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Old 02-14-2015, 09:04 AM   #126
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All this vitriol about Translink being mismanaged and incompetent should be directed at the provincial government. They're the ones who took away the influence of the mayors (making Translink less accountable), they're the ones who handed off aging infrastructure with no funding in place to support it (Hello Patullo Bridge!), they're the ones who forced Translink into projects that weren't wanted/necessary that cost Translink scads of money (Hello Golden Ears Bridge!).

Like BC Ferries, the gov't created an agency that's allegedly "independent" but with constraints and rules put upon it that effectively make it a stooge of the provincial gov't. Those constraints included aging infrastructure which had no funding to support maintenance or upgrades and projects that were forced upon it by the government at annual reviews.

The distance is just big enough that the public ends up pointing the finger at the independent agency for problems that "didn't exist" when the govt ran it (since the gov't didn't tell us it was a problem when they ran it or swept it under the rug).

All the while the provincial gov't, having passed down billions of dollars of unfunded future costs, goes around proclaiming a balanced budget and starts handing down tax cuts (we have the 2nd lowest tax rates in Canada) that get them elected over and over again (it helped that the NDP made such a mess before them that we couldn't imagine giving them power again). All the while we're building up massive structural debt into our system (don't get me started about BC Hydro either - the gov't is doing the same to them as they are doing to BC Ferries and Translink)

To be CEO of an "independent" BC gov't created body must be so depressing - you're the designated whipping boy for a problem that you didn't create and can't change and you can't tell the truth about why the problem exists. Getting paid $500K/yr with a pension isn't money for that sort of bullshit.

Ugh, governance at the provincial level is so depressing.
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Old 02-14-2015, 09:10 AM   #127
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Originally Posted by inv4zn View Post
$600K price tag for public art puts TransLink in hot seat - British Columbia - CBC News

meme405 was talking about "planning" up in this thread - well Translink had planned to spent 600 million dollars on public artwork that nobody wants/needs.
$600k != $600M

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I don't even remember the exact reason but there's a system in BC where new cell phone companies can not enter. That's why Wind can not provide services like Rogers and Telus.
The "system" is this:
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We pay so much for cell phones because our market is small, and the area companies have to provide coverage for is large. By contrast California is less than the size of BC, and has more people in it then all of canada, obviously their cellular service will be better and cheaper...
There really isn't a big enough market for a whole ton of different providers. The small ones folded because they couldn't make it work financially. It also cost a fuckton of money for the Big Three to build the infrastructure in the first place; nobody else wants to pay to duplicate that effort.

Also, the regulations around this are federal, not provincial.
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Old 02-14-2015, 10:12 AM   #128
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The HST issue was all a matter of principle. People were pissed that Campbell went directly against his word. He told us during his campaign he wouldn't bring in the HST...
Did he? Prove it. One direct quote, one audio bite, one news clip... stop just parroting the Zalm's "party line".

Through the whole debate leading up to that referendum, I repeatedly challenged anyone who made this claim to back it up. Nobody ever did. Put up or fucking shut up.
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Old 02-14-2015, 12:17 PM   #129
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Did he? Prove it. One direct quote, one audio bite, one news clip... stop just parroting the Zalm's "party line".

Through the whole debate leading up to that referendum, I repeatedly challenged anyone who made this claim to back it up. Nobody ever did. Put up or fucking shut up.
I'm only parroting Zalm's line because that's what the majority of people obviously started to believe, otherwise looking at the HST from a strictly logical perspective showed that it was actually a good move.

You're not stupid, so I'll assume you are correct when you say he really never did say anything about not bringing in the HST, but a lot of people chose to believe it, and it became a huge standing point for those against the HST.

For what it is worth, I did actually did vote to keep the HST.
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Old 02-14-2015, 01:54 PM   #130
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All this vitriol about Translink being mismanaged and incompetent should be directed at the provincial government.
Wrong.

Everything should be directed at translink, for being incompetent at managing 1.5 billion / year.

If/when they show they are competent, and all of the problems are directly due to underfunding, then we move on to the next entity.

In most of the publics eyes, even if translink received 100 trillion / year, nothing would be solved.
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Old 02-14-2015, 01:57 PM   #131
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I'm only parroting Zalm's line because that's what the majority of people obviously started to believe, otherwise looking at the HST from a strictly logical perspective showed that it was actually a good move.
Funny thing is, a lot of people commented at the time that they thought it was probably a good move, too, yet still voted against it "because Campbell lied"... and yet, nobody ever offered proof of said lie, they just repeated the claim. "Campbell lied, I want to send the Liberals a message, blah blah blah."

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You're not stupid, so I'll assume you are correct when you say he really never did say anything about not bringing in the HST, but a lot of people chose to believe it, and it became a huge standing point for those against the HST.
It became one of those circular things.
"He lied about the HST!"
"There's no proof, how do you know?"
"Because he always lies!"


