Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Mayor Fassbender on TransLink

I had the chance to chat with Mayor Peter Fassbender from the City of Langley about October 23rd's vote on TransLink’s ten year funding plan by the Council of Mayors. TransLink has basically given the mayor’s three options: cut service, maintain current service, and expand service. While the "expand service" option would seem like the plan to approve, it has a major problem. Under the current TransLink legislation, the plan could not be completely funded. The only logical choice is to approve the “maintain current service” plan. This is the plan that Mayor Fassbender supports and the plan that most of the South Fraser mayors support.

According Fassbender, this plan is only a short term solution for the next 6 to 12 months. By approving the plan, he hopes it will give the Province, TransLink, and the mayors more time to find a long-term funding solution for TransLink. He said that he supports the vision of TransLink’s "expand service" option and that the Mayor’s Council will be working with the Province to find funding to improve transit service. He also said funding TransLink “is not going to be easy”, but that Road Pricing and carbon tax redirection may be some of the option to fund TransLink.

Fassbender confirmed that the South Fraser mayors are still pushing hard for improved tranist service and that they recently had a very good conversation with the Minister of Transportation Shirley Bond, but wouldn’t comment further.

I believe that the Mayor’s Council has no choice but to approve the “maintain service plan” in the short-term, but that all orders of government need to work together, fast, if we are too see improved transportation in our region. It's about time that the South Fraser get the transit it needs...

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