At least two Tri-Cities mayors have thrown their support behind a TransLink report that vetoes proposed fare increases while forcing the transportation authority to clean up its books.
Both Port Coquitlam Mayor Greg Moore and Coquitlam Mayor Richard Stewart lauded TransLink commissioner Martin Crilly's refusal Wednesday to increase fares by 12.5 per cent.
Crilly's report also cites the need for TransLink to find anywhere from $40 million to $60 million within it own operating costs over the next three years.
"I think the commissioner did an excellent job, not just looking at the fare increases and the impacts it would have on the riders, but also doing an evaluation of TransLink and looking for savings within the system," Moore said.
Crilly's 103-page report measured Metro Vancouver's transit system against a number of other municipalities both in Canada and in the U.S. His findings pointed to higher costs to run the Metro Vancouver system, as well as an influx of spare buses and bus down time.
"I don't like us to continue to increase fares any more than I like to increase taxation," Stewart.
"We want more people out of their cars and into transit, and fare increases are counterproductive in that goal. We have work to do to make sure that we're sensitive to the demand elasticity for transit."
On the points around excess staffing and equipment levels, Stewart was blunt.
"These are things that the mayors' council, quite frankly, gets outraged by," he said.
"We want all of our services, whether it's the regional transportation service or our own municipal services, to be as efficient as possible."
Moore did, however, question points in the report around community shuttle bus levels and their low ridership numbers.
"That's extremely important for us in the suburbs. Our neighbourhoods are served by community shuttles that then transfer on to the larger buses," he said. "I think that's a concern and we have to figure out why. I would hate to see us have a reduction of service in our community shuttles."
Port Moody Mayor Mike Clay did not return calls before NOW deadline.