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TransLink in the media: The expanded lot at the South Surrey Park and Ride

News hounds like myself might be reading some of the chatter today regarding the expansion lot at the South Surrey Park and Ride. The Province and Georgia Straight have both written about it.

We would like to correct some facts regarding who funded this $4.5 million project.

To respond to overcrowding at the previous lot, the expanded Park and Ride was developed as a partnership between the Province and TransLink. The Province funded the project’s capital costs and contributed to the land purchase. That is, the Province of British Columbia funded the $4.5 million expansion project. TransLink is responsible for operating and maintaining the lot.

This expanded lot supports improved transit and transportation for local communities, transit users and the travelling public. It makes it easier for people to connect to the existing transit network, which in turn makes transit a more viable choice.

UPDATE: Letter sent from TransLink to CTF


14 Comments

  • By Tone1point1, February 26, 2014 @ 2:15 pm

    This is a fine example of TransLink’s myopic view of its own community. I don’t know, perhaps some other level of government strong-armed TransLink into instituting the parking charge in the first place. Vancouver Metro residents are fed up with increases and takeaways. We lost the Sunday family pass benefit. We lost the employee pass benefit. We’re going to lose the Sea Island addfare workaround next. For every dollar you claw back you lose some riders. Look at and learn from BC Ferries!

    Clearly Surrey has spoken, they are willing to buy a monthly pass, but unwilling to be dinged another $2 a day. So… eat a little humble pie and reverse the policy. Is the ill will being created worth the little bit of revenue that parking lot is going to generate? Is it worth standing on some bureaucratically mandated out-of-touch principle just to see that brand new lot virtually unused? This amounts to a strike by Surrey residents, they can hold out as long as TransLink can, and by the time the dispute is over TransLink will have permanently alienated hundreds of users.

  • By Cliff, February 26, 2014 @ 2:49 pm

    The truth is, people are avoiding the new lot like the plague.

    Park and Rides need to stop being considered a separate service and be thought of as part of the bus system. People in areas that are lacking in bus service are basically being charged three times for a single trip: fuel taxes, parking fees, and bus fare.

    Stop charging for these and usage by existing riders and new users will soar. Otherwise, King George Highway will continue to be used by commuters avoiding the parking fee, while new users will be completely turned off by the sight of both the empty lot and the hassle of finding parking on the busy highway.

    Please be practical about this and don’t let politics and sideways thinking affect these decisions. People who want to park and ride want to make the effort to use transit.

    Let them.

  • By Sean (CMBC), February 26, 2014 @ 3:45 pm

    I’d like to see no fees for Park & Ride, or at the very least a HUGE discount for monthly pass holders, like $20 a month MAX…
    Right now $2 a day X avearge 20 working days a month = $40…

  • By Robert, February 26, 2014 @ 5:33 pm

    Perhaps when the Compass card is implemented a tap of the parking ticket machine with a Compass card (loaded with a monthly pass) can dispense a valid parking ticket for a suitable discount. There’s time between now and then to modify the ticket machine accordingly.

  • By mike0123, February 26, 2014 @ 7:28 pm

    Who was responsible for projecting the usage of this parking lot? Does Translink still project that the lot will become well used in the next few years?

    Does Translink, alone or in concert with the province, plan to build or expand park and ride lots elsewhere? If so, are its predictions for usage based on similar models to this lot?

  • By Voice of Reason, February 26, 2014 @ 11:09 pm

    The lot would certainly be better utilized if it were free, but this expansion cost money and people should pay for parking to compensate for the cost of expansion and to help fund services. Why is it such a problem for people to pay a toonie for a day of parking when it costs that same amount for just an hour of parking downtown (plus the cost of fuel and time lost commuting)? I don’t often side with Translink, but this isn’t them being unreasonable, it’s the public being foolish.

  • By dave, February 26, 2014 @ 11:18 pm

    The parking lot has won the Teddy award for excellence in wasting tax dollars.
    http://www.theprovince.com/news/bc/TransLink+takes+Teddy+Award+wasteful+spending+building+empty/9553222/story.html

    Translink sure knows how to discourage people from using transit. Well this is the same Translink that thinks buses running every 30 min or longer is considered adequate, or that everyone goes to work from 8am to 4pm, or that no one takes the bus on sundays.

