Canada line crossing bridge web

TransLink's funding tribulations

Timeline created by jeffnagel in Politics
Event Date: Event Title: Event Description:
Timeline TransLink created TransLink launched as regional transportation authority.
Vancouver Coun. George Puil elected first chair. System has 1,081 conventional buses.
117 new buses are ordered.
TransLink, province agree to share costs of building SkyTrain expansion, funded in part through a vehicle levy. Construction begins on the Millennium Line.
Trafficweb $75 vehicle levy approved TransLink proceeds with planned $75 vehicle levy. The annual fee on all vehicles gets backing from GVRD and TransLink boards.
Timeline Fares rise, province now opposes car levy Fares rise for first time since 1993.
One-zone cash fare now costs $1.75. Bus fleet rises to 1,148 conventional coaches. Provincial government opts not to support car levy.
Timeline Vehicle levy scrapped The NDP government refuses to collect TransLink's vehicle levy on the eve of the 2001 provincial election.
Bus sorry web Transit expansion rescinded TransLink board votes to rescind previously approved transit expansion due to lack of funds.
Timeline TransLink needs new funding deal: A-G Auditor General report calls for a new funding relationship between TransLink and the province as well as changes in TransLink governance.
Gasnozzle3c web Gas tax hike okayed Province agrees to a two cent per litre increase in gas and diesel taxes in GVRD to help TransLink fund operation of Millennium Line, provided TransLink matches money with hikes in fares, property taxes.
Timeline New chair takes over George Puil steps down as TransLink board chair, is replaced by Surrey Mayor Doug McCallum. Earlier in the year, Pat Jacobsen took over as CEO of TransLink, replacing first CEO Ken Dobell, who resigns to become deputy minister to new Premier Gordon Campbell.
Timeline Transit fares rise Cash fares climb to $2 for a one-zone trip. Bus fleet shrinks to 1,115 as funding shortfalls force 50 natural gas buses out of service.
Skytrain generic web New SkyTrain line opens Millennium Line opens and 60 new SkyTrain cars go into service. 97-B Line begins express bus service in Coquitlam, Port Moody, Burnaby. SeaBus ridership hits 100 million/year.
Timeline New three-year plan okayed TransLink board okays $4-billion three-year plan/10-year outlook.
GVRD board ratifies plan by one vote. Future funding gap identified.
1218088448 logo Vancouver awarded 2010 Winter Olympics. Vancouver awarded 2010 Winter Olympics.
Pressure builds on TransLink to build the Canada Line (then the RAV Line) from Vancouver to Richmond and the airport.
Timeline U-Pass launched Mandatory U-Pass system introduced for students at UBC, SFU.
Later credited with greatly expanding transit use -- and intensifying pressure on a transit system struggling to keep up.
Timeline TransLink board says no to RAV line TransLink directors vote against building the RAV Line (later named the Canada Line), since renamed the Canada Line). Reasons for the opposition include the project's high cost, the fact that the regional priority for rapid transit is to the Northeast Sector, and Victoria's insistence it proceed as a public-private partnership (P3).
Canada line crossing bridge web Canada Line okayed TransLink's board under pressure from Victoria finally votes in favour of building the Canada Line after twice before rejecting it. The vote effectively leapfrogs the P3 project past the priority Evergreen Line to the Tri Cities. Then known as the RAV line, the rapid transit route to Richmond and YVR was one of the major transportation commitments promised to be in place for the 2010 Winter Olympics. The new line adds significantly to TransLink operating costs.
Timeline Fares up to $2.25 Cash fares for one zone rise to $2.25.
Timeline Vehicle levy revival mooted Amid growing fears for TransLink's finances, some mayors, including Maple Ridge's Kathy Morse, suggest the vehicle levy be reconsidered. Transportation minister Kevin Falcon soon shoots down the idea. Read October, 2005 story
Timeline Transit Police launched Transit Police Service launched.
