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

Langley heart surgery patient rarely leaves home

James Jepson is especially vulnerable to the novel coronavirus

Thunderbird Show Park cancels Canadian Premier and Odlum Brown BC Open

First cancellation in 47-year history of Langley facility

Langley Township businesses will ‘get hit hard’ by break-ins during COVID-19 closures

Store owners are being warned to leave their valuables out of sight from thieves

VIDEO: Feeding front-line medical responders at Langley Memorial Hospital

When a volleyball championship was cancelled, the teams decided to repurpose the registration fees

Smiling 98-year-old inspires new ways to connect at Langley hospital

Foundation staff liaise between patients and loved-ones who can’t visit due to restrictions

B.C. is seeing the highest rate of COVID-19 recovery in Canada, and there’s a few reasons why

British Columbia was one of the first to see rise in COVID-19 cases, and has also switched up testing

B.C. Ferries passengers staying away, as asked, during COVID-19 pandemic

Ferry corporation says ridership down 70-80 per cent over the last week and a half

Sewers stitch masks to free up supplies for front-line health-care workers

“We have little old ladies sewing up a storm,” said Joan Davis

Experts weigh in on best handling of groceries during COVID-19 pandemic

Study suggests the virus can live for up to 24 hours on cardboard and up to three days on plastic

COVID-19 world update: Enforceable quarantine in NYC?; France orders 1 billion masks

Spain warns EU’s future at stake; New York governor calls Trump’s idea ‘federal declaration of war

Blue ribbons popping up along streets in Abbotsford in praise of B.C. healthcare workers

Healthcare worker’s family starts local trend of morale support

Earth Hour 2020 kicks off online Saturday night

Action moves online due to COVID-19

B.C. COVID-19 cases rise 92 to 884, one more death, 81 in care

Outbreak action underway in 12 long-term care homes

B.C. veterinarians want to smooth the fur of COVID-19-worried pet owners

Vets expect to continue giving your fur buddies the help they need while social distancing

Most Read