BURNABY CUPE BC President Barry ONeill is demanding TransLink directors honour their promise to taxpayers and reject Richmond-Airport-Vancouver (RAV) rapid transit plans that exceed their committed budget expenditure ceiling.
Global TV reported this evening that a leaked document about the RAV procurement, expected to be announced by RAVCO staff tomorrow, to be between $100 million and $300 million over budget.
Not a penny more of public money should be committed to the RAV, says CUPE BC President, Barry ONeill. TransLink board members promised this taxpayers expect them to honour their promise.
After two votes rejecting the RAV, the project only proceeded to the best and final offer phase after North Vancouver Mayor Barbara Sharp introduced a motion, that swayed other no directors like Vancouver councillor Raymond Louie, to put a firm public expenditure cap of $1.35 billion on the project.
Sharp voted twice against the RAV line because initial bids were overbudget. Taxpayers just cant keep throwing money into this one project, Sharp told North Shore News at the time (May 12, 2004). Were talking millions and millions of dollars.
Bus riders and taxpayers shouldnt have to spend a penny more for this P3 boondoggle, says ONeill. The public has already assumed too much financial risk, ensuring the private consortium a healthy profit.
The province, federal government, and airport authority will not contribute any more money to the project. That leaves TransLink to raise the millions extra through property taxes, increased bus fares, sale of public assets and privatization.
TransLink should see what the public thinks about paying millions of millions more for a project that does more to meet private profit needs than urgent public transit needs, ONeill says.