Normally, I write columns that focus specifically on Abbotsford, but with Translink now looking at new revenue sources that include road levies, this organization will start to take money out of the pockets of the 68% of Abbotsford residents who leave town to go to work everyday.
I have written before about how I predict that Translink will become a black hole for whatever money we have left. They will take it all … property taxes, road taxes, vehicle levies, road levies, tolls and insurance surcharges. Next is the Compass Card where you get the pleasure of paying twice for the same trip.
Why is this happening? Why can’t they get it right?
As I wrote in my previous public transportation article, cities in Europe are expanding effective public transit systems at a fraction of both our capital and operational costs. So, why is it so hard for Translink to figure out?
Simply put … there is no incentive for them to do better.
Case in point…
A new Park & Ride in White Rock has been built and without warning signs went up asking riders to pay for parking today. Signs went up, but no meters or machines through which to pay. Only a phone number was present so if you had a cell phone … and a credit card … you could create an account in the speedy 20 minutes that takes. Oh, and the cell phone rate was 35% higher than the rate posted on the sign.
Now this lack of notice and lack of options precludes parking by anyone without a credit card, even if you have a cell phone.
But to make matters worse, when complaining about these lack of options, Translink said “Oh, we’re sorry. We’ll send out meters right away!”
Now this sounds like I’m just complaining about a bad roll-out … but there’s more.
You see Translink built a second lot at a cost of $4 million. Guess what? It was empty. People parked as far as a mile away and walked into the Park & Ride to avoid paying for parking.
Now listen up politicians and Translink. Why did they do that?
BECAUSE THEY ARE POOR YOU IDIOTS. PEOPLE RIDING THE BUS DON’T HAVE ANY MONEY. STOP BUILDING THE MOST EXPENSIVE THING YOU CAN AND TAKING ALL THE MONEY PEOPLE HAVE. YOUR JOB IS TO BUILD THE LEAST EXPENSIVE TRANSPORTATION SYSTEM.
So, $4 million wasted.
But why this level of incompetence? Is it pure evil?
I’m going to re-iterate the same conclusion I drew in my last article on transit. You may disagree, but this level of waste and incompetence is not an accident. If you gave management of our transit system to a Grade 10 class as a school project, they would do a 100% better job.
Nope. This is on purpose.
If the transit system is so expensive and onerous to use, you will go back to driving your car. Guess what? Just in time for tolls and road and car levies … and more gas tax.
Gotta fill up that budget somehow folks so let’s hire incompetent people at Translink, manage it with a Board that will keep our plan on track. Don’t worry about the Mayors Advisory Council, they’ll just fight over who’s mega-project gets done next anyway.
Now think about the person sitting on that bus in White Rock. They have at least a 3 hour commute in and out of Vancouver, and they pay $10 plus parking. A few more dollars and it is cost neutral compared to driving a car … and the car ride might save you an hour of travel time. So, keep going Translink and all your lots will be empty. Public transit is no longer public if no one can afford to ride it.
And remember … Gas Tax can only be collected if you drive your car.