Friday, December 11, 2009

Another span almost as busy as the Golden Ears bridge

I wasn`t going to write another story on the Golden ears bridge but...Kelly Sinoski and Kirk Lapointe(editor in chief) of the Vancouver Sun are absolute stooges!

Another failed P3, we pay a massive premium for a P3 build and like everything Gordon Campbell touches this bridge project is a big money loser! I have several links ahead but lets layout the Canwest Con.

A story appeared last spring in the Vancouver sun about the Golden ears bridge and the Canada line,the gist of the story is that Translink would be subsidizing these two projects for a few years, the Canada line was only to be subsidized until it reached the 100.000 daily ridership,well it`s almost there but a few weeks back it was revealed that the Canada line will lose over 21 $million every year for decades, so much for Canwest/Campbell spin! the last year of construction on the golden ears bridge,the builder, the builder who was going to be paid back with tolls opted out of toll revenue and chose to have set amounts of money given to them from Translink, Translink agreed and the deal was signed, another P3 screws the taxpayer and bridge drivers.(here is the story from last spring by Sinoski)

Anyways, the set price structure is this...Translink will pay the builder 500.000.00$ each month,plus 316.000.00$ monthly maintenance...That maintenance amount 316.000.00$is every month for 35 years....So Translink pays the builder 500K every month until jan/1/2010...On january 1/2010 the monthly fee rises to 1.5 $million per month plus maintenance and...

On july 1st/2010 the monthly fee Translink pays to the builder rises to 3 $million dollars per month plus maintenance...And a year later the monthly rises to 4 $ million dollars per month....and in 2015 the monthly payment rises to 4.7 million $ dollars per month plus maintenance fee.

So anyways, a couple of months ago the idiots at the Vancouver sun write a column(Kelly Sinoski) titled "Golden ears bridge a goldmine for Translink....I read the story and was shocked with the mis-information, yea shocked...Sinoski claimed that Translink was making a million $ plus every month from tolls on the Golden ears bridge...Yet there was no mention that the fee Translink pays to the builder was going up by 1 million $ dollars in January(one month from now)...And no mention how the fees rises to 3 million $ dollars in July/2010....So I wrote a story "Kirk Lapointe and the Vancouver sun are idiots" I laid out all the facts and timelines and reported that this so-called goldmine was only going to break even in January and will lose over a million per month come july, it`s what I call "honest reporting"..(read Kelly Sinoski here)

So here a few weeks back I heard Drew Snider on the news,Snider made the claim that drivers didn`t know where the Golden ears bridge was and Translink did a poor job in informing people where the bridge was and how it can help their commute, well I laughed my face off and wrote another story about the "lost bridge".....And I explained that people didn`t want to part with their money and would rather sit in traffic then surrender 130.00$ per month..and..

Last night another story appeared from my favorite idiot writer for the Vancouver Sun Kelly Sinoski ,and it was another Golden ears bridge story,this one about how the traffic projections are WAYYY off and traffic is nowhere near what they anticipated...but, the story was playing Canwaste head games,the story talked how Translink was only going to make 11 million in 2009 on the tolls rather than the 13 million they were expecting....

Well, again Sinoski was being dishonest,again Kelly Sinoski failed to mention that the fee rises from Translink to the builder by 1 million per month in January and in july the payment rises to 3 $ million plus maintenance per month,so in january Translink breaks even and in july losses are well over a million per month! But what I found to be absolutely hilarious in the Kelly Sinoski story were the quotes from Ken Hardie of Translink....

Ken Hardie was no longer blaming Translink for Hiding the Golden ears bridge, Hardie wasn`t blaming stupid drivers for low toll numbers, amazing, Ken Hardie was blaming "the economic downturn" Hardie went onto say " People don`t have jobs to go to, people weren`t going to the port,or the border" Apparently Ken Hardie finally figured out that people are broke, imagine that!

The Greatest place on earth and people aren`t working,aren`t driving, aren`t buying tons of fuel, but funny thing though, traffic was thick,heavy,congested everywhere except,except the golden ears bridge, ya think? Maybe,just maybe the lightbulbs have lit up in Translink`s head,but I doubt it.

Because Ken Hardie had some more interesting but subtle things to inform us...Ken Hardie stated that they were expecting 10 million more dollars from transit fares, apparently ridership is down, Ken Hardie stated that Translink was expecting7 $million more dollars from revenue from gas taxes,apparently people are filling up in the USA or filling up out of metro Vancouver or they have cut back their driving,imagine that,people in the greatest place on earth running out of money, that can`t be, the streets are lined with gold, gee,I wonder if the deranged one Gordon Campbell knows?

A couple of other items were mentioned in Kelly Sinoski`s story that made me laugh...Translink can`t seem to sell the two Albion ferries the Province gave them, several deals have fallen apart and....LOL..HAHA...Translink claim the ferries are costing 28,000,00$ per month to maintain....Are you kidding me,28,000,00$ a month for what? Moorage, a little heat, I`m sure Vanoc could use them to house people..HA HA..but....The most scary thing that Ken Hardie said in Kelly Sinoski`s story is.....

