TransLink gravy train rolls on

Maple Ridge letter writer wonders why TransLink can't find the money to harmonize bus fare boxes with the new Compass Cards

Editor, The News:

Re: Bus-to-SkyTrain transfers costly without card. (The News, Aug. 16).

I find it interesting that TransLink cannot come up with $25 million to harmonize bus fare boxes to work in conjunction with the new Compass Cards.

The excuse by TransLink CEO, Ian Jarvis is that the expenditure is, “not economically feasible.”

TransLink seems to have no problem ponying up $33 million to fund management salaries and an additional $300 million for the salaries of the 61 percent of their employees who are making at least 70,000 dollars annually.

Despite purported cuts in the number of management staff, the gravy train rolls on.  At the same as the bus system has been subject to drastic cuts, TransLink managers are receiving double-digit wage increases and large bonuses.  It’s the first organization in my experience that pays bonuses to its managers for losing money.

TransLink has been top heavy in administration since the day of it’s inception.  How can the public take seriously TransLink’s pleas for taxpayer money, when they can’t even get their own house in order?  It’s time for the Liberal government to come out from behind the shell of TransLink, and take a serious look at this dysfunctional organization.  In a perfect world, public transit would be put back under direct control of the provincial government where it belongs.  TransLink has been a money pit since it was spawned in the late 1990s.  When are the Liberals going to wake up and realize that this money-losing organization must be disbanded?   I challenge the Liberals to prove that they are better financial stewards of the public’s money than are the unelected, unaccountable board members of this detestable organization.

George Clarke

Maple Ridge