We held our annual general meeting (AGM) aboard our newest SeaBus this morning!
Chair Dale Parker and our executives spoke at a podium on one end of the SeaBus, and the audio system was rigged up throughout the boat so attendees at the other end could still clearly hear them—and so many came out to hear what they had to say!
Really: the public turnout was terrific, with the SeaBus filling probably 80-90% of its 400 seats. There was even a lineup waiting for the doors to open! It’s quite a change from past years, when hardly anyone came out to join us.
Everyone on board got a copy of our 2009 Annual Report, which you can also download online here.
Again, the Burrard Pacific Breeze was very full: here’s a view of the folks sitting in the centre area.
At the AGM, several of TransLink’s executives spoke about our 2009 performance.
Cathy McLay, our CFO and Vice-President of Finance and Corporate Services, gave everyone an overview of our 2009 financial performance. A bit of a recap: our 2009 operating revenues were higher than 2008, but below budget for 2009, owing to continued global economic impacts, and more people using discounted fare passes. But our operating expenses were under budget as a result of an organization-wide focus on cost containment.
Ian Jarvis, our CEO, gave an overview of TransLink’s accomplishments in 2009, which include the opening of the Canada Line, the Golden Ears Bridge, and the Central Valley Greenway; the arrival of 240 new buses, 48 SkyTrain cars, and one new Seabus; and achieving our largest ever funding increase of $130 million annually, to maintain existing service levels.
And Doug Kelsey, TransLink’s Chief Operating Officer and president of SkyTrain, spoke about our 2010 Olympic performance, which much of our work in 2009 contributed to.
The SeaBus stopped at the north terminal at Lonsdale Quay to pick up John Furlong, head of the Vancouver Olympic Organizing Committee (and to let everyone off for a quick bathroom break!)
John gave a lovely speech thanking TransLink for its transportation work during the Olympics…. and then TransLink presented him with a commemorative piece for his Olympic work: a SkyTrain car named in his honour, “The Olympic Spirit of John Furlong”!
The SkyTrain car named for John is currently parked at the Stadium SkyTrain Station side track today, for all to see. If you can’t make it, here are two pics of it taken by Ken Hardie: the decal on the outside, and the interior plaque.
Customers were also given the opportunity to ask questions during the AGM, and a long line did form. Among the questions asked (and answers given) were:
- Why is the 22 constantly full: it requires more resources which could be taken from other routes with lower ridership (Mike Shiffer, our VP of Planning, explained that a service rationalization program is underway to address these issues)
- Will we put three SeaBuses in service (Ian Jarvis, our CEO, said that demand is there, but we don’t have the funding to put it in along with boosted bus service to match a more frequent SeaBus schedule)
- Will TransLink offer yearly or six-month transit passes? (Dale Parker, chair of our board, said the incoming smartcard program will be able to handle those types of passes once in place)
- How is TransLink committing to increasing walking and cycling? (Dale Parker and Ian Jarvis reaffirmed that we are committed to increasing cycling and walking, which has been recently demonstrated with the opening of the Central Valley Greenway)
And that really addresses most of the scheduled part of the AGM. So now: more pictures!
TransLink’s board members were in attendance!
Our staff put up informational signage all over the SeaBus, including this laudatory quote from the Bellingham Herald.
A number of TV cameramen joined us for the ride.
Here’s Ian and Dale laughing!
And here’s Doug Kelsey!
Many thanks to all who came onboard the SeaBus for the AGM this morning—we really appreciate you taking the time out to join us. Let’s do it again next year!