Translink executives rack up $154,000 in car expenses
Last Updated: Thursday, November 1, 2007 | 11:20 AM ET
Executives of Greater Vancouver's transportation authority spent more than $154,000 on car expenses in 2006, according to documents obtained by CBC News under the Freedom of Information Act.
The documents break down car-related expenses into five categories:
- Gas usage.
- Car insurance.
- Car repair and maintenance.
- Car allowance.
- Car lease.
There are 14 members on Translink's executive team, including CEO Patricia Jacobson, who racked up the biggest bill.
Jacobson spent $2,345 on gas, $1,872 on insurance, $1,570 on repair maintenance as well as $8,354 on the lease for her Subaru Outback — for a grand total of $14,142.
Chief officer Robert Kind ranked second, spending $13,491 in total. He used $3,105 on gas and $2,072 on car insurance.
Director of communications Ken Hardie ran up the third-highest bill. Hardie doesn't lease; instead he receives a car allowance of $6,600. Including gas, repairs and insurance, he spent $13,432 keeping his 1997 Chrysler Cirrus on the road.
Jacobson isn't making any apologies for the fact that the publically-funded Translink subsidizes car use by its executives.
She told CBC News on Wednesday it's a taxable benefit on par with what any other organization or corporation might offer and that the executives need their cars.
"We're a regional transportation authority," she said. "The executives are travelling all over the region through 22 different municipalities. They use both transit and vehicles.
"It's a claimable deductions so it isn't all of their expenses, but they need to have the mobility of having both transit and car driving," she said.
Jacobson said the unfortunate reality is that people can't get everywhere they need to go in the Lower Mainland by transit.