THE Province and TransLink on Friday announced their commitment to ensure transit service is available as British Columbians safely restart the province and its economy in the coming weeks and months.
The Province and TransLink said they were working on a comprehensive solution to address the major financial impacts that TransLink, like many transit agencies across the country, has incurred due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Given the progress in these discussions, TransLink and its operating companies will suspend the service reductions planned to begin on May 18 and rescind layoff notices issued to approximately 1,500 employees. The Province and TransLink will also continue to call on the federal government for a national solution to the challenges facing transit systems.
With the release of British Columbia’s Restart Plan, TransLink will review all transit service levels to ensure it is balancing the need to help people get around the region, with the need to maintain and respect enhanced safety protocols. Further service and safety-related announcements will be made in due course.
Selina Robinson, Minister for Municipal Affairs and Housing, said: “As we begin to restore the economy through BC’s Restart Plan, services like TransLink will be key to British Columbia’s transition and recovery success. We remain committed to working with and supporting TransLink through this difficult time and into recovery to find solutions that will benefit Metro Vancouver and British Columbia, and continue to call on the federal government to join us in this support.”
Jonathan X. Coté, Chair, Mayors’ Council on Regional Transportation, added: “Today’s commitment by the Province of B.C. to help TransLink keep transit service running on Day 1 of the BC Restart Plan is an important first step towards returning TransLink to financial sustainability in the long term. I look forward to working with Minister Robinson and her team through the summer to address the pandemic’s impacts on TransLink finances so that TransLink is equipped to help rebuild our region’s sustainable, innovative economy.”
Kevin Desmond, CEO, TransLink, said: “This is another important step forward for re-starting British Columbia and Metro Vancouver’s economy. The transit service provided by TransLink is essential to the lives of hundreds of thousands of people in our region. We will be ready to provide safe, reliable transit service as people return to work. We are proud to be partnering with the Province of B.C. to ensure transit service is there as the economy recovers.”