Thursday, April 03, 2008

Vancouver BC Translink : Lousy Bus service, Skytrain service

Where's the improved bus and Skytrain service now that we're paying higher fares???
Skytrain passengers walk beside tracks to Columbia Station after skytrain breakdown
TransLink reports an $87 million surplus in their 2007 financial report, giving the transit authority an accumulated surplus fund of $408 million. But don't expect any break in fares anytime soon.

Dale Parker, Chair of the TransLink board of directors, says the excess money is already alloted for the future. "We have to avoid thinking about this as a 'surplus,'" because that fund is already spoken for, either in terms of sustaining the expansion TransLink has put in place or starting the next round of transit service and road improvements to meet demands over the coming years.

TransLink says additional revenue outweighed the rising cost of operating transit last year. The report shows $301 million has been added to the surplus fund since 2005. TransLink says they'll be drawing on their surplus fund (currently at $408 million) beginning in 2009.

Translink says revenue increased as more riders bought two and three zone passes, because of the high cost of gas. Additional revenue was also generated by parking related taxes bringing in $5 million more than budgeted for.

Burnaby mayor Derek Corrigan says TransLink has a bad habit of charging more tax than necessary. "That happens over and over again, I mean they've had surpluses in the past you'll remember because they got a windfall in the rise in property assessments."

Corrigan also says if some of the surplus was due to undelivered service , that's not really a saving because the public was inconvienced.

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