Disclosed in a recent report presented to the Lower Mainland’s Mayors’ Council, a daunting structural deficit of $4.7 billion was revealed on October 26, 2023. This deficit reflects the expected difference between planned expenses and anticipated revenues unless corrective actions are taken in the years ahead.
“These corrective actions could compromise Surrey – an area that is already severely underserved by transit needs,” said Anita Huberman, President & CEO, Surrey Board of Trade. “A reduction in transit services can limit the accessibility of employment centres for workers, particularly those who rely on public transit. This could lead to increased commuting times, decreased productivity, and potentially discourage employees from pursuing job opportunities outside of their immediate vicinity, impacting our economic development.”
For the years 2026 to 2033, based on the scope of the 2022 Investment Plan and before any additional scope of the 10-Year Priorities is included, the total funding gap is $4.7 billion. To bridge this gap, TransLink would require approximately $600 million per year in new revenues starting in 2026.
The primary factors driving this significant financial gap are inflation, service expansion, and debt servicing costs. Inflation, which is responsible for an $839 million increase in the funding gap, primarily results from labour rate increases due to negotiated settlements. Service expansion, totaling $408 million, stems from the implementation of major projects. The cost of borrowing has also risen due to increasing interest rates since March 2022, leading to a $459 million surge in debt servicing costs.
Anita Huberman, 604-634-0342, email@example.com