I still stand to be corrected at any time, but never once in all the talk show appearances by everyone involved with the anti-HST side did any one of them actually produce a clip or direct quote of anyone related to the Liberal campaign, let alone Campbell himself, actually stating that they would not try to harmonize the sales taxes. Why would they? It wasn't a topic on anyone else's radar at the time. It wasn't a platform issue. Nobody cared, nobody was asking about it, there would certainly be no reason to make such an announcement completely in a vacuum.

The closest thing I ever heard said about it as an actual explanation of where the idea came from was that some campaign staffer ticked off a box on some random questionnaire regarding whether the government had any immediate plans to harmonize taxes, which as far as that person knew (and as far as anyone in the cabinet said after it all blew up), was not going to happen: the Libs looked into it, the feds weren't offering a good enough deal, so Campbell and company weren't planning to pursue it.

Somehow that got morphed into GC trumpeting from the rooftops, in response to nobody asking him, that he would never harmonize sales taxes... which people were happy to believe without question.

If there was another explanation for where it all came from, I never heard it from Zalm or Tielmann or Mike Smyth or anyone else who just kept pounding on "but Campbell lied about it!". Nobody offered actual evidence, they just circled back to, "we know he lied, because he always lies, and the proof he always lies is because he said there'd be no HST!"

Anyway, back on subject, this is, to me, indicative of a major issue with politics, especially in BC. People will latch onto anything that supports their views, whether it's true or not, and just keep repeating it so much that others will blindly believe it, because after all, if so many people are saying it, it MUST be true. Same goes for the anti-vax, anti-chemtrail, anti-big-oil, anti-nuke, anti-anything crowd. And for that matter, the anti-PMH1 gang.
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Old 02-19-2015, 12:03 PM   #132
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I'm undecided as to what I will vote, as I want to remain open and get as much information and facts as I can before I make a decision.

I read something interesting:

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Despite Bateman’s casting of his Taxpayers’ Federation as the puny David to the province’s Goliaths, the yes/no nonbinding plebiscite will not be mythic. But its consequences will really matter. For the first time in Canada, voters are being asked directly to approve raising their taxes: from today’s seven-percent PST to a future 7.5 percent. This sales-tax increase costs out at $125 a year per household, or 35 cents a day. It will generate annual revenue for TransLink of $250 million. If there is a “yes” victory, it will launch—in conjunction with billions of promised provincial and federal dollars—a 10-year, $7.5-billion transit/transportation construction and service-improvements boom unequalled in the region’s history.

Here, briefly, is what “yes” endorses: a) immediate 2015 increases in B-Line bus service, with buses running along more routes, later, and more frequently at peak hours across the entire Metro region; b) beginning in 2015, and costing $16.5 million annually, a 2,700-kilometre expansion of the region’s existing bikeway network; c) the purchase of 400 new buses and their deployment, starting in 2017; d) three $2.1-billion Surrey-crossing light rapid transit (LRT) surface rail lines, the first paralleling King George Highway southward, from Guildford to Newton, and opening in 2022; e) a $2-billion, five-station Vancouver subway—bored or dug—beneath Broadway, opening in 2024; f) increased capacity and stations along the suburban West Coast Express train route, costing $36 million; and g) a new (and tolled) Pattullo Bridge, opening in 2023.

The overall goal is to get 10 percent of current drivers off roads and onto transit, providing remaining drivers with faster commutes. TransLink estimates that commuting drivers will save 25 minutes a day due to reductions in highway congestion.

A “no” vote means—in the near term—that none of this will happen.

But by 2045, according to TransLink, a projected one million new Metro Vancouver residents will still have arrived. In the 30 years ahead, the Central Broadway business/hospital corridor—already the busiest bus route in North America—will add 150,000 workers and UBC (Metro Vancouver’s third-largest employer) will have 15,000 more residents. Langley will double its population, and Surrey will grow by 300,000. With them will come 500,000 more cars and three million more local automobile trips per day. So, with a “no” vote, today’s average 35-minute suburban commute, each way, each day, will increase in duration. I won’t even mention the issue of cars, congestion, local pollution, and global warming.

A year ago, Greg Moore, mayor of Port Coquitlam, found himself in the catbird seat as chair of Metro Vancouver’s Mayors’ Council subcommittee on visioning this region’s transportation future. It was, he knew, a minefield of potential conflicts. Experts needed to be heard. Studies analyzed. Municipal wish lists whittled down. Financing strategies considered. Decisions voted on. All in the face of a ridiculously hurried, provincially imposed spring 2015 transit/transportation–funding referendum, something every mayor detested.

Moore knew that the defeat of past American transportation plebiscites—Canada has had no experience with such votes—usually occurred from the triple intersection his committee faced: lack of time; individual leaders’ potential intransigence over local priorities; and a general suburban/urban schism over the virtues of roads versus transit.

After all the talking and whittling had been done, the mayors agreed the best way to raise the requisite $2.5 billion—Metro Vancouver’s 10-year share of the total projected TransLink transit/transportation cost—was a regional increase in the province’s carbon tax combined with mobility pricing, like bridge tolls and road-user fees. These would hit drivers directly—in the wallet.

