Evergreen Line audit supports SkyTrain option but finds government lacked information

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      A new audit of the $1.4-billion Evergreen Line project says opting to build a SkyTrain link was the right move but the province made the decision without sufficient information.

      Auditor general John Doyle’s latest report, released today (March 28), concludes the business cases for the project provided government decision-makers with an incomplete picture.

      Doyle found there was no examination of the costs and risks of other transit options like light rail, no explanation the ridership forecasts were on the higher end of the scale, and no description of the potential impact of other transit-service changes.

      “Omitting this information meant government did not have the opportunity to understand these risks and endorse actions for protecting and enhancing the benefits of the Evergreen Line over its useful life,” Doyle said in a news release.

      “Applying the same approach for future capital projects puts government at risk of making decisions that would have been modified had government understood the full costs, benefits and risks.”

      The long-awaited Evergreen Line, which is expected to open in 2016, will create a SkyTrain link from Lougheed Mall in Burnaby to Douglas College in Coquitlam. The province is providing $583 million toward the line while the federal government and TransLink are contributing the remaining funds.

      Doyle found the government was well-informed in its decision to build the project as part of a short-term, public-private deal. He also determined the line will create a good connection to the existing SkyTrain system, providing people in the Tri-Cities with more transit options.

      In response to the audit, the B.C. government said it accepts Doyle’s recommendations, which cover oversight of major projects, documentation of project reviews, measuring the performance of projects, and how ridership is estimated.

      “The Evergreen Line has been studied and reviewed extensively for years by multiple levels of government and transit experts,” Transportation Minister Mary Polak said in a news release.

      “We are confident that the Evergreen Line can achieve ridership projections as we have seen with the popularity of the Millenium Line and Canada Line where ridership has met or exceeded expectations.”



      Corrupt or Incompetent

      Mar 28, 2013 at 6:12pm

      "no examination of the costs and risks of other transit options like light rail"

      I wish I was surprised. Why look at options? Serving the public and improving transit are simply pretexts for the transfer of wealth from the many to the few.