June 9,2010 Tri City News
The Evergreen Line and Murray-Clarke Connector will not be built in 2010, the scant few attendees at TransLink’s public meeting last week in Coquitlam heard.
These are expansion projects, explained TransLink CEO Ian Jarvis, and there is no cash available.
The informal meeting at Evergreen Cultural Centre had chairs arranged in a simple circle and of the approximately 30 people in the room — the majority were municipal or TransLink employees.
Jarvis opened the meeting with a snapshot of the regional transit authority, noting increases in ridership, drops in administration costs and a budgeting change that sees financial estimates played out over three years, not the decade previously required.
But the conversation last Thursday inevitably turned towards the Evergreen Line and Murray-Clarke Connector — two long-awaited projects in the Tri-Cities.
“The Evergreen Line is an expansion project,” said Jarvis. “Our priority is maintaining what exists.”
He echoed that remark when queried on Murray-Clarke.
“Again, it’s an expansion project... and it will require supplemental funding,” he said. “We don’t have the money. I can’t put my hand on my heart and promise.”
One Port Moody resident said the connector should be the priority. Port Coquitlam Coun. Sherry Carroll disagreed, saying, “The priority is the Evergreen Line to Port Coquitlam,” and adding cross-town transit connections “don’t mesh well with the shuttle bus systems.”
The 2011 transportation and financial base plan is available online (www.translink.ca) and shows four general priorities: maintaining service, repairing vehicles and infrastructure, making efficiency upgrades and planning.