TransLink’s budget increase questioned
Matt Burrows in the Georgia Strait has coverage of Jim Houlahan questioning next year’s operating budget at Translink.
TransLink approved an operating budget of $1.3 billion, according to the same December release. Revenue and expenditure budget figures from the TransLink 2009 budget and business plan summary reveal that total operating expenditures are about $1.27 billion this year, up from approximately $1.08 billion in 2008. The 2007 annual report lists the operating budget for that year at $896.3 million.
So the year on year increase is $190m or 17.5% – but Jim decides to go for $400m in two years – the figures are bigger but the questions remain.
The answers from Translink’s spokesperson Judy Rudin look a bit thin. The addition of a third SeaBus does not seem to explain very much. And a 4.6% increase in service does not translate into a 17.5% increase in costs – or rather, it shouldn’t. And even if we start paying the Canada Line debt service this year, says Jim, that’s only $30m a year.
I don’t spend much time trawling over Translink Board reports these days. Maybe someone who does can throw some more light on this.