includes seven appointed members and two vacant spots for B.C. government appointees.

“We share the concerns about TransLink and the need for change,” Robertson said. “It’s in the province’s court to do something about governance ... certainly the mayors have asked for it.”

TransLink’s governance has been a key plank in the No side’s campaign, which has urged Metro Vancouver residents to reject a proposed 0.5-per-cent sales tax, dubbed the “congestion improvement tax” for transportation expansion because of mismanagement and overspending by the transportation authority. TransLink’s decision to remove its CEO Ian Jarvis to restore public confidence, but keep him on the payroll until 2016, also seems to have solidified the No campaign.

Recent polls by Insights West, for instance, found 82 per cent of No voters lack confidence in TransLink doing a good job to ensure the proposed projects go ahead. And even Yes voters are wavering: While most believe the plebiscite is the best way to deal with the region’s transit problems, the poll found 70 per cent of Yes voters were not satisfied with TransLink’s performance.

Drivers, residents over 55, people who don’t commute during the week, and residents south of the Fraser River are among the strongest No supporters.

Robertson insists that while the plebiscite is “not about TransLink,” such views are hurting the Yes campaign, which seeks to use the sales tax to generate $250 million annually to help fund a raft of projects, including more buses, a subway for Vancouver, light rail for Surrey and improved SeaBus, SkyTrain and West Coast Express services over 10 years. About $36 million is also earmarked for road maintenance and upgrades.

The mayors’ council has not directly approached the premier about the request to restructure TransLink during the plebiscite campaign, Robertson added, but noted it repeatedly asked for changes many times.

In 2013, the mayors’ council hired former regional planner Ken Cameron to research cities — such as Brisbane, Vienna, London and Stockholm — with more “accountable and transparent” transit systems to find a new governance model for TransLink.

The B.C. government responded to the request last year by changing legislation to give the regional mayors more control over TransLink’s plans and priorities but not its budget and operations.

Neither Clark nor Transportation Minister Todd Stone were available for comment Thursday but the ministry said in an emailed statement that “the provincial government has no plans to change the current structure” and cited the changes already made as part of the 2013 review.

Port Coquitlam Mayor Greg Moore, spokesman for the mayors’ council, said he is not sure such a request “would help the campaign right now.”

“My focus is on the benefits of the plan and to focus on congestion,” Moore said following the editorial board meeting. “All of the other discussions are distracting from the needs in front of us.”

Jordan Bateman, spokesman for the Canadian Taxpayers Federation, agreed a last-minute governance shift would not “immediately restore public confidence” in TransLink.

“TransLink needs to rebuild its social licence with the public,” Bateman said in an email to The Vancouver Sun. “Our elected leaders have promised so many things with TransLink over the years and, given their record, they need to prove they have changed the organizational culture there. That takes time to prove out.”

Bateman added while he isn’t opposed to better transit, he believes the mayors’ plan can be affected by earmarking a small portion of future regional revenue growth.

Ballots for the plebiscite should start arriving in 1.5 million Metro Vancouver mailboxes on Monday. Residents have until May 29 to mail in their vote. Those who aren’t registered can do so by contacting Elections BC.
I don't particularly like Bike Boy, but in this case, I have to applaud him having the guts to step up and openly talk about the YES side's elephant in the room. I see this effort as yet another case of too little too late, and his proposal to merely have all the mayors on the TransLink board is inadequate at best.
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Old 03-13-2015, 06:15 PM   #228
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maybe he can try apologizing on behalf of Translink

On a more serious note though. The mayors and everyone else involved on the "yes" side knew all along that Translink was going to be their archilles heel. So why didn't they go ahead and make all the changes they needed to to Translink (governance structures, accountability to 3rd party review, organizational structure, etc.) BEFORE asking for a vote on the sales tax? Talk about putting the cart before horse...

I believe everyone is on board that more transportation funding is needed; but no way in hell will I contribute more $$ into the pockets of those greedy execs and all their incompetent buddies.
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Old 03-14-2015, 10:25 AM   #229
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New article on CBC, with an interview with the "interim" CEO - here's the Q/A:

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Doug Allen, took control of Metro Vancouver's transit authority a month ago with one key task as interim CEO: to restore public confidence in TransLink while the organization searches for a new leader.

On the Coast asked Allen for a progress report in advance of the transit referendum ballots, which will start arriving in residents's mailboxes next week.

SkyTrain fare gates are almost three years overdue. When will they be ready?

The U-Pass is well under way with Phase 1. We've got about 1,500 students using the U-Pass now. We've got Phase 2 coming. That will be another 800, and we'll probably have quite a few more when we get through Phase 3.

With respect to the general public, we will do that when we're ready — when we're quite confident that we'll be successful. That's why I'm getting briefed on every aspect now.

Chicago's transit authority held back payments to Cubic, the company responsible for the Compass system, because of technical failures and poor customer service. Have you considered taking that kind of action?

