Letters to the Editor

TransLink's governance has gone off the rails

The province just doesn’t get it.

Why do we have to have a Mayors Council and also a TransLink board?

In the Seattle-Tacoma area Sound Transit plans, builds and operates express bus, light rail and commuter train services.

It serves the urban areas of King, Pierce and Snohomish counties.

Sound Transit is governed by an 18-member board made up of local elected politicians (three members from Snohomish County, 10 from King, four from Pierce) and the State Transportation Department secretary. “Members” means mayors or councillors and county executives.

The board does all the necessary planning and financing of the transportation system.

This is pretty much the same in many European cities where the transit authority consists of elected politicians from all the towns in a metropolitan area.

One or several elected representatives of the region around the metropolis also participate.

While mayors in Metro Vancouver may feel they already have a lot on their plate, some European mayors are, at the same time, an MP in the National Assembly and, in some cases, also a minister.

One problem is that, unlike the Europeans, Japanese and Chinese politicians who are familiar with their city’s transit system and may still use it when they are a politician, this is not the case in B.C.

But then I am also skeptical about the transit savvy of members of the current TransLink board.

J-L Brussac

Coquitlam

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