Documents that have been provided through a Freedom of Information request have shown how much TransLink has spent on repairing and maintaining escalators and elevators.
In 2015, TransLink spent $6.4-million to maintain the 78 escalators and 59 elevators on the Expo and Millennium Lines.
In 2014, the same work cost $5.6 -million.
Included in the costs are parts, labor, preventative maintenance, inspections as mandated by the B.C. safety authority, and scheduled and non-scheduled repairs.
The costs don’t come as much of a surprise to Jordan Bateman with the Canadian Taxpayers Federation.
“One of the great frustrations we often hear from TransLink users is that the escalators and elevators are always out of service, sometimes for months, even years at a time in the case of Metrotown Station, so whatever TransLink’s doing on this very first step of moving people along the system isn’t working.”
With many escalators and elevators out of service, many people are left wondering what exactly they are paying for.
Bateman adds the elevators at the Metrotown and Granville Stations have been out of service for over a year, bad news he says if you’re disabled.
“Quit wasting money on the other things that they do and put the money into maintenance not just the Expo Line Skytrain but the escalators and elevators serving would run better. I think the problem at TransLink is a lack of interest in the core maintenance. TransLink is always looking forward to the next big project, the next shiny train, the next ribbon to cut they’re not really great at maintaining the systems they have.”
Bateman says TransLink clearly has a disinterest in core maintenance.
Coquitlam Mayor Richard Stewart is pressing to find out why the accessible entrance at Lougheed Station has been out of service for almost a year.
“We’re really challenged. As a lot of people who would be at Lougheed Mall, for example, and trying to get onto the SkyTrain and they can’t do that. If they’re in a chair, they’re not connected anymore, there is a set of stairs you have to go down all the way down to street level.”
Stewart isn’t sure who is responsible for the continued closure, but is hoping to hear from TransLink on why.