TransLink Welcomes the Province New Legislation
May 07, 2012
Work begins immediately to implement changes
Legislation introduced today by the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure will help TransLink operate more efficiently and respond to recommendations of the Mayors’ Council and the Regional Transportation Commissioner.
In 2011, Transit Police issued 57,000 tickets to those caught riding the system without a valid fare. TransLink has now been given the power to enforce fares, impose and collect fines, and reduce fare evasion on the transit system, and ensure everyone pays their fair share or face serious consequences.
Through amendments to the South Coast British Columbia Transportation Authority Act, TransLink can use tools such as discounts for early fine payments, court proceedings, and withholding transit passes until fines are paid. In addition, ICBC can now refuse a drivers’ license or vehicle registration until fines are paid. In extreme cases, TransLink can request provincial support to reduce an individual’s provincial payment, such as provincial tax refund, to pay for the fine.
In the same legislation, two seats have been added to the board of directors to include the chair and vice-chair of the Mayors’ Council. Importantly, the legislation calls for periodic performance audits that will give the public and decision makers regular, third party validation that TransLink is operating efficiently and effectively.
The date to file TransLink’s annual investment plans (base plan) has also shifted from August 1 to November 1. This will give TransLink more time to consult with stakeholders, the public and the Mayors’ Council before plans are finalized. This date change also responds to the TransLink Commissioner’s efficiency review by improving the link between budget forecasts and actual investment plans.
Ian Jarvis, TransLink Chief Executive Officer: “The region told us they want greater action on fare evasion, more accountability in our governance and an efficient operation that delivers quality service. We are grateful to Minister Lekstrom, who has acted expeditiously to fix legislative constraints and ensure we can respond to these concerns effectively. This is an example of how working collaboratively with the Province and the Mayors’ Council will help us deliver a transportation network that serves us well today and in the future.”
Doug Kelsey, TransLink Chief Operating Officer: “Fare evasion is theft and it impacts everyone. It’s a big concern for our customers and the people of the region, and it’s a big concern for TransLink too. The move by the Province today shows we all take the issue seriously. We will begin working immediately with the Province and the Mayors’ Council to develop the rules and processes to administer a fine program.“
Nancy Olewiler, TransLink Board Chair: “We welcome all changes that make us more effective at doing our job. The TransLink board has worked cooperatively with the Mayors’ Council to achieve extraordinary success. Together, we have stabilized TransLink’s funding, supported discussion on long-term funding, and found the region’s share of the Evergreen Line cost. Adding the chair and vice chair of the Mayors’ Council will help us continue along that path.”