One of the pastimes in Langley is to complain about TransLink and the level of service it provides to the community. There is a common belief that Langley taxpayers are not getting value from the agency and are actually subsidizing Vancouver’s transportation needs. What I found interesting is no one has actually looked at the amount of money that TransLink spends in Langley.
In September, I sent a freedom of information request to TransLink asking for the 2010 annual operating cost of transit service in Langley. I received a reply:
These numbers don’t include insurance or capital costs.
At the same time in 2010, Langley City and Township contributed $15,321,538 in property tax and an estimated $16,000,000 in gas tax to TransLink. If you think that $15 million is leaving Langley for Vancouver transportation, think again.
In 2010, TransLink spent $2,295,098 on the major road network in Langley and cut a cheque for $90 million for the Golden Ears Bridge. Even when you factor in the $29 million in toll revenue from the Golden Ears Bridge, it turns out that TransLink subsidized the bridge by $61 million. So in 2010, TransLink actually contributed more to Langley in transportation (about $45 million more) than it took in. Let’s not forget that Langley citizen also use SkyTrain, the West Coast Express, and other regional transportation infrastructure.
The point of this post is to wake people up to the fact that TransLink isn’t screwing over Langley. At the end of the day, we are getting more from being in TransLink than if we went it alone. The reality is that if we want better transportation in Langley, it comes at a cost.