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The federal government is reported to have upped its contribution to the Richmond-Airport-Vancouver (RAV) rapid transit link by $150 million. This brings the total federal contribution to the privatization of public transit in the Lower Mainland to $450 million.

Meanwhile, backers of a P3 RAV continue to push for a quick decision, before information on the true costs and risks of the project come to light. The TransLink board met April 16 to review a study comparing the costs of a private vs a public project. But CUPE has raised concerns that the carefully chosen pro-private quotes that were presented at the public meeting are not representative of the studys findings.

In a letter to TransLink directors, CUPE BC president Barry ONeill says that staff snuck this report in at the last minute on a day when they were trying to push you to proceed with the RAV privatization, despite the fact it was still over budget. He points out the reports author, former BC auditor general George Morfitt, describes his review as cursory in nature and admits he did not examine the assumptions underlying the comparison, only its methodology.

ONeill appends to his letter a recent release from the province of Victoria, Australia which is still recovering from an expensive P3 fiasco that disrupted its transit system.