Translink and BC gov't spending plans don't match up

The BC Government's "Climate Action Plan" includes the stated goal of doubling transit ridership by 2020... but Translink's own financial planning is a bit more pessimistic. They need more money, and they think they know where they can get it: real estate development.

The CBC performed a bit of news analysis, and, in putting the numbers together, easily found that doubling ridership by 2020 means that Translink would have to add 5% more riders per year until then. Their own plan calls for 2.3% increase per year for the next four years, run out of money, then increase 1.5% thereafter and run at a deficit.

Overall, Translink would see an increase of about 1/3 the province's goal.

The Translink CEO, Tom Prendergast, brought up the point that you can't just throw money at a system either: there are "limits in terms of how fast you can add equipment and how fast you can grow the workforce" as well.

If this seems like the best place to start talking about finding more sources of revenue, it most certainly is: even Kevin Falcon seems enthused by the idea. "If you do not set a goal, you'll never reach it. Can we fail? Of course we can fail. but for goodness sakes, if we care about climate change and we're serious about reducing greenhouse gases, let's set an ambitious target and do our very best to try and reach that", he said. Before hopping in his SUV (a Pathfinder in late 2007) and joining the mash towards the Port Mann bridge.

I think he's just looking out for his future - he was into real estate and mortgages in his past, and he's thinking of an 'out' once he returns to the private sector.