Moore soon learned, however, that neither was acceptable to Victoria. Minister of Transportation Todd Stone advised him instead that a small increase in the seven-percent provincial sales tax was on the table. This surprised the mayors, since the B.C. Liberals had been badly burned by the Tieleman-led defeat of the despised HST. Thus, the mayors, facing a tight 2015 deadline, accepted Plan C: a localized sales-tax increase to 7.5 percent. It didn’t hit drivers directly and was simple to implement, efficient to collect, and—with mandated auditing—easy to direct toward the list of transportation projects the Mayors’ Council wanted. It was, among all revenue-generating options, also the least onerous, moneywise, on voters.

With the council’s referendum option finalized, and approval required, Moore watched as the region’s mayors voted this past December at a meeting in New Westminster. Endorsements went around the semicircle of seated mayors: “Yes, yes,” and “Yes.” But Burnaby’s mayor, Derek Corrigan, broke the self-congratulatory mood by saying “No.” As he explained: “A referendum’s no way to go about things. A referendum’s no way to make public policy. It polarizes the public.” Several mayors nodded in agreement with Corrigan’s principled position. But his words were lost on the others, who understood that, handed a referendum lemon by Premier Christy Clark, they should make lemonade. Eighteen mayors voted “yes”; three chose “no”.

Within a few days, Transportation Minister Stone made it official: there would be an 11-week-long mail-in plebiscite, running from March 16 to May 29, 2015, held throughout Metro Vancouver. It would ask: “Do you support a new 0.5% Metro Vancouver Congestion Improvement Tax, to be dedicated to the Mayors’ Transportation and Transit Plan?” Voters would be given a simple yes or no choice. (The ballot would contain a brief list of the various projects called for.) No one seemed to notice that two words in the plebiscite’s name were oddly ambiguous: congestion improvement. Do voters want to improve congestion or, more accurately, reduce it?

Simultaneously, the newly formed Better Transit and Transportation Coalition (BTTC), with Tieleman as one of its spokesmen, joined the battle. It’s an unlikely, if well-funded, alliance involving the B.C. Chamber of Commerce, Unifor (one of Canada’s biggest unions), the David Suzuki Foundation, and the Vancouver Board of Trade—usually opponents in political conflicts. Tieleman says he found it amusing that he’d recently fought some of these same groups over the HST referendum and now found them on his side. (In the past two months, the coalition has grown from the initial six groups to 100, including Vancouver’s right-leaning NPA political party. All told, Tieleman claims, the BTTC now represents more than 250,000 Metro Vancouver voters.)

As it turns out, Burnaby’s Mayor Corrigan was right in December about one thing: the referendum would spark public polarization. It took Bateman’s Taxpayers’ Federation little time to launch an attack on TransLink and the referendum. Bateman complained that TransLink was full of overpaid and incompetent executives and that suburban merchants would lose money from local residents who would go instead to Abbotsford, where the sales-tax increase wouldn’t apply. (Reality check: on a $100 purchase, a 0.5-percent tax increase would add 50 cents, hardly an incentive to drive to Abbotsford to shop.) And anyway, Bateman maintained, people should vote “no” because TransLink would just waste the money. He was, to his mind, defending the defenceless Little Guy.

This assertion makes Tieleman go ballistic. “The little guy? The little guy! A ‘no’ vote means cutting bus service, cutting SkyTrain, making things worse. The little guy’s trying to get to shift work at Tim Hortons at 5 a.m. Trying to get to classes at UBC during rush hour. Trying to get home late at night after working as a nanny in Kitsilano. Those are the little guys. He’s a hypocrite saying he’s defending the little guy.”

Last month, Carl Guardino, chair of the California Transportation Commission and one of that state’s leading transit advocates, came to Vancouver to advise TransLink on winning tactics in plebiscite campaigns. After several Californian sales-tax referendums, he has become, he told me at the Vancouver Board of Trade’s Canada Place offices, inured to many Americans’ antitax catechism. “ ‘You can’t trust government! They’re gonna waste your money!’ ” he said in mocking imitation. Guardino was in Vancouver because he knows how to get tax-averse people to vote “yes”. He has led five straight transit-funding campaigns—each based on sales-tax increases—in his Silicon Valley region and won every one.

What’s required, Guardino explained, is to convince voters that supporting a sales-tax increase is in their best interest. “You have to reach the people who often don’t vote but who’d benefit from better service,” he said. “Students. The working poor. The new-immigrant community. Transit riders themselves. You get to ‘yes’ by providing hard evidence. You use data, not dogma: that voters can afford it; that they’ll benefit from it; that the tax revenue will only be spent on the transit projects promised, not commingled with general government funds. And you say to the committed car drivers: ‘I hate paying taxes. But I hate being stuck in traffic even more.’ You say: ‘Every brake light in front of you that leaves the road for transit is one less brake light in front of you. You’ll get home from work faster.’ ”

I enter a nondescript building located two blocks from Vancouver City Hall and find a bare-walled, dystopian environment similar to one Winston Smith might have faced in George Orwell’s novel Nineteen Eighty-Four. Occupants call it the Bunker. It is here that regional transportation authorities operate under the unofficial rubric of the Referendum Secretariat. This is, in other words, ground zero for what lies ahead, transportationwise. That is, if—and it’s a big if—voters approve the plan, and if provincial and federal authorities subsequently cooperate. In numbers with 10 figures—like $7,500,000,000—nothing is certain.

