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Share your thoughts on the draft 2014 Base Plan!

2014 Base Plan

The cover of our draft 2014 Base Plan!

It’s that time of year again! We’re looking for your feedback on our draft 2014 Base Plan and Outlook.

By legislation, TransLink must prepare a base plan each year, which goes to the Mayors’ Council and Transportation Commissioner at the beginning of November.  The base plan outlines the programs and services that TransLink will deliver over the next three years, using existing funding sources.

What’s in the draft 2014 Base Plan?

This year, our financial situation is looking better than previously forecast, due to our strong focus on cost containment and efficiencies. This means we’ll continue to deliver the programs and services that were in last year’s plan. Over the 2014-2016 plan period:

  • Total transit service hours will remain the same, though we’ll continue to review performance and adjust service to meet demand while still providing service coverage.
  • The Major Road Network and regional cycling will receive the current level of funding.
  • We’ll move ahead with seven SkyTrain station upgrades and meet our commitments for Evergreen Line contributions.
  • There’s also some additional funding for potential rehabilitation for the BC Parkway and Pattullo Bridge.

While we’re able to deliver the programs and service listed above (and more!), this isn’t to say that we don’t face any financial challenges. Fuel sales are still declining in this region, which affects fuel tax revenue (our second largest source of revenue), and we are still relying on the sale of real estate to fund operations. As the plan states, the major challenge in the Plan and Outlook period will be to extend TransLink’s success in improving service through efficiencies.

At the same time, TransLink keeps its eye on the future transportation needs of Metro Vancouver, which is growing. Per capita service levels are already declining and will continue to do so without new funding. And we know there are many transportation projects on the regional priority list. It seems clear that new funding sources will be needed to accommodate current demands and future growth.

Over the plan period, TransLink will continue to partner with stakeholders, as well as Metro Vancouver public and businesses, to develop an implementation plan that will help our region reach the goals set out in the Regional Transportation Strategy.

Share your thoughts!

You can find a summary of the draft 2013 Base Plan on our website. For all the detail you could possibly want, the full detailed draft 2013 Base Plan is also available to download and read.

We’re asking for your input into what you think of the plan. Fill out the online survey between today and October 18. The information gathered will be used to update the plan.

As always, leave your questions in the comments below, and we’ll do our best to get you the answers!

UPDATE: November 4, 2013

The 2014 Base Plan was approved October 30, 2013. It now becomes our strategic plan for 2014. You can read the final version on the Base Plan page of the TransLink website.


18 Comments

  • By Kelly, October 4, 2013 @ 1:37 pm

    All I can see are upgrades. I thought its a good idea, but we need another train service to and from Lonsdale Quay to Pemberton on a daily commuter service. We already have the West Coast Express running from Vancouver to Mission. What we need is a big central train station from Vanouver to Mission, Hope, Pemberton, Lilloett, Amtrak Highspeed Trains to Seattle and Via Rail (Maybe High Speed trains to Toronto & Halifax) We are a fast moving transportation in BC, but it’s taking it forever.

  • By Scott, October 4, 2013 @ 10:17 pm

    What this plan says is basically the system is in crisis thanks to a lack of funding and terrible planning by our elected leaders. Service levels now are worse than they were five years ago thanks to increased population. People are paying higher fares for this service as well.

    Passups on buses are worse than ever. Routes 25,33,41,43,49,84,99,106,130,135,143,145,236,320,502 etc. have serious overcrowding issues.

    A daily look at Translinks twitter feed shows tons of complaints about the 19,25,49,130,135,143,145,240,502 etc.

    It’s time politicans woke up and actually did something rather than get together and accomplish nothing about funding.

  • By Kyle Z., October 4, 2013 @ 11:55 pm

    Agree 100% with scott.
    Service levels down to 2007 levels (even though we have new buses), yet the majority of Vancouverites support increased transit.
    With compass, optimization will be much more effective, but this is no excuse for lack of funding.

  • By Sheba, October 5, 2013 @ 8:28 pm

    Instead of just big projects, TransLink should do some small ones. Drop one of the big Expo Line station renos and the money from that would probably cover doing basic work (replace the mesh screens with glass, lighting, maybe a full roof over the platforms) for half of the Expo stations. Sometimes quantity should win out over quality.

  • By ???, October 6, 2013 @ 12:09 pm

    I think the #20 should be included in the list. Yes Vancouverites support transit until you ask them to “open their wallets”. Without proper funding and ever increasing freeloaders, service cuts are the acceptable norm. You get what you pay for. Just look at the USA mess today where many services were chronically underfunded. Have you heard about many city governments declaring bankruptcy?

  • By Eugene Wong, October 7, 2013 @ 7:45 am

    @ Scott

    I don’t have enough information to agree with your details, but I do agree with you in general.

    I think that part of the problem was Translink accepting the Upass riders. They cause spikes in ridership, I think, and they probably don’t pay for all their consumption. Even the organizations paying for the students probably don’t help enough.

    @ ???

    In all fairness, many riders are willing to pay more, if they get an increase in frequency.

