Sometime today, mayors from around the Lower Mainland will meet and receive a presentation on TransLink's base plan for 2013.
The Mayors' Council meeting is likely to inspire some fairly interesting conversations among the elected officials, if the reaction from Tri-Cities politicians is any indication.
Port Coquitlam Mayor Greg Moore said he's concerned about reduced bus service in the city, suggesting he's heard a couple routes might move from 30 to 60-minute service in the evenings.
"Which is really not the way we need to go to build a complete community," he told The NOW.
He said service reductions most adversely affect young people and residents who can't afford a car.
On Monday, TransLink released its base plan. The highlights included a commitment to fund the Evergreen Line and implement 109,000 new hours of bus service. However, the transit authority is scrapping more than 300,000 planned hours of bus service improvements and rapid bus service along Highway 1.
TransLink blamed budget challenges for the changes, including lower than expected fuel tax revenues, lower than expected fare and toll revenues, and the deferral of the sale of surplus real estate.
For Moore, the plan is more proof TransLink's governance model needs to change to include elected officials. He pointed out no one currently serving on TransLink's board is from the Tri-Cities. Moore also argued there are circumstances in the transit system that go beyond just accounting and dollar and cents.
"We need to look at it from the practicality of how we deliver quality services to people that need them," he said.
Moore's counterpart in Port Moody is a bit more forgiving to TransLink. Mayor Mike Clay said the transit authority has a difficult problem in that it needs money for the improvements being requested, but no one wants to give it the cash.
"How do you win that game?" he asked. "The bigger picture year-over-year is we keep on having this exact same discussion and we're not making any progress on the future."