Located at the centre of the action here are Tamim Raad, director of strategic planning and policy at TransLink, and Michael Buda, executive director of the Mayors’ Council. They tell me that theirs is a formidable job. The thing they’re selling—the plebiscite and its multiple goals—is complex. Even worse: they’ve got just three months to make the pitch. But, they add, transportation planners have actually been working for years on elements of what’s being proposed: a Broadway subway, ultimately to UBC; a new Pattullo Bridge; LRT lines fanning out across the Fraser Valley; and critically needed B-Line buses everywhere. With a “yes”, these will happen in the decade ahead, occurring in two five-year stages.

In the first “tranche”—fiscal lingo for “portion”—many of the less dramatic but immediately useful transit changes will occur. According to TransLink, starting in 2017, 11 new B-Line express-bus routes—costing $150 million—will be created, serving everyone from West Vancouver to Langley, White Rock to Maple Ridge. Peak-time SeaBus service will increase to every 10 minutes (from every 15 minutes during the day). There will be an 80-percent increase in night buses, running later and more frequently. And the first of 270 new railcars will be purchased for the region’s West Coast Express. As well, advanced geotechnical and engineering research will go to tender this year so design work can commence on Vancouver’s subway and the first of three LRT lines across Surrey. Construction on both projects begins in 2019.

As TransLink’s Raad explains: the goal is to create in the next decade a Metro Vancouver–wide “frequent-transit network” serving 70 percent of the region’s population. “You head out your door—in Surrey, say—and walk a few blocks. You don’t need a schedule. A bus comes every 15 minutes. Average wait: seven-and-a-half minutes. That’s the plan.” To which Buda adds: “If you have nearby easy-to-access transit, a two-car family can go to one car$—or to zero cars. Saves money. A vehicle costs its owners about $10,000 a year in amortized purchase price, gas, insurance, and maintenance. Compare that to the $125 a year you’ll pay for the sales-tax increase. The money isn’t an expense; it’s an investment.”

But it’s early in the second tranche—from 2020 to 2025—that things get really interesting. The two biggest TransLink infrastructure projects, the Broadway subway and the first Surrey LRT line, will be built simultaneously. (Construction will also be under way on the new TransLink-funded $1-billion Pattullo Bridge and the provincially funded $3.5-billion toll bridge that replaces Highway 99’s antiquated Massey Tunnel.)

In many ways, it’s what Buda says next that I find most compelling. Research worldwide shows that cities prosper, and property owners benefit financially, in direct correlation to the proximity of good transit. “In real estate,” Buda says, “it used to be ‘Location, location, location.’ Now it’s ‘Transit, transit, transit.’ A nearby bus or SkyTrain service means more people walk. Or bike. They’ve got less reason to own a car. Maybe they car-share. It costs developers about $30,000 for each parking space they provide apartment and condo residents. Developers building near transit are now receiving waivers to create fewer spaces. The savings gets passed to buyers. And the resale value of a property goes up according to its closeness to transit.”

To double down on this, he points out that the same applies to commercial properties. Store owners and businesses want to be near transit too. More foot traffic, more money. In fact, Buda says, Brentwood Mall in Burnaby is replacing much of its old parking space with new stores located closer to the SkyTrain station there. This also explains why, according to media accounts, TransLink and the City of Vancouver’s property departments have spent more than $10 million in recent months buying buildings adjacent to possible future Broadway subway stations.

Today, what will become the Broadway subway is nothing more than an obscure, elevated concrete stub located near the foot of Glen Drive below Vancouver Community College’s King Edward campus. This marks the point where SkyTrain’s unfinished Millennium Line now ends in East Vancouver blackberry bushes and rusting railway tracks. With a “yes” vote, it will mark the beginning of what Vancouver’s director of transportation, Jerry Dobrovolny, calls “the most important transportation project—in terms of ridership—in B.C history”.

Travelling westward and parallel to Great Northern Way, the Millennium Line extension’s first stop will be at the campus of soon-to-be-built Emily Carr University of Art + Design. The line will then curve southwest and enter the slope east of St. Francis Xavier School. An S curve will connect the subway to its straight, 4.5-kilometre run west beneath Broadway—with four more stops at Main, Cambie, Granville, and, finally, Arbutus. TransLink projects that on opening day in 2024, the subway will carry 140,000 riders. In 25 years, with the Millennium Line long completed to UBC, TransLink also estimates that it will carry 320,000 daily and will halve former travel times on crammed 99 B-Line buses for those using the underground route.

