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BURNABY The directors of Greater Vancouvers Transit Authority have voted to overturn plans that would have seen the operation and maintenance of a major new proposed transit line privatized.

The $1.5 to $1.7 billion proposal would have been one of the largest transit privatizations in North America

CUPE BC Vice President Mark Hancock told the GVTA Directors that the proposed privatization was a bad deal for taxpayers that would have seen them paying transit dollars to pay for corporate profits.

We urge you to stop this project today, to reconsider, and to give the people of the Lower Mainland a transit system that serves them, and not Gordon Campbell and the large companies that support him, Hancock said.

Nearly forty people made presentations to the Directors and two thirds spoke out against the proposed RAV line.

At the final vote, 7 of the 12 directors said no for a variety of reasons that included outright opposition of the privatization of public transit, to their discomfort with the lack of transparency in the decision-making process, to resentment with the intrusion of BCs premier Gordon Campbell who had threatened to withdraw the provinces $300 million in funding unless the deal was privatized. Others were simply concerned with the overall affordability of the project.

TransLink Director David Cadman, a Vancouver Councillor, subsequently moved a motion to see transit funding used to build a comprehensive transit plan for the region that could be broadly supported.

Hancock congratulated the GVTA Directors and offered CUPE support and assistance in future public transit developments.

Contact: Mark Hancock, CUPE BC General Vice President, (604)-828-0498

Diane Kalen, CUPE Communications, (647)224-0662.