  • By Eugene Wong, February 27, 2014 @ 3:38 am

    I agree with Voice of Reason on this point. The bottom line is that Translink doesn’t owe anybody a discount for driving. Paying $2 plus a 3 zone far per day to park all day is cheaper in many cases than the cost of gas plus parking for an hour. Think about how much it costs to feed the parking meter.

    @ Robert Willis

    Who did the province purchase the land from? I realize that Surrey and Canada can’t just hand over land for every project, but they all ready own the land, so it makes no sense for them to not contribute it to transit projects. Also, the land is inside an unused area near the highway, so it pretty much goes to waste, if unused.

  • By Sheba, February 27, 2014 @ 3:47 pm

    In general I don’t think drivers should get free parking and other perks. But in this case, look at the bus service in South Surrey – there isn’t much. If we want much of anyone out there to ride a bus, then we have to give them some kind of an incentive. Free parking isn’t that much when they’re already paying gas tax and bus fare.

  • By Jennifer Binnington, February 27, 2014 @ 4:28 pm

    Thanks for your comments, everybody. I see a lot of you had questions/comments about paid parking, so here’s a little bit of background info.

    TransLink introduced a system-wide user-pay pricing structure for all of its parking facilities across Metro Vancouver in 2013. Pay parking recovers the operational costs associated with Park and Ride facilities and ensures that these costs are covered by TransLink customers who use the facility.

    Pay parking at this location has only been in effect for less than four months and we expected that it would take some time for travel and usage patterns to develop. It’s also important to remember that the expanded lot was built not only to address the capacity issues at the original lot, but also to meet future demands as the region grows.

  • By Jennifer Binnington, February 27, 2014 @ 4:32 pm

    Hi Eugene. Robert isn’t here today, but I can help out.
    The province owns the property as part of the Highway 99/King George Interchange. I’m not sure how long they’ve owned it for, but someone over at TranBC (http://tranbc.ca/) may be able to let you know.

  • By Cliff, February 27, 2014 @ 4:36 pm

    I disagree, Eugene.

    Here’s why. I think we’re too used to holding some moral stand against motorists and it’s that type of thinking that says those who use the lot have to pay. The decision to charge for use of the lot is one of policy and politics that attempts to apply urban thinking to suburban and rural areas of the region.

    It becomes a matter of politics because the commuters simply go “Fine, I’ll just park on the highway.” Or worse yet, “I’ll just drive downtown.” So people make a political point about it, the lot remains empty, and sure, I guess the “punish the motorist” mindset wins… Maybe… If that’s what you call winning.

    Should people pay for what they use? Sure. We pay taxes, we pay tolls, we pay licence fees, we pay bus fares. You use it, you pay for it. It’s a simple concept. But when this concept gets applied to a service that people don’t feel is worth the cash, they’ll just avoid it. It’s capitalism 101.

    The money has been invested, the lot built, all that’s left is to lower the price until it becomes an attractive option. Personally, I feel that price should be $0. You might have a few people say 50 cents or a dollar. (At which point you have to wonder if the cost to collect exceeds the potential income.)

    So, here’s what I say. If TransLink doesn’t want to budge on their stance of wagging their fingers at motorists and the lot remains unused, then just sell the lot to someone who WILL use it instead of paying to maintain it. Be practical. Nobody wins with the status quo. Not the taxpayers, not the commuters, not you, not me. We can argue until the cows come home and that lot will still remain empty and useless.

  • By Jennifer Binnington, February 27, 2014 @ 4:44 pm

    Hi mike0123. Demand has exceeded supply for several years. Back in 2012, the lines were repainted to add an additional 50+ spaces after people were parking illegally at the facility. Again, the lot was over capacity indicating that demand continued to exceeded supply. And yes, we do expect that the lot will be increasingly used as the region continues to grow. In fact, we’re already seeing more people at the lot since November.

    There are currently no plans to build or expand park and ride lots anywhere else. Any decisions about future park and ride plans will be approved and adopted through TransLink’s Park and Ride Policy (http://www.translink.ca/~/media/Documents/plans_and_projects/10_year_plan/2013_plans/Park%20and%20Ride%20Policy.ashx).

  • By Jennifer Binnington, February 27, 2014 @ 4:46 pm

    Hi Robert. Thanks for the suggestion. That may be a possibility in future, but right now we’re focusing on getting Compass out on the transit system.

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