Translink is holding a semi-referendum on whether to a)Maintain current revenues and cut services or b)Increase revenues to maintain and eventually improve services. That there is even a question seems ridiculous to me – how could any modern city not want to continually improve it’s transit system. Especially as Translink is so much more than transit. It’s mandate includes roads, bridges, certain ferries, bike lanes, etc – all the things that keep a healthy city moving. Have a look at the information provided by Translink as to its sources of revenue and its expenditures. Compare these to the other cities it provides as examples. It doesn’t seem so much to me.
Perhaps most astonishing about all this, is that if funding is not increased, Translink won’t open the new SkyTrain line that they’ve been building for years at some ungodly cost, because they won’t be able to afford to operate it. And why? Because they operate at a loss. And why? Because they have virtually no government subsidy (Admittedly, this is better than the TTC in Toronto, which gets no government support at all). To me, affordable access to transit should be as basic as access to affordable healthcare and education. It is just as important – if one cannot travel from one’s place of residence to one’s place of employment affordably (particularly if you’re a minimum-wage earner), one cannot work. Which is plainly detrimental to a healthy society and economy.
So get out there and vote in support of Translink.