"Translink is looking at ways to increase revenues to a level higher than this estimation"..................In other words,LOL LOL...Translink is going to toss out the the present toll structure and crank up the tolls, something they said they wouldn`t do, and, when people star rat-racing down the fraser highway,or rat race over the mission bridge when the port mann gets tolled the same thing will happen there too, tolls will rise to the "point of diminshing returns" just like the ferries,traffic volume falls,they raise the price,volume falls further,they raise the price some more to the "point of diminishing returns"

What else could Translink do to raise more money on the Golden ears bridge but raise tolls, yea,raise tolls,raise MSP, raise municipal taxes, raise gas taxes, bring in the HATED HST....And more people will stop driving,stop spending. On a side note....Translink canned three executives today, Ken Hardie claimed it had nothing to do with the comptroller general`s report, Hardie said Prendergast was "working on efficiencies" (here is the link to Sinoski`s latest dribble)

What a two-bit phony rag the Vancouver sun is, I expect another Sinoski article at the end of January/2010 telling us how the golden ears bridge is already breaking even,and...I don`t expect a Sinoski article at the end of July/2010 telling us the Golden Ears bridge is losing 2 million per month, in fact I would imagine after January 2010 that we never have another Golden ears bridge story in the Vancouver Sun, just stories about the fast ferries and stories about the "Financial wizardry" of Gordon(The proven liar and proven lawbreaker) Campbell!

The Straight Goods

Cheers-Eyes Wide Open


Anonymous said...

The pathetic thing about the GEB is that all municipal politicians on Translink back in around 2005, be they of the Gordo or Carole political stripe, voted "FOR" the "P-3" and "FOR" the GEB.

Grant, have you ever wondered why Carole has been sheepishly so quiet about the GEB?

You REALLY should think about running for provincial office!!!! You are the ONLY (and I mean ONLY) one that tells all of us BC'ers how it really is!!

Bruce Ralston should be telling us all of this. Why the hell don't we ever hear anything from him???? I just can't believe it.

Grant G said...

Thanks Anon 9.54 pm....Carole James blew it,she was trying to play the fence,she didn`t want to offend people sitting in traffic,and she couldn`t,because of hidden documents let people know they were going to get gouged, in fact when the Port Mann twinning was originally discussed the people south of the fraser thought there was only going to be a one-way toll, many people I talked said they would pressure Campbell to drop the tolls, those people are idiots, and as for Carole James,all she got for playing with the fence is a butt full of splinters!

As for me running for the NDP...Well, those pictures from my youth involving breasts,oh the humanity of it all....If only I didn`t walk on the wild-side while growing...

But...Campaign manager, sounds about right.

And thanks to all,it`s the support I get in the comments that keep me strong...Peace upon your houses brothers and sisters.

Anonymous said...

What I don't understand is the loyalty toward Cambpell by all these so called journalists. How many paychecks are they away from disaster when they lose their jobs in this really bad BC economy created by his lordship.

Newsflash to loyalists-Gordo will not protect you as he will be long gone with all his money when things get rough and leave you all in his dust. Eat that suckers.

Malcolm Johnston - Light Rail Committee said...

Grant, the 100,000 passengers a day to make the Canada line free of subsidy was always a bogus claim.

The problem of course is with the revenue generated by the mythical 100,000 passengers a day, which TransLink was never reveled.

As over 80% of RAV's (as well as SkyTrain's)customers first take a bus to the metro, the fare must be apportioned 50/50 between bus and metro. If the customer must transfer again to a bus to complete his or hers journey then the fare must be apportioned three ways.

Example: 1 zone - bus/RAV: A $2.50 single zone fare must be apportioned 50/50, thus RAV's portion would be $1.25; a concession fare would be $1.75 and RAV's portion would be $0.87.

But there is much more to take into account, including the U-Pass, used by university and Langara college students. The apportioned fare for RAV, with a student using the U-Pass would be under $0.50 a day and much less if the student transfers more than once.

To date, there has not been any indication that the RAV/Canada line has attracted the motorist from the car (Campbell's claim that over 200,000 car trip a day taken off the roads because of RAV, is another gross exaggeration of the truth), rather it seems RAV's ridership numbers come from those who use the previous 600 series of buses (South Delta), 300 series of buses (South Surrey) and 400 series of buses (Richmond) and elderly Asians taking RAV to Asian shop in Richmond and elderly patrons to the River rock Casino.

A two zone concession fare apportioned 50/50 with RAV and bus would amount to $1.25 for the metro.

When one now looks at RAV's ridership demographic, mostly students and elderly customers, using discounted concession fares and deep discounted U-Passes, combine this with TransLink's continued practice of over estimating ridership numbers (turnstiles are very good in counting ridership and maybe on reason that TransLink doesn't want them), means that the annual subsidy for the RAV/Canada Line will be much higher than claimed.

