TransLink pushes out senior transportation planning veterans Tamim Raad and Brian Mills

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      In the midst of a Lower Mainland transportation plebiscite, TransLink has given walking papers to two transit experts.

      The Georgia Straight has learned that the director of strategic planning and policy, Tamim Raad, and the director of systems planning and research, Brian Mills, are on the way out.

      This comes less than three months after the board of directors replaced CEO Ian Jarvis with interim CEO Doug Allen.

      The Straight has asked TransLink media relations for a comment. Nobody has responded as of this writing.

      Raad and Mills are both UBC graduates and each reported to recently appointed vice president of transportation strategy, Tim Savoie.

      Savoie, former director of planning and development services in Port Moody, has extensive experience as a municipal planner. However, he does not have nearly as much experience in dealing with transit as Mills or Raad.

      Mills has been involved in this work for 27 years and led TransLink's long-term vision and strategy document, Transport 2040.

      Raad has been with TransLink for 16 years. In February, he told the Georgia Straight that the regional transportation authority's goal was to create a "frequent-wide transit network" serving 70 percent of the population.

      “You head out your door—in Surrey, say—and walk a few blocks," he explained. "You don’t need a schedule. A bus comes every 15 minutes. Average wait: seven-and-a-half minutes. That’s the plan.”

      Last year, Raad told the Vancouver Sun that TransLink "thinks a light rail line from Commercial to UBC is workable". The Vision Vancouver–controlled council has adamantly demanded a more expensive subway. This was included in the suite of projects supported by the Mayor's Council and put before voters in the plebiscite.

      Even if the plebiscite passes, the provincial and federal governments will each have to kick in nearly $700 million to build the subway. If it's constructed, trains would travel underground from VCC-Clark Station to Arbutus Street.




      May 8, 2015 at 12:04pm

      Wondering where these strange 'TransLink' decisions are really being made? Frances Bula writing in the Globe and Mail suggests that TransLink is being micro-managed and/or sabotaged by Premier Clark's provincial government. Bula writes that according to "numerous politicians and TransLink employees, the agency’s executives and staff are on the phone to the Transportation Ministry in Victoria several times a week, getting clearance for everything from news releases to new equipment"


      May 8, 2015 at 1:45pm

      This is wonderful: losing two long term bureaucrats is a positive move for Translink folks. The hilarious part is how it must be the dastardly Liberals sabotaging this wonderful transit service: it wins awards you know? And lots of experts tell us how super it is but Translink can't make their transit pass work and need more money for their latest grand scheme underway. The entire management structure needs to be streamlined and the only way to do that is force them to deal with their current structure and funding issues before begging for more.


      May 8, 2015 at 1:56pm

      If either of these folks was involved with Compass, and in the case of Mills it seems pretty certain, then they should have been turfed long ago. Translink has spent $195 million dollars on a system that is suffering pretty basic problems even after two years of testing. Their next promised expansion of the Compass Card is scheduled for this coming fall, but one wonders if that date will shift like every other number in the Compass fiasco. Translink is institutionally flawed and until those flaws are fixed they will continue to waste money.

      Good riddence

      May 8, 2015 at 2:41pm

      Charlie, you sound like you are defending them. If you really knew them you would know they do not have the skills or ability to manage at their level. With these types of people gone you can now actually hire competent people who can implement cost-effective strategies, save us money, and produce real results. If they did anything of worth it was because they hired enough staff and consultants to get things done. Lifers like Mills will not have a chance in the real world.


      May 8, 2015 at 4:27pm

      Seriously?!? - The Compass / faregate was Minister Kevin Falcon's initiative (under Premier Gordon Campbell). Falcon imposed a number of problematic things on the region, including Compass, the Port Mann Bridge and the appointed TransLink board, and should be remembered for the damage he did.


      May 8, 2015 at 5:35pm

      it is about time

      B. Broe

      May 8, 2015 at 10:07pm

      Gentlemen: what goes around comes around. Now Vancouver can finally do some real planning and none of this knee-jerk amateur fodder lacking substance.


      May 9, 2015 at 6:56am

      Vancouver City Hall was almost certainly the trigger for this.

      Ian Jarvis redux.


      May 9, 2015 at 10:35am

      I had a chance to work with/for Brian and Tamim. Thank you for all the years of public service. Best wishes for the future.

      Re-visit Subway?

      May 9, 2015 at 10:37am

      I hope this can shine some more light on a better transit solution for Broadway. We need an affordable, efficient connection from Commercial to UBC. The Robertson/Rennie subway is a great marketing tool for high density development, but it's not the right transit solution.