In Business in Vancouver on March 16, I reported on what I found in heavily censored monthly reports by Compass card and faregate contractor Cubic Transportation Systems to TransLink. You can read those reports at this link.
I found numerous nuggets. I wish I could tell you everything, but TransLink doesn’t want you or I to know what all the problems really are that are holding up this expensive project or when it might be in service. It was originally supposed to cost $100 million and be in service by 2013. It is now 2015 and the cost is approaching $200 million.
I promised to reveal more documents about this boondoggle.
Below are documents that I obtained via Freedom of Information from the TransLink management committee that is overseeing Compass. The committee is headed by Dave Beckley, the TransLink vice-president who is in charge of the project. When it met in December, the committee heard about top secret testing of the system at Cubic’s headquarters in sunny San Diego. It also heard about plans for university students to test the newfangled fare payment system.
As you can see, TransLink has censored important sections about the schedule for the controversial Compass. The committee meeting was held with knowledge that there would be a Metro Vancouver-wide vote in 2015 on funding the Mayors’ Council’s expansion plan for TransLink. TransLink knew or ought to have known that Compass would be a major motivator for those likely to vote No.
Is there (or was there?) a plan to hurry a modified version of Compass into service before the end of the voting period on May 29, as a “Hail Mary pass” by the floundering Yes campaign?
Cubic had invited various local government officials to an April 8 Compass demonstration and reception at the posh Seasons in the Park restaurant in Queen Elizabeth Park. On April 2, however, the show-and-tell and wine-and-cheese night was postponed.
The timing of the event was intriguing, to say the least. Six years ago, on April 9, 2009, the program was announced jointly by the federal and B.C. governments and TransLink.