- Pitt Meadows Day Promises To Be A Festive Day For AllPosted 4 days ago
- Election ResultsPosted 5 days ago
- Robyn & Ryleigh Release Video Of New SinglePosted 9 days ago
- Sumas LakePosted 13 days ago
- Edward Marke Antonsen Charged With Second Degree MurderPosted 13 days ago
- Talent On Display At Absolute Style 2013Posted 16 days ago
- Fit With Fiedo Spring Fitness BootcampsPosted 18 days ago
- BC Safety Charter Surpasses 70 SignaturesPosted 23 days ago
Columns: Translink TV’s Take Taxpayers For Half A Million Bucks
Submitted. The Canadian Taxpayers Federation (CTF) has obtained documents using the Freedom of Information Act (FOI) showing TransLink paid $523,444 to put 13 TV screens at five SkyTrain stations in 2009 ($40,265 per TV).
The station entrance emergency information panels (SEEIP) were supposed to replace sandwich boards used to communicate information to riders when SkyTrain station gates were closed during emergencies. But only one station had operating TVs during a CTF tour last month.
“This is typical TransLink—they had a quick, simple system to use during those very rare occasions when SkyTrain station gates had to be closed—but decided instead to blow half a million bucks on a fancy TV system that barely works any more,” said Jordan Bateman, the CTF’s B.C. Director. “It’s another entry on a long list of TransLink waste.”
The 13 screens were originally put at ten locations spread over five stations. During a tour of SkyTrain stations in late May, only four of the 13 TransLink TVs were operating—all at Stadium Station. TVs at Lougheed Town Centre were visible but not working during the CTF’s visit, and screens at Scott Road, Edmonds and Commercial-Broadway had disappeared.
The FOI documents indicate that in August 2011, almost every SEEIP screen was offline. The content player at Stadium had failed, Scott Road’s screens were “damaged beyond repair,” Lougheed’s power supply wasn’t working and Commercial had blown a fuse.
TransLink received a Transit-Secure grant from the federal government for $392,032 toward the SEEIP project.
“What a waste of tax dollars,” said Bateman. “No one is one bit safer because there are TV screens at Stadium station. This federal money should have gone to real security and safety upgrades on the system or, better yet, considering the massive deficit, not spent at all.”
Bateman noted that the documents indicate more SEEIP screens have been deferred to TransLink’s 2013 budget. “This project should be scrapped to save money,” he said. “The federal grant program has lapsed, and TransLink has far more important things to fund than $40,000 TV screens that don’t work.”
Jordan Bateman is the B.C. Director of the Canadian Taxpayers Federation.
He can be reached at 604-510-5535 or by E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org