TransLink is out of touch with White Rock

March 29, 2015

A view by Dave Chesney - White Rock City Councillor

Ballots are starting to land in White Rock, and we thought you might appreciate this piece White Rock city councillor Dave Chesney on why White Rock residents should vote NO. (Dave also recorded a great interview with Jim Goddard, which you can listen to HERE.) Please pass it on to your neighbours!

TransLink is out of touch with White Rock

Do I support improvements to the transit system in the Lower Mainland? I certainly do, 100%. What I disagree with is the methodology being used by the Mayors’ Council.

The small community in which I live, White Rock, was the first district/city in the Lower Mainland to have the community shuttle bus service. As a matter of fact we celebrated our 10th anniversary last year. How did TRANSLINK honour this milestone? By cutting back the Community Shuttle service from every half hour to every hour. This shuttle service is a lifeline for the many seniors living in my community. TransLink has indicated they may revisit the cuts this summer. Why? So we don't inconvenience tourists to our fair city by the sea?

I am a regular user of transit. I own two automobiles but in large part I find the bus service to be very convenient and affordable. It also affords me an opportunity to learn about issues within my community. Though I must say I rode transit long before I became an elected official.

The day I look around the bus and see my fellow council members using the service I will know we are on the road to recovery. Do Gregor Robertson, Linda Hepner and David Suzuki use the bus system? Not likely. I am so tired of people that don't use the system telling me how it should run. Let us eat cake!

Lower Mainland residents are already paying 17 cents per litre at the pump to fund TransLink. What did they do with all the money we already gave them? The recent hiring of an additional CEO because he apparently brings another level of expertise causes my head to spin. That, coupled with the fact Jimmy Pattison has been appointed some kind of cash czar, only adds to the confusing optics. The day the announcement was made the media contacted Mr. Pattison for his opinion on his upcoming duties. He was as much in the dark as the rest of us. Who's running this train wreck?

In closing, from what I understand, the 0.5 percent increase in the Provincial Sales Tax will only supply one-third of the necessary funding. The Provincial Government and the Federal Government must kick in the remaining two-thirds. Only last week did the Provincial Government suggest they were considering their portion of the funding. There has been stone cold silence out of the Federal Government. Would it have not been more businesslike to secure the other two levels of funding before the public was asked to pony up? What happens in a possible federal election if Ottawa says NO? What then?