The deal to build the Richmond-Airport-Vancouver P3 transit line was voted down for the second time last week. Despite premier Gordon Campbells offer to assume cost overruns and ridership risks, the board of directors of Translink voted 8-4 to reject the provincial offer and 6-6 against sending the project to the best and final offer stage. The board also defeated the latter motion in May by a 7-5 vote.
The P3 project was slated to receive $450 million in federal funding and a provincial contribution of $300 million. Translink and the Vancouver Airport Authority were each to provide $300 million, with the remainder of the funding to come from Bombardier Inc. and SNC-Lavalin.
But Translink directors remained concerned the costly project would siphon tax dollars to the pockets of private corporations and leave other projects without funding.
This puts people in Prince George, Kelowna and Victoria on the hook for the deal … The risk gets spread right across the province, said Burnaby Mayor Derek Corrigan.
The Campbell government was quick to retaliate after the directors nixed the deal, ruling out financing any cheaper alternatives. Worse still, it has threatened to reject a $20-million-a-year parking stall tax that would have been used to buy new Translink buses.