You don’t change incompetence, waste and malfunctioning by rewarding it.
There’s no doubt Vancouver and the Lower Mainland NEED better transit, a Broadway subway (yes SUBway… not SKYtrain), a new Patullo Bridge and better road infrastructure.
You can read all about what we need on the Mayors’ Council Transit site: http://mayorscouncil.ca/information-centre/
As someone who almost NEVER uses public transit in the Lower Mainland, but almost ALWAYS uses public transit when I’m in other major cities: New York, London, Paris etc. I know it CAN be really good: fast, efficient, reasonably priced … even fun.
But in the Lower Mainland … not so much!
We’ve funded transit by the billions for decades, we’ve given transit extra gas taxes, exclusive lanes on roads, paid the top brass who run the system VERY well …I’d even say OVERPAID … and yet, from what I hear from those who use the system, our bus system in terms of services and hours leaves much to be desired, thousands of passengers are regularly PASSED BY (must be LOTS of fun in the rain!) , fares are expensive and continue to be evaded by many (where is that Compass card system, anyway?) and Skytrain … a good idea, I believe … is far too often spotty or downright unreliable.
I need not go through the whole litany here: you can read all about it on the NO TransLink tax site: http://www.notranslinktax.ca/ .
Translink has not yet earned my trust.
I am not convinced the current TransLink board/setup/management/bureaucracy/planners and operations staff will use any EXTRA money CAREFULLY and WISELY.
The 0.5% EXTRA sales tax … or Metro Vancouver Congestion Improvement Tax as the politicians named it … would raise $250 million EXTRA each year, to help finance a $7.5 BILLION expansion of the Lower Mainland’s transportation system over the next 10 years.
I suspect that EXTRA tax will never be removed; I can’t believe that the proposed projects would come in anywhere close to the estimated costs; and … here’s the worst … I still don’t believe the current TransLink management makeup, setup and controls are sufficient to protect the public purse from additional waste, abuse, inflated salaries and incompetency.
I wouldn’t advise anyone I know to give $1,000 to an investment counselor with a lousy, wasteful performance/track, so how can I support giving TransLink $250 million a year MORE in the mail-in plebiscite to be held in the Lower Mainland from mid-March till the end of May?
Not at this time.
As I said, I have no doubt we NEED better transit and transportation systems … and I don’t mind helping pay for it.
But FIRST, TransLink must PROVE it is worthy of the public trust … and an EXTRA $7.5 Billion in funding … ans not just PROMISE to do a better job.
Take a couple of years to SHOW US Translink can work better, can cut the waste, can eliminate the spending abuses … and CAN actually have a smoothly operating COMPASS system … and build up our confidence/trust.
And then, ask the question again.