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Tax critics snort at barren South Surrey park-and-ride

Jordan Bateman and his
Jordan Bateman and his 'chauffeur' deliver a golden-pig award to South Surrey's new TransLink parking lot.
— image credit: Tracy Holmes

The new South Surrey Park-and-Ride lot has earned TransLink a ‘sow-er’ award from the Canadian Taxpayers Federation.

Wednesday, the organization’s B.C. director announced a Teddy Waste Award for the transit authority in ‘celebration’ of the little-used $4.5 million lot off King George Boulevard.

“The problem wasn’t giving them the award,” Jordan Bateman said prior to hamming it up at a news conference. “The problem was narrowing it down to the worst offence.”

The golden, pig-shaped trophy – presented to mark “the best of the worst in government waste” – is TransLink’s first Teddy win in the award’s 16-year history.

Bateman said the 367-stall expansion to the South Surrey park-and-ride helped TransLink break through “the Teddy stratosphere.”

But TransLink officials say the CTF has its facts “absolutely incorrect” with regard to TransLink’s role in the lot’s development. The province funded the capital costs and contributed to the land purchase, a Feb. 26 email from TransLink’s Jiana Ling to the organization states.

“In the future, please check your facts with us to ensure accuracy,” Ling writes.

The expansion was built to address chronic overcrowding at the park-and-ride, and opened shortly after a $2-per-day parking fee was implemented. It has remained virtually empty ever since – but not problem-free.

On three occasions in December, thieves ripped out the lot’s pay station, prompting operators to beef up security. And last month, neighbours complained their streets were being clogged by motorists shunning the daily fee.

Setting the stage for this week’s ceremony, Bateman said CTF “spared no expense” for the occasion. It featured $2 sparklers, confetti and a one-car parade.

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