Why did TransLink decide it needed a new leader?
The organization didn’t explicitly say why Ian Jarvis, who had been CEO since late 2009, was being replaced just one month before a critical transit referendum.
But in a statement announcing the decision, Board of Directors Chair Marcella Szel was clear that a negative perception of TransLink played a role.
“TransLink must restore public confidence, and new leadership is the first step,” she wrote.
Here are five reasons often cited for a decline in confidence with TransLink, which has an annual budget of $1.4 billion.
1. No Compass Card
Two years later, there’s no word on when the Compass Card will be implemented for the general public, and the project is millions of dollars over budget. And when the Compass Card comes, riders may not be able to ‘tap out’ at the end of a ride, meaning fares wouldn’t be calculated by distance – one of the original selling points of the card.
2. Fares up, passengers down
TransLink also got rid of the Employer Pass Program, which provided companies a 15 per cent discount on passes if they were bought in bulk for employers.
In 2014, TransLink announced that there had been 10.1 million fewer passengers than expected in the first three quarters of the year.
3. SkyTrain shutdowns
Both times, TransLink was slow to communicate with people stuck at stations, and in some cases continued to have buses drive people to clogged SkyTrain systems.
4. HandyDART changes
In 2014, it was announced that 42,000 people had been denied service in the previous year, an eight-fold increase in just four years.
5. Executive pay and perks
In addition, TransLink executives have been given a monthly vehicle allowance and free parking passes, which cost the organization a total of $94,000 in 2013.
However, today’s announcement of Jarvis’ demotion may not be enough to satisfy those upset about executive compensation – rather than receive severance, Jarvis will stay as an advisor and make his regular salary until his contract runs out next year.