08/15/2013 06:36 EDT | Updated 10/15/2013 05:12 EDT

TransLink salaries too high, taxpayer group says

TransLink says it pays employees based on government compensation guidelines, in response to criticism from the Canadian Taxpayers' Federation over salary and policing costs.

The transportation authority's 2012 financial statement shows a 14 per cent increase in the number of employees making over $100,000 dollars.

Jordan Bateman, director of the B.C. Canadian Taxpayers Federation says salaries for top officials and transit police are way too high.

"These executives claim that the system is running out of money and that they are a wonderful waste-less, efficient machine and they're giving themselves more and more money," said Bateman.

"So how do they have the moral authority to ask taxpayers to dig deeper for a $23 billion transit plan when they aren't spending what we're already giving them efficiently?"

Bateman is calling on TransLink to freeze salaries for top executives and to replace transit police with cheaper transit security once the Compass Card comes into effect.

But Translink is also drawing fire from commuters over changes to the fare system under the Compass Card program.

In 2012, TransLink recorded an overall loss of $9.4 million. The company is now looking to turn SkyTrain stations into commercial hubs as a means to generate revenue.