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Notes from the TransLink AGM aboard the SeaBus

Dale Parker, TransLink Board Chair, welcomes everyone to the TransLink AGM this morning.

Dale Parker, TransLink Board Chair, welcomes everyone to the TransLink AGM this morning.

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!

AGM attendees on board the SeaBus.

AGM attendees on board the SeaBus.

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.

Our annual report!

Our annual report!

Everyone on board got a copy of our 2009 Annual Report, which you can also download online here.

Most seats on the new SeaBus were full, stretching through the centre aisle all the way to the other side.

Most seats on the new SeaBus were full, stretching through the centre aisle all the way to the other side.

Again, the Burrard Pacific Breeze was very full: here’s a view of the folks sitting in the centre area.

Cathy McLay, our CFO and Vice President, Finance and Corporate Services, talks about our 2009 financial performance.

Cathy McLay, our CFO and Vice President, Finance and Corporate Services, talks about our 2009 financial performance.

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.

(Again, you can read more about our 2009 performance in our annual report. There’s also a nice overview in this press release about the 2009 report.)

John Furlong, head of the Vancouver Olympic Organizing Committee, receives a plaque from Dale Parker and Ian Jarvis!

John Furlong, head of the Vancouver Olympic Organizing Committee, receives a plaque from Dale Parker and Ian Jarvis!

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 given the opportunity to ask questions of our executives during the AGM.

Customers were given the opportunity to ask questions of our executives during the AGM.

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!

The TransLink board members!

The TransLink board members!

TransLink’s board members were in attendance!

Signs were up all over the SeaBus.

Signs were up all over the SeaBus.

Our staff put up informational signage all over the SeaBus, including this laudatory quote from the Bellingham Herald.

TV cameras!

TV cameras!

A number of TV cameramen joined us for the ride.

Ian Jarvis and Dale Parker.

Ian Jarvis and Dale Parker.

Here’s Ian and Dale laughing!

Doug Kelsey

Doug Kelsey

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!


20 Comments

  • By Ric, May 11, 2010 @ 4:01 pm

    I went to the AGM and it was great. Best of all it was free.

    Jhen, it was great meeting you today and I look forward to meeting you again in July, during the I love transit week meet up.

  • By Ric, May 11, 2010 @ 4:12 pm

    Jhen, in regards to the next AGM, do you think that perhaps it could be done on the West Coast Express?

  • By Eric B, May 11, 2010 @ 4:42 pm

    If you can’t make it out to Stadium, the Furlong car is #308 when it gets back in service. Hopefully that plaque stays on a lot longer than some of those that were on Mark I trains from the Expo era.

  • By rubai, May 11, 2010 @ 5:27 pm

    i enjoyed attending today’s agm! it was quite funny to see many people who got distracted by the beautiful scenery outside. :) also, i like ric’s idea of holding next year’s agm at the west coast express!

  • By ;-), May 11, 2010 @ 6:32 pm

    I was more interested in seeing pictures of the lines in front of the Waterfront Station to be the first on board, as well as, the washroom breaks.

  • By Eugene Wong, May 12, 2010 @ 11:47 am

    It was disappointing to see that a plaque went from an organization, that is operating in a tight budget, to a fellow, that made off with lots of money.

    I keep hearing about funding, but Translink is always excited about the U-pass program. Where do we get the funding for that?

  • By ???, May 12, 2010 @ 2:36 pm

    Historically, Upasses where funded by individual student bodies for each post secondary institutions by their fees. Has this changed?

    If students voted to not pay for Upasses, this is their choice.

  • By Ric, May 12, 2010 @ 4:24 pm

    ???, the government has announced that they want to introduce a province wide u pass program to all post secondary schools.

  • By Ian S., May 12, 2010 @ 11:32 pm

    @ Eugene Wong. What do you mean by your crack about “a fellow that made off with lots of money”? Are you suggesting that John Furlong is a thief? Or that he was overpaid? If the latter, please tell us how much Furlong was actually paid, and how much you think he should have been paid instead.

    And how much do you think a plaque costs? Between that and the lettering on the front of car 308, it can’t have been very much.

    Frankly, I like the idea of resuming the practice of naming SkyTrain cars, as was done with the original Mark I cars, and I’d like to see more of it, even if it costs a few bucks for the decals.

  • By voony, May 13, 2010 @ 8:25 am

    interesting idea to put some spin on the AGM, like your guy did. that increase its public awareness and it is a good outcome. WCE idea should be retained for next year

    I have written some though on the 2009 annual report at http://voony.wordpress.com/2010/05/13/translink-2009-annual-report-reviewed/

  • By zack, May 13, 2010 @ 10:02 am

    Man! Finding the 307-308 car is now just as hard as finding the 305-306 car last year!!

  • By Ian S., May 14, 2010 @ 1:47 pm

    @ Zack. I saw it on an eastbound train crossing above Broadway about 10:00 Friday morning.

  • By Jhenifer Pabillano, May 17, 2010 @ 10:13 am

    ??? & Eugene: U-Passes are paid for by the students at the respective institutions—they agree to pay a set amount per month to get their U-Pass.

  • By Jacob, May 19, 2010 @ 3:00 pm

    I Saw the 308-307, 316-315 Skytrain Westbound at stadium @ 240 PM

  • By zack, May 23, 2010 @ 9:20 pm

    I rode the 308-307 316-315 Mark II eastbound @ Gateway station, and saw it heading westbound @ Stadium station.

  • By Eugene Wong, May 30, 2010 @ 8:14 am

    Wow.

    I forgot about this thread.

    @ Jhenifer

    Thank you for the clarification on the U-Pass program. I should try to search for that type of information before hand.

  • By Eugene Wong, May 30, 2010 @ 8:36 am

    @ Ian

    Anybody who received government money to produce the Olympics, is a person who makes off with lots of money. I’m not accusing him of being a thief. It’s that simple. The free market would never pay for the entire Olympics, because it’s not profitable. The Olympics committee asks the government for funding because the government can *force* the tax payer to cover the costs, even if the expenses are unnecessary, and even if the tax payer can’t afford it. So, the tax payer covers the cost, while the big wigs make more money. That’s not fair at all.

    Even if the plaque costs only $1, I would still disapprove of the spending. The dollar should be saved for the transit riders. We are living inconveniently by the schedule of the transit system, yet currently, the drivers are the beneficiaries of that effort? The drivers receive more subsidies, and save more time, and yet we have to pay $1 for the plaque, and most/all of the Olympics? No thanks.

  • By Ric, February 14, 2011 @ 1:33 pm

    When will this years AGM be and where is it going to take place?

  • By Jhenifer Pabillano - Buzzer Editor, February 14, 2011 @ 2:23 pm

    Ric: No date and location yet. I’ll have a post on the blog when the info is available.

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