Global News BC had a 15 minute, year-end interview with TransLink Chairman Kevin Desmond on 19 Dec 2017. Issues discussed included possible later SkyTrain service on Friday and Saturday nights, safety, new Canada Line stations, Canada Line capacity expansions, double decker bus pilot, fare payment changes and mobility pricing.
- Late night service is obviously doable but TransLink needs to maintain the system in a State of Good Repair. Extended operating times would remove 500 hours annually from the existing, overnight maintenance window. Desmond said that a wider, community discussion is needed to determine what is needed in terms of later service. He emphasized that extended hours will require trade-offs. And he did not mention the Canada Line, which would presumably require contract negotiations with the concessionaire to extend service hours.
- The system is safe, in spite of the much-publicized, Canada Line incident involving a Muslim woman. Additional police officers will be hired to compensate for the Evergreen Line expansion.
- Capstan Station construction will be 100% paid for by the private sector. A 57th/Cambie station may be considered under a similar funding model but would be much more expensive as it is underground.
- Canada Line capacity will be augmented by 24 new cars on order. Any Canada Line station lengthening is 10-15 years out. He stated, diplomatically, that the Canada Line was under built.
- He is very keen on double decker buses and hopes to order 30 double decker buses early in 2018.
- TransLink is investigating allowing mobile devices and credit cards for fare payment.
- Stated there are equity issues with Mobility Pricing that will have to be addressed
The interview can be found here.