Transit service will flatline without Moving Forward investments set for Oct. 7 vote by Mayor’s Council

Even if Metro Vancouver mayors vote Oct. 7 to approve Translink’s Moving Forward funding supplement to add the Evergreen Line and significant increases in bus service, the amount of service hours per capita will decline in coming years in the face of regional population growth.

That was the grim news Translink Commissioner Martin Crilly gave the Translink Mayor’s Council today as it reviewed current Translink spending plans.

Without the new investments, total service hours will flatline, Crilly told the Mayors, but the decline in service hours per capita is much less drastic with the Moving Forward supplement in place.

Crilly was reporting on a detailed analysis of Translink’s base plan he released earlier this month. After years of strong service growth, Translink has been denied additional funding to add service. The result is increasing ridership on the same level of bus and rapid transit service.

That ridership will have to continue to grow to meet Translink’s forecasts for revenue, Crilly said, even if fares rise 12 percent in 2013 as planned.

It all adds up to a crucial vote Oct. 7 when the Mayor’s must approve or reject the Moving Forward supplement, which provides for a two cent lift in gas tax and a pledge by Victoria to consider new funding options to replace property tax to make up the difference. Transportation minister Blair Lekstrom sought to sweeten the pot even more today with a pledge to review Translink governance.