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Province expected to announce TransLink governance changes

VANCOUVER (NEWS1130) – As TransLink struggles to make decisions and find funding for major transportation projects across the region, would more power given Metro mayors make a difference?

Transportation Minister Todd Stone will speak to the media this morning to discuss the transit referendum and TransLink governance.

There are reports the province will give some powers to the mayors when it comes to our roads, bridges and transit. Stone is expected to make this move, rather than leave everything to the current board of appointed experts which was brought in six years ago in a move to end regional infighting.

It’s seen as a way to help persuade TransLink’s mayors council to work with the province on the promised public referendum on how to fund major TransLink projects.

Lawrence Frank at UBC’s School of Community and Regional Planning believes there needs to be directly elected officials making more decisions at TransLink.

“I think we are at a very precarious point in time and the strongest move would be the one that provides the most leadership and buy-in from the governing structures we already have in place. I think we need some leaders,” Frank tells News1130.

“If the referendum goes down, I think we are going to be in very bad shape here. We don’t have enough money for the transit improvements we need and we’re going to be looking at some serious problems. I think that having some champions, directly elected, to really guide and shape the package of investments as we go forward is going to be critical.”

Frank points out local control has continually eroded as the province took more power over TransLink’s decisions.

He feels the current governance structure at the transportation authority has not worked and transportation planning needs to be better connected and land use and the region’s official growth strategy.