Wednesday, February 01, 2012

Joint Taskforce on LRT Funding

BC Transit and the CRD have created a joint taskforce looking into options for local funding for the proposed LRT.   I wrote about  this several weeks ago when it first went public with the website.   Today the Times Colonist had an article about the process of consultation so far, and it does not sound good.

In the last two weeks, or slightly more, only 80 people have responded on the website and only 60 have signed up to to take part in the public forums which will take place in two weeks time.   This is a region of 330,000 people,  this is a project that is currently estimated to have a $1 billion price tag, and this consultation is asking some important questions that could fundamentally alter project financing in this region.  Only 80 people have responded.   That is less than six people a day.    More people read my previous post on this review than have responded to the consultation process.

This is utterly pathetic as a response rate.    No one knows much about this review of possible local funding sources for the LRT.  At the same time the CRD and BC Transit have done more or less nothing to inform the public about this process.

Without at least several hundred people taking part in the process, the CRD and BC Transit should admit failure and drop the whole process.  Moving forward with a very small set of responses is methodologically incompetent/  It is an insult to the very idea of public consultation.   The timetable outlined for the report to be produced has to be changed and a proper consultation with the public needs to take place.

The website is at best window dressing pretending to be consultation.   I do not think there is any real interest from the CRD of BC Transit in hearing from the public on funding sources.   I have seen too many processes where the answer was decided before the consultation has happened.   This is what might be going on here.

You only have four more days to sign up to be part of the consultation sessions on February 14th to 16th.  Even though I think the work done on the LRT report recommendation is fatally flawed and going forward with the LRT in this region at this time is foolhardy, I have signed up and will be taking part.
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