Our View: Should we scrap TransLink?

The local agency needs better funding, or what good is it?

TransLink doesn’t have enough money to build the full SkyTrain line to Langley.

That’s no surprise, because TransLink, whether by accident or design, has always been incapable of finishing any of its much-needed transit infrastructure expansions without going cap-in-hand to higher levels of government.

Before TransLink’s creation in 1998, we had the same bus logos here in Metro Vancouver as everywhere else in B.C.: BC Transit.

Then the government of the day decided to grant more local control to the mayors and councils of Metro Vancouver.

But control over planning meant a massive loss of control over purse strings.

TransLink has three primary ways to raise money: from fares, from property taxes, and from gas taxes. Raising any of them is unpopular, and raising them enough to finish what needs to be done would be political suicide for the mayors who call the shots.

In 2015, the mayors were forced to beg for a 0.5 per cent sales tax to help fund their expansion plans – which was sent to a public vote, with predictable results.

Maybe we should just get rid of TransLink altogether and rebrand back to the old BC Transit logos.

TransLink was meant to be more locally responsive and controlled, but local control is meaningless without more funding.

The province, though, is the one that controls the purse strings. Victoria has vastly superior funding tools, including carbon tax revenues.

And it’s not like we’d be turning TransLink over to an unelected board. MLAs across Metro Vancouver would be responsible for the needed improvements, every time an election was held.

– M.C.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

VIDEO: SPCA and RCMP remove several animals, including pig, at private animal rescue in Langley

Home at 5500 block of 216th Street has undergone multiple seizures over the past five years

Volunteers; the rock behind every curling tournament

Al MacKinnon leads volunteer ice cleaners at Langley’s Canadian juniors curling championships

Aldergrove’s Ethan Foster wins heptathlon in Edmonton

Foster and fellow TWU Spartan Weiss finish 1-2 at Golden Bear Open

Kwantlen Polytechnic University’s International Music Festival is now open to budding Langley musicians

Vancouver Area Youth Arts Society took over hosting duties after local Kiwanis clubs folded in 2018

B.C. VIEWS: Few clouds on Horgan’s horizon

Horgan’s biggest challenge in the remainder of his term will be to keep the economy humming along

Victoria family focuses on ‘letting go, enjoying time together’ after dad gets dementia

Walter Strauss has developed an interest in music and now takes line dancing classes

B.C. forest industry grasps for hope amid seven-month strike, shutdowns, changes

Some experts say this could be worse for forestry than the 2008 financial crisis

Northern B.C. RCMP investigating alleged sexual assault in lingerie store

One person was transported by ambulance to hospital following RCMP investigation at Sedaz

Vancouver police probe second homicide in less than 24 hours

Woman was found dead in her Gastown home

UBC, Iranian-Canadian community create memorial scholarship in honour of victims

The Jan. 8 crash killed 176 people, including 57 Canadians

Disrespectful that Horgan won’t meet during northern B.C. tour: hereditary chief

Na’moks said he was frustrated Horgan didn’t meet with the chiefs

Vancouver police investigate after man found dead in vehicle

Man has not been identified and no one has been arrested

Most Read