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My Translink Rant – Creative Non-Fiction

When the well-dressed Translink executive, on his way to a GVRD transportation meeting, sat next to me on the skytrain and asked my opinion, I told him it was vital they be mindful of their spending choices when growing public transit in B.C’s lower mainland. One wrong step such as adding an extra CEO and paying them both exorbitant sums and bonuses beyond the comprehension of the system’s general ridership, there would be an entire mainland population up in arms.

“Before you know it, people will be clamouring for the job of running the intricate urban transportation link with claims of the ability to accomplish so much more for so much less. And in a far shorter time span.” I said. “And should you plan to fund the growth through any kind of tax, no matter how small the fraction, plebiscite or not, Nay Sayers will scream. Not everyone, mind you. Just the Nay Sayers and they will be heard yelling ‘foul’ to the ends of the Fraser Valley.

No amount of reasoning will convince them that transit lines, cars, busses and operators don’t grow on trees and the system will not automatically appear overnight. They will never accept that the money has to come from somewhere and the expense is most logically shared by the entire population that stands to benefit from a vast transportation network that unites communities and facilitates an enriched life experience for everyone concerned.

That vocal segment of the population would have us living in the past. Back in a time when the hundred mile diet was a harsh reality because horses and carriages have their limitations. When access to education was restricted to the distance one could travel under their own steam in the limited amount of time available away from the homestead.” I went on. “So many cultural activities to miss out on, and the Pacific Ocean …  Don’t even get me started.

“So remember to hire judiciously at the outset. One CEO will do for starters. See how it goes. No one will begrudge you another should it prove necessary after the initial trial as long as you are forthcoming and transparent with the needs and the costs. Save the bonus structure for a later date.

Last of all, please don’t forget to extend the validation time of a three zone bus ticket to accommodate the extra time it takes for busses to weave their way through the congested roads of North Vancouver all the way to Langley so I can complete my journey home before my ticket expires.”