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HomeBusinessTransLink’s 2023 pay parade shows CEO over the half-million mark

TransLink’s 2023 pay parade shows CEO over the half-million mark


Bob Mackin 

TransLink says it will cut $90 million in spending annually as it edges closer to a $600 million funding shortfall. 

But CEO Kevin Quinn’s salary increased $48,000 over the last year to almost $507,636.

TransLink CEO Kevin Quinn (TransLink)

Quinn, who was imported in July 2021 from the Maryland Transit Administration, was paid $459,733 in base salary during 2022, his first full year in the job. He replaced Kevin Desmond, who ran the company for five years, beginning in 2016 at $365,000-a-year. 

Quinn’s total remuneration, including accrued time payouts, taxable benefits and pension payments, was $561,082, according to the statement of financial information sunshine list. The regional transit company released its salary and expenses list two weeks after Metro Vancouver, which revealed Commissioner Jerry Dobrovolny was paid $711,000 last year. 

In 2015, before TransLink lost a plebiscite seeking a municipal tax hike to pay for expansion, CEO Ian Jarvis’s $422,000-a-year salary sparked controversy. Jarvis was replaced temporarily by Doug Allen, whose contract called for $35,000-a-month. 

General managers of TransLink’s biggest operating subsidiaries, Michael McDaniel of Coast Mountain Bus Co. (CMBC), and Sany Zein of B.C. Rapid Transit Co. (BCRTC), were paid $413,066 and $398,066, respectively last year. 

Christine Dacre, the chief financial officer since 2019, was fourth at $387,649. She was replaced last month by Patrice Impey, the City of Vancouver’s chief financial officer who earned more than $321,000 last year at city hall. 

Other top earners in the TransLink pay parade for 2023: 

  • Ex-chief operating officer Gigi Chen-Kuo: $375,462. 
  • COO Jeffrey Busby: $311,130
  • Vice-president of communications Steve Vanagas: $292,304
  • General counsel Jennifer Breeze: $277,507
  • Vice-president of real estate Wendy Comeau: $277,252
  • BCRTC vice-president of operations Mike Richard: $256,001
  • CMBC vice-president of operations Donald Palmer: $248,254
  • CMBC vice-present of maintenance Randy Helmer: $242,196
  • Vice-president of planning and policy Sarah Ross: $235,056
  • Direct of IT/cybersecurity Tobin Kunju: $234,346
  • Vice-president of financial services Olga Kuznyetsova: $232,175
  • Executive director of the Mayors’ Council Mike Buda: $223,685

TransLink’s cost-cutting follows the April federal budget which contained no new spending on public transit in Vancouver, after 2023 lobbying road trips by Lower Mainland mayors arranged by contractor Earnscliffe. 

The $90 million cost-cutting plan contemplates eliminating 35 unfilled corporate jobs, reducing leadership training courses and reducing the use of third-party contractors. 

On July 1, TransLink hiked fares 2.3%. Adults must pay $3.20 to $6.35 depending on the zone distance. Monthly passes now cost $107.30 to $193.80.

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