Originally Posted by aberdeen5698
Even more interesting, the wording in this statement suggests to me that the number of trains in service is not a contract issue, but a budget issue. In other words, it sounds to me like the contract allows TransLink the discretion to choose to run more trains as long as they fund them.
If that's true, then we shouldn't really be blaming the number of trains on the P3 agreement, but rather on TransLink's budget. What the P3 agreement has done is to put a concrete number on the cost of running each train.
That could make it a little harder for TransLink to run more trains as they wouldn't be able to "sweep the cost under the carpet" so to speak. But it's certainly more transparent.
I would agree with that assessment.
People need to stop looking at this agreement between Translink and ProTrans like its written in stone and impossible to change. It's not 10 Commandments or a cell phone contract. These are two business entities that are in a mutual beneficial agreement where both parties get something important out of it. Tranlink gets rail service that they would otherwise have been unable to finance, and ProTrans gets money they would otherwise be unable to make without Tranlink.
Both parties can agree to amend the contract at any time, as long as it benefits both parties. This free-market check and balance keeps either side from being stupid.
If Translink feels like they need more trains to maintain and increase ridership (IE sell more fares, IE make more money) then they can approach Protrans and ask for more trains to be run. And Protrans will look at their costs and decide what a decent profit would be and say x amount of trains costs y amount of dollars to run. Translink will then look at their books and predictions, and either go, OK, the gain isn't worth the cost, or go sounds good. Translink can cover the costs of the trains themselves if ridership increases don't factor into how much Protrans gets. Protrans will then make more money, so why would they refuse?
This isn't like calling up your cell phone provider and asking for a new phone after the first year of your 3 year contract. Even then, you can still get a new phone if you pay. SNC-Lavalin has shareholders to answer to, who are looking for the most return on their investment possible. If an opportunity comes along to increase that, even if it is very slight, they would go for it. As long as the risk is mostly assumed by Translink, Protrans would probably go for anything. We have to decide if, at this point in time, it's actually worth the money for a couple of trains a day to be less jam packed.
Even the United States Constitution has been amended.