Interim CEO Doug Allen says failure of transit referendum isn't on TransLink

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      TransLink interim CEO Doug Allen isn’t letting his organization take responsibility for the “no” vote that came back today (July 2) from a six-week plebiscite on a tax increase for transportation funding that was held earlier this year.

      “I know some of you will say, ‘Well, this is really about TransLink’,” Allen said at a press conference outside Waterfront Station in Vancouver. “It was not. TransLink was not on the ballot. There were two parts. A 10-year investment plan and a tax increase. And it is my view that the public across the Lower Mainland said ‘no’ to a tax increase.”

      He went on to describe TransLink’s public transportation network as “world class”, “safe”, “reliable”, and efficient”. Allen said there are many independent and peer-reviewed studies that show those characterizations to be true.

      Returning to the matter of the vote, Allen warned TransLink will now face funding limitations as it struggles to still expand services.

      “It will be up to us to deliver the system as smartly and wisely as we can, given the constraints that we are going to be under,” he said. “We will review all aspects of transit and transportation we’re responsible for, and we will do our utmost to deliver the best we can with the resources that are made available. We are very keen to work with the mayors and the province on finding a solution to long-term funding and we commit ourselves, in a very full sense, to doing just that.”

      The vote was a non-binding plebiscite proposed by the provincial government and conducted via mail-in ballot from March 16 to May 20, 2015.

      According to results released today, 38.32 percent of people voted in favour of the tax and 61.68 percent voted against it. The turnout for registered voters was 48.64 percent.

      Earlier in the day, Allen responded to the plebiscite results with a short video posted on YouTube.

      “This is democracy,” he said. “One accepts a ‘yes’ or a ‘no’. The fact that it’s a ‘no’, it’s not my preference. But that’s the will of those who voted and we must respect that."

      Comments

      15 Comments

      BusRider

      Jul 2, 2015 at 2:31pm

      They (Allen & Co) just DON'T get it, do they? How delusional can one man be? This wasn't a NO vote for no more transit; it was a message, a loud one: No more of our tax payer dollars to be frittered away by the the bunch of incompetents currently running TransLink.

      sam2

      Jul 2, 2015 at 2:52pm

      A lot of anti-referendum comments were because they were against translink. I was not one of them. Even though many other cities managed to get a system similar to compass working without these problems. Even though they haven't figured out how to stop waves of buses showing up at the same time. You want more capacity on the 99 line? Take out the seats.

      I was anti-referendum because it was a sales tax - which is regressive and hits people living between paychecks the most. Hardly fair in a city which is built on a class of indentured servants renting out basement apartments.

      I was anti-referendum because almost half of it was to pay for road upgrades for more cars - not for mass transit.

      I was anti-referendum because they offered a pittance of bike lane support in it just to get some votes.

      Nope Nope Nope

      Jul 2, 2015 at 3:01pm

      OH MY GAWD.

      That's the biggest example of denial I've ever seen.
      And instead of cutting back on company perks and blatant waste they want to cut back on service. We're being held hostage by this bunch.

      I suppose they'll want to start investing in more ways to attack fare jumpers too. People who mostly have monthly passes they leave in their pockets that are continuously assumed to be fare jumpers. How about they start simply and tell us how much they spend per month on coffee and donuts instead?

      David McBain

      Jul 2, 2015 at 4:22pm

      This is about TransLink and nothing but TransLink. Watch the rats scurry...

      From Glen to Christy Clark passing the buck (our bucks) about transit has met its end. We all said NO to elected politicians ducking accountable decision making about a file so large (that effects so many).

      TransLink needs to be an elected body we can hold to account. Enough already!

      Arachides

      Jul 2, 2015 at 4:56pm

      When George Puil, Philip Owen, Gordon Price and others led the charge to take away transit planning in the Lower Mainland from the Province of BC with local City Councils to be on the hook for the decisions made the BC Govt couldn't have been happier and they haven't stopped laughing since.
      They wanted control, they got control and now they want to take their ball and go home. You want more money, tell us before the election and run on it's merits. Was the vote about Translink and the lack of accountabilty, you bet.

      GregG

      Jul 2, 2015 at 5:51pm

      Next time we have a referendum, how about including a section at the bottom with (*) If Not, Why? (please check from the following: a: dislike translink, b: dislike taxes, c: ok with increase but not as a sales tax, d, e, f... or g: other) ... then at least we'd all learn something from the outcome.

      David Barrett

      Jul 2, 2015 at 6:25pm

      Mr. Allen is dillusional if he thinks the vote was only about the sales tax. Any transit organization that can't figure out how to install fare gates and the associated fare collection system on time and on budget doesn't deserve to get more tax money for even more complex projects.

      Translink needs to be restructured and led by someone who understands that the people of the lower mainland are fed up with overpaid and under performing Translink executives who are not operating a transparent organization.

      Tony Simon

      Jul 3, 2015 at 8:53am

      Mr Allen obviously can't be trusted to deal in reality. He has to go.

      Its all on Translink

      Jul 3, 2015 at 9:12am

      Who says yes to a tax? Politicians!

      dizzy

      Jul 3, 2015 at 9:16am

      getting dizzy from all the bs spin. delusional is right!