Cubic's done work all over the world, not just Chicago. But the one that I think is closest to us is Sydney, Australia.

They're a little further along than us in terms of implementation, so we're spending some time talking to Sydney to make sure we understand what's ahead.

The other major public trust issue is what you get paid. Do you think executive compensation should be decreased at TransLink?

I think what you find with a lot of public bodies, and we're one of those, when we deal with executive compensation we do a lot of comparisons with a lot of other public bodies in B.C. and with authorities elsewhere in the country.

My sense of that is there's a very good process in place to deal with that, and my job is to ensure, at least during my tenure, that such a process remains.

Where do you think you could save money in the Transit Police budget?

The first week or so I was in, I asked them to see if they could find a way to provide police services on the Evergreen line when it opens in 2016, and their answer was that they could.

I'm expecting them to do it within their current budget and their current labour force.

What governance structure do you think would be ideal for TransLink?

My job is to lead this company and that's what I'm doing, and I'm doing it with the current governance structure as it stands.

I am trying to build public confidence on every front, and it includes that I'm accessible not only to customers and stakeholders but the media. And I am meeting with employees everywhere to get good ideas.

When it comes to efficiency, to you see any wiggle room at all?

All I can say is when I looked at Transit and what it did extracting efficiencies in the past, there's about 240 million in efficiencies extracted in the last 30 years, and my job is to get more.

If the vote goes no, how will you interpret what that result says about TransLink?

I'm working on running and leading the business.

I'll let the mayor's council and the board deal with the campaign, and I'll let the voters see this as they see fit.
Not a single question answered directly..in fact not even answered at all. And I hate his face.


http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/britis...ater-1.2995087
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Old 03-14-2015, 10:50 AM   #230
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He sounds like every other god damn politician.
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Old 03-14-2015, 11:10 AM   #231
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building confidence by not answering questions great
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Old 03-14-2015, 11:15 AM   #232
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Lol definitely surprising to see how he answered all these questions. This fucking moron.

I can only imagine the price of shares plummeting if a CEO of a publicly traded company spewing shit like this during earnings call in front of analysts.
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Old 03-14-2015, 02:54 PM   #233
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Why would anyone vote yes to pay more tax?

If the result was no and we keep PST at 7%... will transit stop running?
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Old 03-14-2015, 03:00 PM   #234
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This guy sounds like a politician, not a CEO. I am quite sure that if this was a private corporation and this "CEO" acted this way when questioned by the media, a lot of shareholders would ejecto seato, cuzz. And they want more money from us, even with piss-poor leadership like that?

P.S. Distance from Vancouver to Chicaco = 2,851 km. Distance from Vancouver to Sydney =12,490 km. If this idiot doesn't know basic geography how can we expect him to run our transit system?!
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Old 03-14-2015, 03:06 PM   #235
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P.S. Distance from Vancouver to Chicaco = 2,851 km. Distance from Vancouver to Sydney =12,490 km. If this idiot doesn't know basic geography how can we expect him to run our transit system?!
Sweet jesus please tell me you are joking.......
But yes, I agree he is an idiot, and I also hate his stupid fat face. People that dodge simple questions because they don't have an answer drive me insane.
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Old 03-14-2015, 03:09 PM   #236
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Sweet jesus please tell me you are joking.......
But yes, I agree he is an idiot, and I also hate his stupid fat face. People that dodge simple questions because they don't have an answer drive me insane.
Sorry were my facts wrong? I only posted the distances because he said in his answers that "Cubic's done work all over the world, not just Chicago. But the one that I think is closest to us is Sydney, Australia."

And being off by nearly 10,000 km is a cause of serious worry... imagine if he used the same kind of fail logic in his budget reports lol.
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Old 03-14-2015, 03:10 PM   #237
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Dude haha. He means the transit system is closest in its ways of operation, not distance.
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Old 03-14-2015, 03:11 PM   #238
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Dude haha. He means the transit system is closest in its ways of operation, not distance.
Wow I derped really hard there. Lol, my bad
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Old 03-14-2015, 03:12 PM   #239
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Sorry were my facts wrong? I only posted the distances because he said in his answers that "Cubic's done work all over the world, not just Chicago. But the one that I think is closest to us is Sydney, Australia."

And being off by nearly 10,000 km is a cause of serious worry... imagine if he used the same kind of fail logic in his budget reports lol.
He obviously meant that sydney's transit system was more comparable to us, not that they were geographically closer.

Either way he's a tool, and an idiot.

Hiring Cubic after their other cock ups on other cities transportation systems was the most monumentally idiotic thing I have ever heard of. I can only imagine the back room deals that were made to make that happen.

EDIT: Westopher beat me to it.
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Old 03-14-2015, 03:12 PM   #240
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Sorry were my facts wrong? I only posted the distances because he said in his answers that "Cubic's done work all over the world, not just Chicago. But the one that I think is closest to us is Sydney, Australia."

