New plan retracts previous promises of increased service
By Anne Marie Abraham, Contributor
Last week, TransLink released their Base Plan for 2013, revealing the plan to cut a previously promised 200,000 hours of service, the proposed Highway 1 bus route, and the White Rock B-line extension. The plan highlighted that TransLink is establishing new ways to run day-to-day operations by reducing costs and increasing revenues in hopes to keep costs in step with the provincial government’s net-zero mandate.
“TransLink’s Board of Directors remain focused on delivering the best possible transportation system to the public, while making the most of every dollar we have,” writes Nancy Olewiler, Board Chair, in the 2013 base plan.
TransLink is looking to provide a safe riding experience for all passengers and to limit vandalism by increasing Transit Police presence in 2013. They are looking to do so without increasing the amount of Transit Police officers they already employ. A possibility is being explored for Transit Security to work in collaboration with the Jurisdictional Police Departments. In this way, not only will the transit community and property be protected, but also revenue as they aim to reduce fare evaders.
Fare evasions will also be reduced by the introduction of fare gates at SkyTrain stations. These fare gates are four feet high and have paddle style doors, which can be activated by the use of a Compass card or ticket.
Park and ride passengers will also be faced with new or increased charges at park and ride lots. The charges will help generate revenue and ensure that the lots are put to efficient use.
TransLink will also reduce the frequency of SkyTrains as a plan for cost-saving efficiency. The Expo and Millennium Lines will run less frequently from 9:30 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. on weekends. From this reduction, TransLink expects to save approximately half a million dollars per year.
The Regional Mayors Council on Transportation has yet to make a decision regarding TransLink’s 2013 plan.