Monday, February 05, 2007

What Has Translink & Our Director, Mayor Alberts Done For Langley?

Have you noticed that the Langley center bus terminus has no walls on the shelters at all. Users tell me that is just wonderful in rain, snow and the extreme cold recently. Especially when they wait hours for canceled buses in Langley that never show up!

Does Translink and our Langley Translink Director Mayor Alberts, really care as much about Langley transit users? Obviously they do in Vancouver for main streeters!

Also on Fraser Hwy there are absolutely no bus shelters at all. And if you miss a bus by minutes you have to wait another hour in the elements for the next one. This on the highest traffic volume and most traveled road in Langley! In Vancouver buses sometimes come as often as every 5 minutes! And they even often times get bus shelters for the very few minutes they have to wait.This Editor happened to drive by the 248th street & Fraser Hwy. bus stop (near Otter Co-op) that Mr. Leake wrote about previously. We noted that the eastbound bus stop at this stop is quite a scary remote distance east of the intersection with no lighting and no sidewalks! Absolutely not safe for solitary females getting off the bus to go home from especially at night time. Hey, but that solves the Translink problem. They just won't take the bus!

Translink directors like our Mayor Alberts, are all appointed (not even Elected!) municipal politicians and are handsomely paid I might add, to attend their Translink meetings. They should make it mandatory that all the Translink Directors to collect their big stipends have to take public transit to their monthly meetings in Burnaby. Then maybe they will first hand see what fun it is to wait in the cold outside and take sometimes hours to get anywhere especially from Langley! Wanna bet the Mayor would give up his stipend to one of his Council slate lieutenants then!

Obviously it seems to LFP that Translink and its directors including Mayor Alberts don't seem to want to encourage growth of transit in Langley. Heck Alberts and the rest of council even argued strongly against councillor Kim Richter's suggestion on getting more Translink subsidized bus passes for langleyites. When is our Translink board member, Mayor Alberts, going to help out its transit users in Langley? What has he done for them so far? Maybe like me he has a car, doesn't use transit and should care more about transit users! Obviously he is no former Langley City mayor Marlene Grinnell. She was Mayor Albert's predecessor on Translink and she even got Translink to help pay for their 204th Street overpass and it's not even a Translink road! She also got lots of Translink paid road improvements and bus service improvements for Langley city. Has Mayor Alberts even tried to get Translink to get us another overpass at all? Alberts better hurry up and get something for Langley because bets are that Grinnell's report now submitted to the province may drastically change the board configuration.

There is a local activist group named VALTAC that is promoting light rail transit through Langley. They don't have a chance in this half century says this Editor given the low priority already given us for even simple bus service. Maybe this VALTAC group should consider taking some baby steps first and show that they really care about Langley transit users and start advocating cheaper, better, more and safer bus service! If they got the people behind them they could get much more done perhaps. Unfortunately right now the rumour is that they are predominantly made up only of ole railroad buffs who are myopically focused only on trying to bring back some historic old tram system. I stand to be corrected though. Maybe someone can clarify who they are and what they want as there is no website to get info from. Bet they don't take the transit system either! We need more than a group of basement model railroad buffs advocating for our transit users. But that's probably another story and the point the Editor is making is that there is no effective if any taxpayer public transit user advocate group in Langley. There should be.

Now Translink today in the Province is even talking about changing the zone based fare system with a so-called fairer cost distance-based fare system. Wanna bet we at the outskirts get screwed again, big time. Aldergrovians who use transit now may have to reconsider going back to cars again because they are at the far outskirts of the Translink system. We wonder what Alberts says to this if anything at the Translink meetings. Lately at Township Council it seems he just keeps his head down low and lets his other minions on his Township council slate lead the controversial charges and take the heat. Who of his council slate minions will be anointed to front these transit issues? Perhaps the newest lieutenant again, Councillor Bateman ? He did after all do a stellar job leading and advocating the two consecutive historic ~5% Langley Township tax hikes. Whoever takes this issue on could become the equivalent of the new adroit environmental minister, conservative Baird!

Given all the talk of global warming and possible dramatic draconian government action plans being considered maybe all of us car users better start caring more about public transit before we are taxed out of our cars or worse and then forced to use transit! You too may be waiting for an hour in an unacceptable transit shelter or worse no shelter at all before too long to take your hour or two transit ride. Maybe we should all be using transit more now anyway. Irrespective lets get better transit facilities and services and pricing in Langley. Then at least the option to use transit would be easier and more enticing even to car bound LFP Editors. We certainly pay enough for it now.

And consider this, Translink Director/Mayor Alberts! When you are at the Translink board meetings, that there are about only two years to election countdown.

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