(File photo)

TransLink asks for emergency funds, cites losses of $75 million per month amid pandemic

CEO Kevin Desmond said TransLink ‘will face cashflow issues within weeks’

Metro Vancouver’s transportation authority is asking for emergency funding as it struggles to keep cash flowing during the COVID-19 pandemic.

In a Tuesday morning news release, TransLink asked the federal and provincial government help it offset the $75 million a month it’s losing. Like most transportation services, TransLink has been deemed an essential service amid the COVID-19 pandemic, which has killed 69 and had 1,490 people test positive.

CEO Kevin Desmond said TransLink “will face cashflow issues within weeks” if they cannot secure funding.

““It’s a dire situation which will force us to cancel entire routes and significantly reduce service levels on all transit modes, meaning far longer wait times and much more crowding for customers.”

The crisis has led to TransLink’s operating revenue being cut in half as it cut bus service by 15-20 per cent, alongside reducing SkyTrain, SeaBus and West Coast Express service. It’s also reduced seating capacity of buses, brought in rear-only boarding and paused fare collection on buses.

TransLink said reduced ridership, coupled with falling fuel tax revenue and not collecting bus fares has led to its drop in revenue.


@katslepian

katya.slepian@bpdigital.ca

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