Rewind on the bus depot debate

Rewind on the bus depot debate.

from Elizabeth James, the North Shore News, and quoting in part:

Now – back to the future: On Oct. 30, 2013, TransLink released its Transportation and Financial Base Plan for 2014 to 2016 and Outlook for 2017 to 2023. If you haven’t yet read it and want to know what you must pay for, you can find the Summary and Context and Conclusions sections of the Plan by googling the document title.

Approved by the appointed TransLink board and, later, by the Mayors’ Council, here are four of the priorities North Shore taxpayers are and/or will be helping to underwrite: n $18 million – 36 per cent of the $50 million cost of the Roberts Bank Rail Corridor project; n $3.7 million TransLink contribution to the Port Metro Low Level Road expansion project – in addition to the City of North Vancouver taxpayers’ $1 million donation; n North Shore share of the new Hamilton Transit Centre in Richmond – currently under construction – and of the cost of the TransLink referendum Minister Todd Stone tossed into TransLink’s lap.

After contributing to a depot in Richmond and asking why TransLink should underpin two federal Ports operations, what does the North Shore receive for its TransLink dollar?

Easier to say what’s not yet funded according to the 2013 report: extension of the 15-minute SeaBus service to 24/7 year round and upgrade of the bus and SeaBus terminals at Lonsdale Quay are three items mentioned.

Now, let’s return to the bus depot issue: Where are the alternatives the TransLink board was unable to identify?

According to Morris, there are at least two: n an extension of the Blue Bus depot to replace the soon-to-be-gone ICBC claims centre on Lloyd Avenue, and n an addition to Phibbs Exchange on provincially owned land adjacent to the highway.

So why would both North Vancouver mayors vote to boot one of the top job-producing operations off the North Shore instead of endorsing the rejection delivered by Burnaby Mayor Derek Corrigan?

Well, developers aside, the concluding observations about TransLink noted by Acuere Consulting and others in their March 2013 TransLink Governance Review were that “The province has exercised a dominant interest, feeling free to impose its priorities on the region (while remaining) reluctant to provide a role in transit for local government institutions it did not … control.”

Enough said?

rimco@shaw.ca

– See more at: http://www.nsnews.com/news/rewind-on-the-bus-depot-debate-1.1339280#.dpuf

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