Langley City mayor says TransLink should have 1 elected governing body

Click to play video: 'Metro Vancouver mayor calls for overhaul of TransLink governance'
Metro Vancouver mayor calls for overhaul of TransLink governance
WATCH: The mayor of Langley City says it's time to overhaul the governance of TransLink, to streamline it and make it more accountable to taxpayers. Emily Lazatin reports – Mar 28, 2024

Langley City Mayor Nathan Pachal is voicing his concerns with the current governing body structure within TransLink.

Currently, there are two governing bodies at the top of TransLink — the Mayors’ Council and TransLink’s board.

Pachal, who is a member of TransLink’s Mayors’ Council, said changes need to be made as there should only be one governing body and it should be elected.

“We need to go back to one governing body of elected folks to oversee TransLink to ensure we can move forward in a good way,” Pachal said in a press release.

“The main problem is that the Mayors’ Council is accountable to the public for TransLink, but we are not responsible for its day-to-day operations. Accountability and responsibility have to be linked.”

Click to play video: 'TransLink fares increasing amid $4.7-billion funding gap'
TransLink fares increasing amid $4.7-billion funding gap

The Langley City mayor thinks there is a disconnect between the public and how they perceive TransLink is run.

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“The Mayors’ Council is responsible for raising fares and taxes for TransLink and setting the high-level direction for transit and road investments,” he said.

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“The TransLink board is responsible for TransLink’s annual budget and oversees day-to-day operations.

“I would bet that 95 per cent of people in Metro Vancouver think that the Mayors’ Council controls and oversees TransLink even though we don’t in reality.”

Pachal compared the current structure at TransLink to the U.S. Congress system.

“The simplest way I can describe this TransLink governance setup is like the U.S. Congress with its House of Representatives and Senate (if the U.S. Senate were unelected),” he said.

“If things are going well, we slowly progress, but it doesn’t take much to jam up the works.”

Pachel said he wants TransLink’s governing body to revert to a one-board/council system, which it used to be before the Olympics in 2010.

According to TransLink, the company is facing a $4.7-billion funding gap, which has led to a rise in fares and an increase in Metro Vancouver property taxes.

Pachel said the “pending bankruptcy” of TransLink has highlighted the issues of having two governing bodies, and the issue needs to be resolved for the future of transit in Metro Vancouver.

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TransLink told Global News it has no control over its current governing structure.

Global News has reached out to the province for comment.

Click to play video: 'TransLink Mayors’ Council’s public campaign for transit funding'
TransLink Mayors’ Council’s public campaign for transit funding

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