Kevinfalcon Falcon vows to shake up TransLink board Transportation minister Kevin Falcon vows to overhaul governance of TransLink, calling the board's handling of the Canada Line decision a "disaster circus" of political infighting and dithering. Transport minister vows TransLink shake-up
Timeline Governance review launched Transportation minister Kevin Falcon names a panel to probe TransLink governance and recommend reforms.
Timeline Parking stall tax proposed TransLink's board commits to a new source of funding: a parking stall tax that aims to raise $20 million a year.
Timeline More buses arrive Major bus orders begin arriving.
Fleet grows to 1,326 vehicles.
Falconskytrain web TransLink restructuring unveiled Transportation minister Kevin Falcon unveils his plan to rebuild TransLink. A new professional board will take over, replacing the former elected mayors and councillors from around the region. The revamped transportation authority gets the ability to raise fuel taxes another three cents. Gone is the parking tax opposed by business. New TransLink unveiled
Timeline Parking tax defeated The parking stall tax is to be scrapped after a governance review panel recommends its elimination, along with a massive overhaul of TransLink's structure. Transportation minister Falcon agrees to eliminate the tax. Business groups strongly opposed the tax. http://web.bcnewsgroup.com/portals-code/searchd.cgi?sid=3545509121&papername=surrey&id=279804&tbname=storya_2007
Timeline Parking tax to be replaced It becomes clear that the revenue from the parking stall tax - although to be removed - will still have to be raised. The so-called "replacement tax" would be raised from property taxes, but only from business tax payers.
Timeline Province passes new TransLink legislation The South Coast British Columbia Transportation Authority Act eliminates the old board and sets up a new appointed structure. It also opens the way for expansion into the Fraser Valley and Sea-to-Sky corridor if neighbouring regional districts agree. Legislation allows a three cent a litre increase in fuel taxes, as long as it's matched by other sources like fares and property taxes. A vehicle levy remains a permitted option.
Timeline Keep TransLink open: outgoing board Outgoing mayors and councillors in their final meeting as TransLink directors call on their replacements to meet publicly. Critics warn the new structure includes potential for conflicts of interest and taxation without representation.
Timeline Fares up to $2.50 Cash fares for one zone rise to $2.50.
Translinkmosaic New TransLink board takes power A new unelected board of appointed professionals and business executives takes over most oversight of TransLink. Meetings move behind closed doors, where much higher board pay levels are quickly approved. TransLink board pay tops B.C. limits Surrey Mayor Dianne Watts is elected chair of the Mayors Council on Regional Transportation.
Skytrain generic web Provincial Transit Plan announced $14 billion transit plan: Transit mega-plan unveiled
<BR>RapidBus key part of vision<BR>
More SkyTrains for Surrey
Timeline Road tolls eyed in new 30-year plan TransLink's new 30-year plan opens door to tolls, other driving charges.Current surpluses are to dry up by 2012, after which it's projected the transportation authority will run a $150-million annual deficit just operating the existing system. TransLink eyes car levy, tolls
Pattullo web Pattullo Bridge rebuild to be tolled The new TransLink board agrees a complete rebuild of the aging Pattullo Bridge is needed - and that it will likely have to be paid for with tolls. New CEO Tom Prendergast arrives, replacing Pat Jacobsen.
Timeline TransLink warns of cuts without more cash TransLink warns of cuts without more cash
Timeline Higher fares, car levy eyed, docs show Documents obtained through Freedom of Information show TransLink is considering higher transit pass prices, and a car levy. Reports to the board show a grim financial outlook. TransLink eyes higher transit pass prices, car levy as financial outlook grim
Timeline TransLink approves budget shortfall TransLink Board approves its 2009 budget behind closed doors. It pulls $103 million from reserves to cover a projected operating budget shortfall.
TransLink approves budget shortfall
Timeline First glimpse of potential funding sources TransLink officials give area mayors a first look at possible funding sources under consideration to refinance the transportation authority.