There are, of course, several reasons the “no” vote could win this spring, and all these possibilities become so much sleepwalking. As Seattle’s Clark Williams-Derry, Sightline Institute’s deputy director and a transportation-policy expert, told me: there are potential problems for Metro Vancouver’s plebiscite. For example, in early 2014, King County (which includes Seattle and its suburbs) held a transit/transportation referendum similar to Vancouver’s. Seattle and adjacent municipalities voted 70 percent “yes”. But King County’s vast, car-driven, exurban regions voted overwhelmingly “no”. The referendum was defeated.

However, when a second, more limited referendum, aimed strictly at transit-loving Seattle voters, was held in late 2014, it won. The lesson, says Williams-Derry: it’s best to have a specific goal and a specific area where “yes” is likely. A second vulnerability of the impending Metro Vancouver plebiscite is the real danger that what’s being costed today— $5.1 billion for the three different megaprojects—could run over budget tomorrow. For example, Boston’s famous Big Dig tunnel of 15 years ago had an estimated budget of $3 billion; its final cost was five times that: $15 billion. And Seattle’s current waterfront tunnel project, expected to cost $3 billion, will be way over budget because Big Bertha, the world’s largest tunnelling machine, has been hopelessly stuck underground for more than a year, with only about one-tenth of the tunnel bored.

To add to the worries of those working for “yes”, West Vancouver’s mayor, Michael Smith, announced in late January that he’s voting “no”. Echoing Bateman, he said that TransLink is poorly managed and that neither TransLink nor the provincial government should be in a position to decide, as they now are, what’s best for Metro Vancouver. It should be a regional decision. Furthermore, Smith complained, there’s no guarantee of funding at the provincial and federal levels, even if a “yes” vote gives approval for a sales-tax increase. After all, dropping oil prices have put bazooka holes through 2015 government budgets. If previous transit-funding promises are broken, the plebiscite could be seen as a political charade.

Among the politicians and transit experts I spoke with, the view is that Bateman and Smith have created a couple of strawmen. TransLink mismanagement, lack of regional authority, and uncertain transit funding are not what the plebiscite is about. It’s about a 0.5-percent sales-tax increase. “Yes”? Or “no”? By voting “no” because you don’t like TransLink, say Bateman’s and Smith’s critics, you’d be shooting yourself in the foot. You’d be delaying for years what could be gained by voting “yes” next month. A “no” doesn’t change TransLink an iota but would result in increased congestion and larger future bills—when traffic problems are worse than now and the cost of new buses and rapid-transit systems higher.

From where Mayor Gregor Robertson sits in Vancouver City Hall, he can see—before springtime tree growth obscures his view—the roof of the three-storey building that contains the so-called Referendum Secretariat, and, nearby, Original Joe’s at the corner of Cambie Street and Broadway. In the years ahead, if “yes” wins, these buildings will be demolished—along with dozens of other low-rise buildings to the west and east. High-rise towers will then appear to accommodate the tens of thousands of new people drawn to central Broadway by the subway.

“The mayors of Canada’s big cities all agree,” Robertson tells me, gesturing toward the cityscape beyond his back. “Canada is, what…? Eighty-five percent urban? It’ll only increase. Two of the most critical issues in Canada today are urban: better transit and affordable housing. They’re essential.

“A ‘yes’ on the plebiscite will be good for property owners and businesses. It will concentrate development along transit lines and improve livability with easier commutes. A ‘yes’ vote would send the strongest possible signal to the province and federal government to come to the table with the money promised. A knee-jerk, antitax ‘no’ rejection of the plebiscite would be brutal.”
I bolded some interesting points. As a person who does not use transit, I do want transit to get better so that there's less cars on the road so my commute can be shorter. Less stress from dealing with all the bad drivers and being stuck in gridlock etc.

TransLink looks for a yes vote that will move Vancouver into the future | Georgia Straight
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Old 02-19-2015, 12:20 PM   #133
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I'm a "little guy", I have to pay my own way. I cant afford to keep helping every other "little guy" out there because of the cost of Vancouver's economy.

If translink needs more money, charge the people who use the service the costs they need to cover, not the every person out there paying tax. I cant afford to keep working 1.5 days out of my week to simply pay the tax to pay for all of these things and seeing as I have not used any translink service since I was 14 years old, I do not see a logical reason to pay for it now. I live in an area where there are only 2 bus routes.

Not one to be greedy with my money and not help, but at this point I cant afford to nor do I feel the need to help by funding a system that has proven to take in more and money money yet offer less and less.
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Old 02-19-2015, 01:24 PM   #134
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I bolded some interesting points. As a person who does not use transit, I do want transit to get better so that there's less cars on the road so my commute can be shorter. Less stress from dealing with all the bad drivers and being stuck in gridlock etc.

