TransLink cuts another vice-president

TransLink cuts another vice-president

Restructuring trims executive ranks to 16 amid search for savings

TransLink is further paring its management ranks, eliminating its executive vice-president of policy and planning.

Michael Shiffer moved here three years ago from Chicago.

CEO Ian Jarvis said the position is being eliminated and not replaced, as part of a wider restructuring of departments to find savings after TransLink was denied the ability to raise an extra $20 million per year through fare hikes.

Jarvis sent a memo to staff Thursday saying the changes will help TransLink be “more strategic in the way we plan, operate and focus on customers.”

He called it a significant restructuring.

“I am confident that the changes will help us respond to the current environment and realize our commitment to delivering quality service for the millions of rides on our network each day in the most cost-effective and efficient way possible.”

Eliminating the planning vice-president reduces the number of executives to 16 at TransLink and its subsidiaries, down from 22 in 2010.

TransLink has already thinned its senior ranks a number of times since 2009, when there were 28 executives and a review by B.C.’s Comptroller General called the structure excessive.

At that time, TransLink had additional executives at each of its subsidiaries, such as B.C. Rapid Transit Co. (SkyTrain), Coast Mountain Bus Co., AirCare and Transit Police.

Increasingly, senior managers have done double duty between TransLink itself and the various subsidiaries.

TransLInk is also under pressure to find more savings under a pending provincial audit to ensure $30 million per year worth of transit upgrades can proceed without raising the money from property taxes or a new revenue source.

The latest changes come after public criticism of executive bonuses at TransLink, which saw $325,000 in incentive pay distributed last year.