Finally a transportation expert in the UK once told me that no one but fools plan for a metro/subway on a route that can't generate a daily ridership in excess of 400,000 passengers a day!

I think that the RAV/Canada line is and will be in the future, a mass sinkhole for tax money.

The following link to Rail for the Valley's excellent web site better explains the apportioned fare and how it affects transit revenue.

Grant G said...

Thanks MJ...I am fully aware of Campbell`s claims about 200.000 cars/the equivelant of a ten lane highway daily being taken off the road,more Campbell lies.

What kills me is....These P3s were supposed to protect taxpayers,time and time again P3s are nothing but a rip-off,we pay a massive premium on stretching out payments but always with these P3s when we get near completion the deal gets changed!

The Golden ears bridge, was originally...The builders were going to get paid back through tolls,about 6 months before completion,after some proffesional traffic pattern assessments were done the builders balked at being paid back with tolls,and...Translink and the province didn`t stick to their guns and bent over and gave the builder a payment schedule which will ultimately cost us 1os and 10s of millions each year for decades!

MJ..What is happening with Susan Heyes appeal,did her lawyer Cameron Ward GET the financial numbers for the Canada line...Because as you know the judge ordered to turn that information over to Susan and her lawyer...I haven`t heard whether the appeal from Ravco was dropped to avoid opening the books....That`s what I wrote was propbably going to happen in my story "Cameron Ward,crazy like a fox"

But anyways,these phony P3s....Canada line..1/2 billion dollars over the next 2 decades will be sponged into it..The Golden ears bridge..about 400$ million being sponged into that over the next 20 years...The Port Mann....Well, I tremble at the thought of what that might cost...And..The Port Mann ..Gordon Campbell is playing fast and loose by saying..."The port mann bridge is a self supporting crown corporation"

What does that mean? That means Campbell is trying to hide 4 $ billion in debt from the books,John Doyle(auditor general) says...

"Your nuts".....John Doyle says.."There is no bridge,no tolls,no revenue,and it may or may not be self supporting in two decades,the money goes on the provincial books"

Gordon Campbell has ignored John Doyle and NOT put the billions on our BC Debt tally,just like BC Ferries debt,no wonder Chris Trumpy ran for the hills!

Cheers--More to come,Stay tuned

Anonymous said...

News and blog reports today have insiders confirming that Carole Taylor is setting herself up to go after Gordo's job. Crap, can you imagine a one-on-one between Carole and Carole? Which one do you think will win?

I hope that Carole steps down sooner rather than later otherwise things might be hopeless for us. Grant, I hope that you can also help out putting some pressure on Carole!

Malcolm Johnston Light Rail Committee said...

Grant, Susan Heyes's lawsuit is facing appeal by TransLink and she would like to keep a low profile until all the appeals have ended.

Suffice to say, when the appeals process is over, she will have a lot to say about the judgment.

As for Campbell's P-3's, they are no more than a ponzi scheme and a vehicle to hide the real costs from the public.

Every transportation authority I have researched have been quite open with the total costs and most are published. No so in BC, where (through the Heyes lawsuit) saw that the cost of the RAV/Canada line was at least $2.5 billion. One wonders what a forensic audit of TransLink and SkyTrain and/or RAV would reveal?

Crankypants said...

It may have gone over many peoples' heads, but the P3 method of building the Golden Ears Bridge and the Canada Line amount to double taxation on the people in Translink's catchment area. The provincial government ponied up a portion which is tax money collected from the whole province. Translink also ponied up a portion which is money they got through their many tentacles of taxes and fees levied on Metro Vancouver residents. And for the icing on the cake, these same Metro Vancouver residents will be paying more and more to satisfy the contracts to pay off the balance owing on these two ventures.

I just took a tour down memory lane by looking at my residential taxes from 1999(the year Translink was born) through to this year. Using the 1999 cost as a base the increases dollar wise are as follows:

In a 10 year span every property owner in Metro Vancouver has seen their Translink tax increase just under four times the amount they paid in 1999. How many homeowners have had their income increase by this amount? My guess is none. Another factor to consider is that the housing boom in Metro Vancouver over this decade has been astronomical and thus Translink's residential taxbase has grown enormously. Then if you consider the amount of tax the get from their gas tax and revenue from the fare box and they are still drowning in red ink. Talk about a money pit.

British Columbia is becoming the greatest place on earth to go broke. Somebody stop the insanity.

Anonymous said...

Seems like there are many scandals floating around here with little or no mainstream attention.

It might be useful, for the purposes of getting this information out there, to write and provide links to brief articles laying out the numbers/accounts for each of these scandals and providing links to the primary sources in an easily digestible format. That way people with little knowledge of these things but who prefer their opinions to be educated can be quickly convinced. The types of article which could be inserted into a short email might be ... particularly .... viral.

This is not to criticise the narrative style which is part and parcel of the blog format. This blog is very informative and entertaining!