TransLink looks for a yes vote that will move Vancouver into the future | Georgia Straight
This is a well-written and convincing piece coming from the YES side of the vote, and despite being on the NO side, I agree with many of the author's points -- specifically, I know and fully acknowledge that a NO vote would stall any transit development in the near future, and delay any plans that may improve regional traffic in the medium term.

But the article fails to address the single most important point that many NO voters see as crucial -- because TransLink is going to be smack at the center with the majority of the regional transit improvements, we cannot ignore their incompetence. To alleviate our concern, the proper order of business is to clean house at TransLink first, impose laws and policies that would make TransLink accountable to its actions, and have its spendings transparent to the public. TransLink needs to re-establish its reputation before the public will give it a chance. Then come and ask us for the money. Some in the NO camp will never change their stance, but many of the entirely sensible ones will.
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Old 02-19-2015, 01:54 PM   #135
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This is a well-written and convincing piece coming from the YES side of the vote, and despite being on the NO side, I agree with many of the author's points -- specifically, I know and fully acknowledge that a NO vote would stall any transit development in the near future, and delay any plans that may improve regional traffic in the medium term.

But the article fails to address the single most important point that many NO voters see as crucial -- because TransLink is going to be smack at the center with the majority of the regional transit improvements, we cannot ignore their incompetence. To alleviate our concern, the proper order of business is to clean house at TransLink first, impose laws and policies that would make TransLink accountable to its actions, and have its spendings transparent to the public. TransLink needs to re-establish its reputation before the public will give it a chance. Then come and ask us for the money. Some in the NO camp will never change their stance, but many of the entirely sensible ones will.
Damn well written post.

I am in the NO. It honestly wouldn't be hard for me to get into the YES knowing the benefits it could have on our cities.. Yet it won't happen.

2 Simple Things:
a) Cut all taxes off our gas. (17c/L)
b) Transparent independent auditor for Translinks incoming/outgoing funds.

Why do we keep giving them so much with nothing in return? As Traum said, and I will concur, I have absolutely no faith in Translink. If we give them this 0.5% PST increase, they will without a doubt in my mind, fuck it up.
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Old 02-19-2015, 02:34 PM   #136
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I was almost convinced to vote Yes by that article. And then I remembered Translink is still in the centre of it all. I will gladly pay $5 for every $1000 I spend for all those points listed. But fuck me sideways if a single penny of it is going to Translink - where they have 6 boards of directors - not 6 members of a board, but 6 separate fucking boards of directors.

One thing that boggles my mind is that it still costs a 2-zone fare to get from Patterson to Metrotown. From Downtown New Westminster to Surrey SFU. From Waterfront to Lonsdale.

Make the transit system better to use by changing small things that are purely nonsensical first. This absolutely archaic zone system is a shining example of an easy fix that will show "change" to the public's perception.

A quick Google search lands me this article: TransLink?s seven ?deadly sins?: Art installation and Compass Card snafu just a couple of its dubious spending decisions

Come back and say that you've fixed them, and I will vote Yes.
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Old 02-19-2015, 03:04 PM   #137
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I was almost convinced to vote Yes by that article. And then I remembered Translink is still in the centre of it all. I will gladly pay $5 for every $1000 I spend for all those points listed. But fuck me sideways if a single penny of it is going to Translink - where they have 6 boards of directors - not 6 members of a board, but 6 separate fucking boards of directors.

One thing that boggles my mind is that it still costs a 2-zone fare to get from Patterson to Metrotown. From Downtown New Westminster to Surrey SFU. From Waterfront to Lonsdale.

Make the transit system better to use by changing small things that are purely nonsensical first. This absolutely archaic zone system is a shining example of an easy fix that will show "change" to the public's perception.


A quick Google search lands me this article: TransLink?s seven ?deadly sins?: Art installation and Compass Card snafu just a couple of its dubious spending decisions

Come back and say that you've fixed them, and I will vote Yes.

I wholeheartedly agree with what you and Traum said, Translink is runned by a bunch of clowns. Can't believe that issue with the zones has not been addressed for all these years. It's really a joke.
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Old 02-19-2015, 03:14 PM   #138
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I wholeheartedly agree with what you and Traum said, Translink is runned by a bunch of clowns. Can't believe that issue with the zones has not been addressed for all these years. It's really a joke.
That's one of the major issue that delay that compass. The system isn't human and can't do the zone correctly. Say you want go from Metrotown to Richmond since they are both in the same zone you only pay 1 zone fare. If you take the 430 bus that have no issue. However if you take the skytrain from Metrotown to Waterfront and then take the Canada Line to Richmond the Compass would calculate that as a 2 zone travel. Which is really stupid IMO.
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Old 02-19-2015, 03:41 PM   #139
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Apparently, altruism is dead. In the 21st Century the guiding principle is, seemingly, what's best for me is best.

A "Yes" vote is supposed to provide improved transportation for the future. As I have no progeny (that I am aware of) and am unlikely to live long enough to benefit much directly from the additional tax then "No".
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Old 02-19-2015, 05:31 PM   #140
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^While very philosophical, and probably somewhat true, there are a lot of us who are planning on voting No for the reasons laid out in the 6 pages of this thread.