    That being said, more revenue could be found by trying to curb ridership growth among the handicapped, the bicyclists, the mothers with kids and strollers, the seniors, and the typical rush hour commuters, and then trying to reach the night time travellers and the counter flow travellers.

    For our discussion, we could assume that most late evening buses and counter flow buses are empty, even though a few are packed tight. Translink should be falling all over itself to reach them, but they could barely raise a finger to type, “No!”.

  • By Sheba, October 7, 2013 @ 2:44 pm

    I still wonder why high school students pay $52 for a (optional) month pass while university students pay $35 for a mandatory pass. I’d feel a lot better about it if university students paid the concession rate. That’s something for the BC Gov to consider.

    I think a lot of people South Of Fraser would willingly pay more in taxes, etc – if that money translated to better service for everywhere in the region except Vancouver. True or not, it feels like most of the upgraded service benefits Vancouver and nowhere else.

  • By Jordan, October 8, 2013 @ 9:32 am

    @Sheba

    I don’t know about that. Its not like its coming out of the students pocket; it something their parent is buying for them. University students, whether they act it or not, are adults and have to pay for their own stuff, and I’d wager they have substantially less disposable income that a high school student’s parent. University students already have to pay for so much while being, for all intents and purposes, unemployed.

    I also think the mandatory part has a lot to do with it. All the on-campus/non-commuting/driving students subsidize those who commute to campus resulting in overall lower fares.

    And don’t necessarily equate “more frequent” to “better service” in Vancouver. Chronically full busses, overcrowding and generally slow travel aren’t all that attractive.

  • By David M, October 10, 2013 @ 1:19 pm

    If the Province would stop meddling and let the regional plan and fund the transit system, we wouldn’t be in this mess. Christy Clarks stupid and ill conceived election promise on a referendum on Translink funding has frozen any expansion for the next year or longer; not to mention that a referendum on a complex issue like this is doomed to fail. Meanwhile, she announces a 10 lane bridge with no concern that it will probably cost $3 billion and increase congestion. No wonder we’re in a mess.

  • By Eugene Wong, October 11, 2013 @ 2:15 pm

    @ David M

    Thanks for bringing this up. I’ve been stewing over this.

    People are so used to spending large amounts of money, and comparing it to other large projects. However, they aren’t used to thinking in terms of how much we are giving up.

    If each bus driver were paid an even $100,000 per year, then $3,000,000,000, would buy us 30,000 bus drivers for a year. Please correct my math, if it is wrong.

    We could spend some of that money on buses, and instead of only bus drivers, and we’d be able to get a *huge* amount of new routes. If we only got 1 new route, then we can jam the entire route with articulated buses that leave every 30 seconds.

    From now on, every time somebody talks about a new project, please think about it in terms of how many bus drivers we can get.

    $200,000 on station art? 2 drivers!

  • By Tina Robinson - Buzzer Contributor, October 11, 2013 @ 4:15 pm

    Thanks, all, for your comments this week.

    Just a reminder to log some of your comments through the Base Plan survey so it gets captured in the right way. You can find it here: http://fluidsurveys.com/surveys/translink-Z/2014-base-plan/

  • By Eugene Wong, October 20, 2013 @ 2:27 am

    “TransLink continues to rely on the sale of real estate assets to fund operations.”

    That’s so crazy…I think. You’re selling property to fund operations??

    Why can’t you buy property and lease it out? Maybe build a big tower on there and get lots of tenants.

  • By Eugene Wong, October 20, 2013 @ 2:31 am

    Also, there are so many people travelling around at night. Why can’t Translink market to them to get them on some buses for increased revenue?

    Does anybody know how hard it will be to get people out of their cars at night? It seems so feasible yet impossible.

  • By ???, October 20, 2013 @ 9:29 am

    Hmm…. where should we begin?
    -are the buses full at night outside the core? Are they only full in the downtown segment?
    -I remember when the Expo line was only 2 cars at night, the trains are much longer now
    -there’s extra service for special events at night
    -Owl service is a better frequency now compared to 30 years ago
    -does Translink operate at a loss at night and for owl service?
    -there are no zone surcharges after 6:30 and for the owl service.

    Looks like night service has improved over the years.

  • By Eugene Wong, October 21, 2013 @ 6:54 am

    ???:

    Who are you responding to?

  • By Sheba, October 22, 2013 @ 4:04 pm

    I can’t remember if it was BC Transit or TransLink that pulled some spin doctoring about night buses. First evening/late night buses were slashed, and then it was brought back again but in most areas at a reduced frequency (with the exception of the N19 crossing the river into Surrey). The news was presented as ‘there was no night bus service and now there is’.

    There’s some extra service after special events at night, esp if it only means running some extra Skytrains. There are no additional buses if you happen to go to the Pacific Coliseum.

  • By Sarkari Naukri, October 31, 2013 @ 6:48 am

    All i can say is not a bad job done overall..Keep it up!!!

  • By Tina Robinson - Buzzer Contributor, November 4, 2013 @ 1:37 pm

    Thanks all for the comments. Just wanting to let you know that the 2014 Base Plan was approved last week, and will now be our strategic plan for the coming year. You can read the final version at http://www.translink.ca/baseplan.

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