Saturday, November 20, 2004

RAV line already over cost

They have not turned one piece of sod and already the RAV line is over budget to the tune of 100 million dollars! Can you believe it? Is there some payoff going on here? Some corruption? Mismanagement? Poor contracts? This is outrageous! Will you stand for it? All to satisfy the rich 'creme-de-la-creme!
And Translink must be having a SH&T about it. Or are they? Apparantly, some of these mini-minds have an answer; we'll get the difference from the Provincial Government for the cost over-runs, that way no one is hurt! What? Translink doesn't seem to be aware that Provincial Government money IS TAXPAYER's MONEY. Governments don't MAKE money, they TAKE it out of YOUR pocket! In case you didn't know, those cost over-runs were ALWAYS assumed to be at the cost of the taxpayer.
Now I need to ask one question: Why would a company bother to keep costs down when they know the government of the day will pay for overspending, poor management, exhorbitant costs, and maybe even a little pocket greasing? Any company could bid to do the whole project for one million if they're not responsible for controlling costs. They get their money, everyone gets rich, YOU pay the difference.
This present RAV adventure should be stopped immediately! In my opinion, SOMEONE got paid off. Someone is cheating us. The whole concept is a folly and ignores the truths of the matter, and those truths are that the line should have gone via the Arbutus Connector in the first place.
Look, at Expo 86 the French pavillion showed off a marvelous idea for running trains through sensitive areas. No high ugly towers or dangerous and noisy ground level train traffic. They simply dig a TRENCH through the affected area. This trench would work beautifully along the present Arbutus rail line. You scoop out this trench, lay the tracks in the bottom, and use the overburdon to build up the sides of the trench to above the eye level of residents. Then you just plant shrubbery and flowers and everyone is happy, even the cream, they don't have to look at rusty old tracks from their hushed parlours anymore. The French idea is excellent for cheaper costs, safety, and speedy transport of people! There are NO costs of tunnelling up Cambie Street through unknown rock! Queen Elizabeth Park area is former volcanic rock. HUGE costs.
Look at the Arbutus line proposal: A natural connection with Main Street Station at Terminal and Main - then along the existing rail line to Granville Island, a major Vancouver tourist attraction, EVERY visitor wants to see Granville Island! - then further west to a connection at Broadway, (for UBC etc) - south along Arbutus to Kerrisdale, currently enjoying a renewal of those hundreds of apartment buildings - south to the bottom of South Granville and Marpole - cross at the Arthur Laing bridge into Richmond, and the new casino? - out to the airport - back across to Richmond South and on to Steveston.
This is a natural route, already there, efficient, cost effective and would serve both the community and visitors to our city. This route could use the EXISTING money earmarked for this project without further robbery of the taxpayers of BC!
It is time to smack the sneaky hands of Translink and get them out of our wallets!


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