And being off by nearly 10,000 km is a cause of serious worry... imagine if he used the same kind of fail logic in his budget reports lol.
...not closest geographically, but closest in terms of progress of the implementation of the system...

Edit: ninja'd..by two people..
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Old 03-14-2015, 03:46 PM   #241
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Wow I derped really hard there. Lol, my bad
Actually we've just determined you're well qualified to run Translink. We have an interim CEO at the moment, but he doesn't seem to be resonating well with the public. We'd like you to take his position. Name your price, we'll add a zero. If you get us the 0.5% tax we'll give you a bonus too...

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Old 03-14-2015, 06:06 PM   #242
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Wow I derped really hard there. Lol, my bad

my friends on RS, this is how you should act when you make a mistake. Admit it, don't make the same mistake again, and then move on.

If only politicians, translink, etc could do this!
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Old 03-14-2015, 07:39 PM   #243
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my friends on RS, this is how you should act when you make a mistake. Admit it, don't make the same mistake again, and then move on.

If only politicians, translink, etc could do this!
Nah, drag it out into a multi-hundred post thread of like CiC ...
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Old 03-15-2015, 11:37 AM   #244
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To be fair - Cubic is also in charge of the Oyster system in London. Yes, they cocked up Chicago - but they've also done some great projects in the past.

I still blame the provincial gov't for cramming this down translink's throat. Now Translink's the one to blame when the 3rd party company screwed up.
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Old 03-15-2015, 12:10 PM   #245
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Driving in Vancouver is a fucking nightmare and will continue to be


Thank goodness for pedestrian girls in yoga pants making the wait at the next light almost tolerable
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Old 03-15-2015, 01:38 PM   #246
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Anyone get the calls yet asking for support in the vote? That takes some balls and because of that I let him finish his spiel before letting him know not a chance they have my support.
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Old 03-15-2015, 04:10 PM   #247
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maybe he can try apologizing on behalf of Translink

On a more serious note though. The mayors and everyone else involved on the "yes" side knew all along that Translink was going to be their archilles heel. So why didn't they go ahead and make all the changes they needed to to Translink (governance structures, accountability to 3rd party review, organizational structure, etc.) BEFORE asking for a vote on the sales tax? Talk about putting the cart before horse...

I believe everyone is on board that more transportation funding is needed; but no way in hell will I contribute more $$ into the pockets of those greedy execs and all their incompetent buddies.


It's because Translink was set up and run by the provincial gov't, NOT the mayors. What Robertson is saying is not anything new.

Christie Clark (and Gordon Campbell and all the NDP premiers) like Translink the way it is because it's how they can act like it's not their fault when it goes wrong but take the credit when it goes right.

Funny that the number 1 Translink hater, Jordan Bateman, actually came out years ago in support of this particular governance model. He specifically praised it for eliminating politics from the process because they were putting professionals in place. This is the same guy who praised fare gates when they were announced and not lambastes them. The same guy who pushed the Golden Ears and Port Mann bridge (the latter cost $2.4B) - both those bridges lose a combined $140M/yr.
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Old 03-15-2015, 05:16 PM   #248
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I think the concept of the governance model was good. But as we all know, that didn't stop the provincial government in meddling.
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Old 03-15-2015, 05:58 PM   #249
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Driving in Vancouver is a fucking nightmare and will continue to be
I would imagine driving anywhere would be a nightmare with all those German parts constantly failing on your FORD powered automobile.
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Old 03-15-2015, 11:47 PM   #250
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Driving in Vancouver is a fucking nightmare and will continue to be
I haven't lived in Toronto for ten years, but still...even when I'm stuck in the gnarliest of Vancouver Traffic I can't help but think how easy it is to get around, even in rush hour, compared to somewhere like Toronto or New York. Even at rush hour, Vancouver is far from the nightmare it could be for commuting.

True, I don't work 9-5 downtown here, nor commute from the suburbs on a daily basis. I did that in Toronto, and I know how much the grind can wear a person down. Even with Toronto's excellent (by comparison) transit system, there are still millions too many people and hundreds of thousands too many cars for the infrastructure. Same thing seems destined for Vancouver, but here is MUCH more like the Toronto was 15 years ago when we thought the traffic was a "nightmare"...compared to today, it was a treat. My commute home from work in T.O. was from Mississauga to Richmond Hill, 48km door-to-door. When I left 10 years ago the drive home would take me 1 hour (35min in the morning). Today that drive home from work takes a few minutes shy of 2 hours on a good day...unless you wait to leave the office at 6:30-7pm.

Vancouver and the GVRD is very poorly planned for vehicle traffic, and the Transit system is doing little to improve or make up for that. But to call driving here a "fucking nightmare" is, from an outside perspective, quite a bit over exaggerated.

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