The controversial list includes a potential levy on cell phone use. Read story
Kevinfalcon Falcon 'won't duck' TransLink tax debate Trnsport minister Kevin Falcon says TransLink is taking right approach in putting all options on the table. Mayors say province should give some indication of which funding sources it would tolerate. Falcon 'won't duck' TransLink tax debate
Pattullo web Falcon will try to avoid tolling Pattullo Bridge Spectre of tolling all Surrey-area bridges prompts transport minister to vow to search for other ways to fund Pattullo rebuild. Falcon shifts into reverse on Pattullo tolls
Timeline Evergreen Line gets federal cash The federal government commits $350 million to build the 11-kilometre Evergreen Line to Port Moody and Coquitlam. The $1.4-billion project, to be built as a P3, is still $173 million short. And TransLink warns it will not be able to operate it or stump up its $400 million share of the capital costs without greatly expanded funding sources. Action on Evergreen Line
Trafficweb Car levy, tax hikes to refinance TransLink CEO says TransLink will pursue seven funding sources: higher fares, property taxes, fuel taxes and parking sales tax; a tax on cargo container shipments, a share of the province's already collected Property Transfer Tax; and a vehicle levy. Car levy, tax hikes to refinance TransLink
Kevinfalcon Falcon doubts TransLink needs more taxes Falcon doubts TransLink needs more taxes
Gasnozzle3c web Mayors want carbon tax to bail out TransLink TransLink should get money from B.C.'s carbon tax to finance its expansion and spare the heavily taxed residential home owner, Metro Vancouver mayors say. Mayors want carbon tax to bail out TransLink
Falconskytrain web Liberals reject carbon tax take for TransLink Liberals reject carbon tax take for TransLink
Shipping containers web Container tax unlikely Strong opposition from Port Metro Vancouver to a proposed container tax has prompted TransLink to look for alternatives. TransLink container tax unlikely
19023surreyprendergast tomdec08 Victoria blocks path to improved TransLink: CEO Convert province to need for full $450 million expansion with new funding sources or 'end up with something less' than the transit system Metro Vancouver needs for a livable future. Read interview with TransLink CEO Tom Prendergast:
Victoria blocks path to improved TransLink: CEO
Timeline Public consultations on new funding sources TransLink embarks on intensive public consultations on its contentious proposed funding sources. Read story:
TransLink game gauges public priorities
Accordsign web Mayors bring in allies to press for TransLink funding Metro Vancouver mayors enlist influential new allies representing business, environment and labour to help press their case for new TransLink funding sources to enable an ambitious transit system expansion. Mayors bring in allies to press for TransLink funding
Bond  shirley TransLink may face new overhaul as province orders review Transportation minister Shirley Bond has ordered a review of TransLink and BC Ferries aimed at cutting costs and ensuring they're financially sustainable. The review means a possible new overhaul of TransLink and its board, which was radically transformed less than two years ago by former transportation minister Kevin Falcon. Read story:
TransLink may face new overhaul as province orders review
Timeline TransLink plan seeks road pricing approval from Victoria TransLink's board adopts a 10-year plan that proposes mayors agree to one of two supplements: a scaled down $130-million tread-water plan or the recommended and ambitious $450 million expansion, which depends on new funding sources being approved by the province. TransLink plan leaves room for province to sign on, charge new tolls
Bond  shirley Bond pans TransLink expansion options Transportation minister Shirley Bond is not happy with TransLink's call for Victoria to enable road pricing and tolling of existing bridges to help deliver a 45 per cent revenue increase for transit expansion over the next decade. She says a mid-range option should have been tabled so mayors can vote on a modest expansion and she says Victoria has no plans to alter its policy on road pricing or tolls Bond pans TransLink expansion plan
Diane watts web Deadline for mayors to approve or reject The Mayors Council must by Oct. 31 approve or reject the TransLink board's supplemental plan and the proposed sources to fund expansion. If it's rejected, TransLink must proceed with a base plan that cuts service intstead of expanding it.