Waste Of The Day Awards

Pricey Police

A Transit Police audit suggested that since those officers “investigate fewer major crimes and does not maintain its own detention facilities, operating costs could still likely be lower.” Instead, TransLink is upping the police budget from $29 million in 2011 to $42 million by 2021.

Lavish Lavatories

TransLink spends $3,612 a month to sublease some washrooms in Steveston. But not for the public – just for their staff.

Gangster Grief

TransLink taxpayers picked up the tab for a Transit Police officer to serve for more than four years on the Integrated Gang Task Force, despite their own audit showing “The Project Team did not see any evidence that the non-recoverable IGTF secondment led to any direct operational or investigative benefits for Transit Police.” Translation: gangsters don’t usually take buses.

Coffee & Tea Tragedies

You can’t bring it on the bus, but TransLink pays $120,000 to keep its office staff and executives flush with coffee and tea. Drivers get nothing.

Tall Tales For Taxpayers

In 2010, taxpayers were told TransLink salaries and overtime would be higher because of the Olympics. Yet in 2011, TransLink total salaries jumped 20 per cent – and employee expenses shot up 25 per cent.

Costly Crafts

“Broke” TransLink will spend $450,000 on art at Commercial and Metrotown SkyTrain stations. As Mayor Lois Jackson said: “I wish they were taking the money they're putting into art, and putting it into a bus. Even one little bus extra would be helpful.”

Cops Paid Like Kings

The average Transit Police officer gets $98,000 a year in salary, and investigates less than 10 serious or property crime files a year.

Expenditures Explosion

From 2006 to 2010, TransLink ridership went up 28 per cent – but costs jumped 50.7 per cent. This meant its costs grew faster than its peers in other Canadian cities.

Pocket Padding Plague

Due to a contract quirk, Transit Police are paid for 11.59 extra shifts they don’t work – 127.5 bonus hours, on top of holidays, sick time, overtime, and a bonus for working Sundays. These 11.59 extra shifts line the average cop’s pocket with $5,000 – for a total cost to taxpayers of $825,000 a year.

Corporate Costs Catastrophe

TransLink spent more on it corporate costs in 2011 (7 per cent) then it did on roads and bridges (5 per cent).