I'm not voting No because I'm too selfish for the greater good; I'm voting No because I have no confidence that the promised benefits will bear fruit.

To put it simply, this proposed tax increase is supposed to be an investment into the future. But I don't like who is in charge of handling said future. That's not a lack of altruism, it's being sensible, IMO.
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As a person who does not use transit, I do want transit to get better so that there's less cars on the road so my commute can be shorter. Less stress from dealing with all the bad drivers and being stuck in gridlock etc.
The vast majority of comments I read and hear on this topic talk about transit, transit, transit... what everyone seems to forget is that this plan addresses TRANSPORTATION INFRASTRUCTURE in general - roads, bridges, transit... the whole lot. That includes a new Patullo Bridge and a bridge to replace the Massey Tunnel
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^While very philosophical, and probably somewhat true, there are a lot of us who are planning on voting No for the reasons laid out in the 6 pages of this thread.

I'm not voting No because I'm too selfish for the greater good; I'm voting No because I have no confidence that the promised benefits will bear fruit.

To put it simply, this proposed tax increase is supposed to be an investment into the future. But I don't like who is in charge of handling said future. That's not a lack of altruism, it's being sensible, IMO.
I appreciate your line of reasoning, and will adopt it if questioned about my "No" vote. Thus, instead of being portrayed as merely a lonely, selfish, old SOB grasping at .05% of his retirement funds. I can be regarded as responsibly taking a positive stand against incompetence and waste.

Last edited by LilRed; 02-19-2015 at 07:51 PM.
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Old 02-19-2015, 08:37 PM   #143
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dude im sure a lot of people don't even pay for skytrain.

i always buy my ticket because i dont wanna have a criminal record but believe or not, i never got checked.

they should invest in something like this before tax hike.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nvbm4nRLJck
That looks nice. Is it true that the Compass (sp?) system was purchased from the UK? You know, that same UK that is so famous for its long history of first rate and reliable transportation related electrical things. No, wait . . .
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Old 02-19-2015, 08:40 PM   #144
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Apparently, altruism is dead. In the 21st Century the guiding principle is, seemingly, what's best for me is best.

A "Yes" vote is supposed to provide improved transportation for the future. As I have no progeny (that I am aware of) and am unlikely to live long enough to benefit much directly from the additional tax then "No".
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I appreciate your line of reasoning, and will adopt it if questioned about my "No" vote. Thus, instead of being portrayed as merely a lonely, selfish, old SOB grasping at .05% of his retirement funds. I can be regarded as responsibly taking a positive stand against incompetence and waste.


Can't tell if extremely successful troll, or just a flagrant idiot with a thesaurus.
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Old 02-19-2015, 11:08 PM   #145
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The vast majority of comments I read and hear on this topic talk about transit, transit, transit... what everyone seems to forget is that this plan addresses TRANSPORTATION INFRASTRUCTURE in general - roads, bridges, transit... the whole lot. That includes a new Patullo Bridge and a bridge to replace the Massey Tunnel
Yes, the referendum is about transportation infrastructure in general, and that is precisely why TransLink will be involved with it left, right, and center. TransLink owns and maintains most major arterial roads, including Knight Bridge, Pattullo Bridge, Westham Island Bridge, and Golden Ears Bridge. They also allocate funding to each municipality for transit improvements, and they are involved with the region's bicycle programs as well.

This is why the YES camp keeps trying to leave TransLink out of the picture, but the NO camp keeps on bringing it up.
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Old 02-20-2015, 02:23 PM   #146
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I appreciate your line of reasoning, and will adopt it if questioned about my "No" vote. Thus, instead of being portrayed as merely a lonely, selfish, old SOB grasping at .05% of his retirement funds. I can be regarded as responsibly taking a positive stand against incompetence and waste.
Although I'm not really lonely, selfish, nor old, I pondered about your reasoning, and thought I'd do you the courtesy of responding since you put so much effort into thinly veiling sarcasm.

And I came to the conclusion that you're right. I can now tell everyone I'm confidently voting Yes because even though there seems to be a lot of information available about a large mismanaged ungoverned body - that is responsible for a lot of things that negatively affect me daily, is widely regarded as a moneypit, and accused of mismanagement of existing funds - I am still a very nice person. And that's why I will entrust them with even more money because it's just a small amount from my wallet, and the benefits they promised me must absolutely come true. They even fired their CEO to show the public that they're changing, and anyway, this is actually about the growth of Vancouver, and not Translink.

Spoiler!
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Yes, the referendum is about transportation infrastructure in general, and that is precisely why TransLink will be involved with it left, right, and center. TransLink owns and maintains most major arterial roads, including Knight Bridge, Pattullo Bridge, Westham Island Bridge, and Golden Ears Bridge. They also allocate funding to each municipality for transit improvements, and they are involved with the region's bicycle programs as well.

