TransLink is seeking emergency relief funding from Federal and Provincial Governments to offset losses incurred for providing essential transit services during the pandemic. Without emergency funding, Metro Vancouver commuters are set to see unprecedented cuts to transit services, even during post-pandemic economic recovery.
“Transportation is the foundation of rebuilding an economy and ensuring that our essential service workers have the ability to move throughout the region,” said Anita Huberman. “Transportation is an essential service itself. It should be clear that when the economy reopens TransLink needs to be fully operational.”
TransLink is losing $75 million per month and will be unable to carry the capacity it did pre-pandemic without a significant investment made by Provincial and Federal Governments.
“Transit is a service used by many during this pandemic, including nurses and other essential service workers, and government needs to ensure that this public entity remains functional.”
Since the beginning of the pandemic, TransLink has:
· Reduced Bus service by 15-20%, while also reducing SkyTrain, SeaBus and West Coast Express services.
· Reduced the seating capacity on buses to promote physical distancing.
· Introduced rear-door only boarding and suspended fare collection on buses to protect bus operators.
· Introduced widespread and intensive cleaning and sanitization measures on bus, HandyDART, SkyTrain, SeaBus and West Coast Express.
· Deferred the scheduled July 1, 2020 fare increase.
The Surrey Board of Trade is calling on all levels of government to provide emergency funding to TransLink to ensure that it can remain operational for essential workers during COVID-19 shutdowns, and increase their capacity in an efficient and effective way once the economy re-opens.
Anita Huberman, CEO of the Surrey Board of Trade, 604-634-0342, firstname.lastname@example.org