More than $500,000 was spent on special televisions at five SkyTrain stations — but most of the screens don’t even work, according to the Canadian Taxpayers Federation.
Jordan Bateman, B.C. director of the federation, said Tuesday that a Freedom of Information request to TransLink indicated the cost of the screens and their installation in 2009 was $523,444.
The bulk of the money, $393,032, came from a federal grant to improve transit security.
While installation and power was part of the program, the funding works out to more than $40,000 per screen.
The screens in question are not the monitors that show news blurbs, weather and the time of day on SkyTrain platforms. Instead, the Station Entrance Emergency Information Panels [SEEIP] were intended to replace sandwich boards used to communicate information to commuters when the SkyTrain gates were locked during emergencies.
But when Bateman did a tour of the five stations last week, only four of the 13 screens were operating — all at Stadium Station.
Screens that were supposed to be at Scott Road, Edmonds and Commercial-Broadway were no longer apparent and the ones at Lougheed Town Centre were not working