TransLink is defending a policy that allows transit supervisors to have their vehicles given the royal treatment with luxury car washes.

A CTV News employee shot undercover video of a few transit supervisors getting their cars hand-washed at King’s Auto Spa, where a wash can cost as much as $38 apiece. Meanwhile, a touchless car wash across the street costs just $10.99.

But Translink spokesperson Derek Zabel said the luxury service available at King's Auto Spa is just one of the facilities that is used by supervisors to clean and detail the vehicles, which are in service every day, often for multiple shifts.

Zabel said supervisors are required to clean their vehicles once a week.

"It reflects well to the general public. You're not showing up in a dirty truck," he said.

Last year, Translink spent $309.84 for each of its 26 supervisor vehicles, for a total of $8069.38.

That works out to about $5.91 per week per vehicle, Zabel said, adding that he didn't think that was excessive. Translink didn't provide precise figures on how much of that was spent at the luxury washes.

Zabel also said equipment on the truck needs to be protected, including electronics.

“We have expensive equipment, but we are careful of it because if we do break that it would cost a lot of money to replace,” he said.

Supervisors are expected to clean their vehicles once a week and some supervisors do hose down their trucks in the transit yard – but it's up to the employees how often they want to do that. The vehicles aren't suited for the wash racks at the depots, which are designed for buses, he said.

The car wash facilities are chosen by Translink because they are close to depots that are all over the Lower Mainland, he said.