This is why the YES camp keeps trying to leave TransLink out of the picture, but the NO camp keeps on bringing it up.
And of course, the other problem with voting no JUST because of hate for TransLink is, what happens if major change IS made to the organization... and then you have this whole new body to look after things, and THEY don't have any funding for needed work either? Then this whole mess starts all over again.
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Old 02-21-2015, 11:37 AM   #148
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And of course, the other problem with voting no JUST because of hate for TransLink is, what happens if major change IS made to the organization... and then you have this whole new body to look after things, and THEY don't have any funding for needed work either? Then this whole mess starts all over again.
That's a whole bunch of ifs. Lets say we approve this funding and nothing changes, then translink will just continue to piss away countless more millions of dollars for the next 5 years. Fuck that.

It's not that hard:

1. clean up translink - nobody has faith in what they are doing right now
2. do a proper assessment of transit and infrastructure
3. develop a plan to fill the needs of both systems
4. Do a proper risk assessment of that plan, and a proper analysis to ensure it will actually meet the needs of what they are trying to achieve

THEN AND ONLY THEN:

Come back to us and I would happily vote yes to an increase in taxes, or we will work to find another way to meet the needs to make their plan happen.


Soundy you need to understand that we don't just "hate" translink, the reason we have dislike for what they do is because half the time IT JUST DOESN'T MAKE ANY DAMN SENSE. They squander money in the most ridiculous ways, and then when it comes down to actually doing something important they always come up with new and creative ways to come up with more money.

On top of that we have zero faith that they have any idea what the fuck they are doing in the long term. Flying by the seat of your pants just isn't going to fly when you are trying to develop the transportation infrastructure for western canada's largest (and most quickly growing) city.
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Old 02-21-2015, 11:51 AM   #149
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If the outcome of the referendum is "YES", Translink had better not flush our hard earned money down the toilet!

Translink needs to pay this much money in order to comply with WorkSafeBC???

TransLink pays $3,600 per month to sublet former Richmond business as bus driver washroom



The need to comply with a WorkSafeBC washroom rule for its bus drivers has forced TransLink to sublet a former auto parts business in Richmond.

For years, drivers of the busy 410 route (a three-hour round trip between Richmond and New Westminster) that starts and terminates in the village have been using local businesses' facilities, such as Subway on Chatham Street, which were paid a fee by TransLink to allow its employees washroom access.

But it's understood that agreement has been canned (it's not clear by which party). The public transit operator — having kicked the tires on renting a washroom trailer and placing it in the parking lot on Chatham — has now signed a deal to sublet the near-2,000 square feet former Lordco office at 3740 Chatham, next door to Subway, which has been closed for around two months.

TransLink's manager of media relations, Cheryl Ziola, told the News on Thursday that a sublease has been signed with Lordco until the end of August for a "discounted" $3,612 per month.

"Unless we find another (washroom) solution, we will be looking into taking on a new, five-year lease at the premises after August," said Ziola, who couldn't reveal due to "commercial sensitivity" how much TransLink was paying Subway previously.

"One of the issues we had with the previous arrangement was that local businesses in Steveston tend to close at around 4 p.m. or 5 p.m., so our options were limited.

"We looked at renting a washroom trailer and placing it on the parking lot near the terminus, but it was $6,000 per month alone to rent the trailer and it was doubtful we'd be getting permission from the city or the parking lot owner anyway."

With 410 buses filing through the Steveston terminus every five-six minutes in peak mornings, Ziola cited WorkSafeBC rules regarding employees access to washrooms as the need to set up a more permanent rest-stop for its drivers.

WorkSafeBC states that washroom access needs to be within 200 feet of the stop and, if there are more than nine employees, there needs to be at least one male and female washroom — and at least two toilets in each washroom if there are between 10 and 24 employees.

The drivers of other routes that use the Steveston terminus — the 401, 402, 407 and C93 — all, said Ziola, are able to access washrooms at the other end of their respective journeys.

It wasn't clear how much the rent of the former Lordco building might jump to from its discounted rate, should TransLink decide to sign a new five-year lease come Sept. 1.

"All we need there is washroom access," added Ziola.

"So, the plan, should a new lease be signed (in the fall), would be to sublet the entire premises while maintaining washroom access for our employees."

Due to the fact it's only washroom access that's needed, Ziola said there are no plans to put any new furniture or any other home comforts in the building, which has recently been redecorated and had a new heating system installed by current tenants Lordco.

The subletting from Lordco is, said Ziola, the first time TransLink has entered into commercial leasing agreement in B.C..

"We just got the keys to the building, so I'm not sure when we'll be moving in," she added.

Other TransLink driver rest-stops have simple fixtures and fittings, such as a table, chairs and a microwave.



Read more: TransLink pays $3,600 per month to sublet former Richmond business as bus driver washroom
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Old 02-21-2015, 02:23 PM   #150
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translink was able to dig someone out to claim that translink has the best system in NA

TransLink is the best system in North America: US transit planners | News1130



he's not biased though

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