On Tuesday (Jan 25th) Translink held a meeting at the Pinnacle seeking input on what North Shore residents wanted over the next 20 years.
I saw a lot of familiar faces there plus some new ones and a lot of opinions were expressed. The District Official Community Plan Roundtable was well represented as well as several from the City, West Vancouver and Lions Bay. I was really disappointed not to see reps from the Squamish or Tsleil-wa-Tuth though the Translink people told me they had been invited.
It was a good session with a lot of 'cut and thrust' though I completely disagree with Translink's methodology since it pretty much ensured the North Shore will be last in line with Translink for some time to come. While there was some talk of financial implications this was not encouraged by the organizers which causes me to wonder whether this consultation is for real or simply pro forma.
This is important since under the current Translink 10 year plan, Translink takes $225-240million out of the North Shore municipalities but only gives back about $45 million - and about 2/3 of that was to be for a new depot and a third Seabus which was to be in full service by the summer of 2009. Given this levy was to be for capital improvements it is difficult to not feel betrayed when we are now told that when the new Seabus is fully operational one of the first two will be taken out of service. The levy was never intended to be simply for replacement of aging infrastructure but improvements in service and 'two Seabuses before, two Seabuses after' is not my idea of an improvement!
It was a good session but I did not get the answers I went there for.