10/16/2012 03:40 EDT | Updated 12/16/2012 05:12 EST

TransLink audit finds $41M in savings

A performance audit of TransLink by the provincial government has found $41 million in savings, Transportation Minister Mary Polak announced Tuesday.

The savings are in addition to the $98-million already found in efficiencies that are included in TransLink’s draft 2013 base plan, bringing the total potential savings to $139 million per year.

The surprise audit, announced by Premier Christy Clark in March, aimed to fill a $30-million funding gap for the $1.4-billion Evergreen Line.

TransLink’s current plan — which includes rapid bus lines for the Port Mann Bridge, upgrades to SkyTrain, and a B-Line express bus service along King George Boulevard — is contingent on local mayors approving a $30-million property tax hike, which they have voted against in the past.

The Metro Vancouver Board and the Mayors' Council on Regional Transportation have been tasked with working with TransLink on a long-term transportation plan for Metro Vancouver.

TransLink’s new 30-year Regional Transportation Strategy is due August 2013 and is required by legislation.