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Transportation expert expects 'no' transit vote outcome

NEW WESTMINSTER (NEWS1130) – Transit bus drivers have come away from a town hall meeting in New Westminster pondering their futures.

That’s because a transportation expert who addressed the crowd thinks the upcoming transit referendum will result in a “no” outcome.

“We have 308 days left, we have no wording, we have no campaign and no leader. At this point, it’s hard to see us getting to ‘yes,'” Gordon Price told the crowd.

The former city councillor and now director of SFU’s City Program says with no referendum question to work with, and no one leading the charge on behalf of TransLink, there will be no public approval for additional transit funding.

He says that could change if the premier decided to advocate for TransLink.

“If there is that willingness on the part of the premier to lead that. But so far we have none of that.”

Bus drivers in the crowd say the belt-tightening at TransLink has already had an impact.

“They’ve done a lot of cutting in terms of the routes. It creates a difficult, stressful situation. It’s a gong show,” says one bus driver.

Another bus driver feels frustrated they’re the ones having to keep passengers happy, while the system deteriorates.

“It’s breaking down. It’s put on us to keeping it going.”

The transit vote will happen during municipal elections this fall.