Metro Vancouver residents say traffic congestion and better transit are two of the most important issues facing the region - only just behind housing affordability. That is why in 2014, the TransLink Mayors' Council on Regional Transportation developed their 10-Year Vision for Transit and Transportation in Metro Vancouver, to keep the region moving as we welcome an additional one million new residents over the next 30 years. In January 2017, the Mayors' Council launched the first of the new transit service and road improvements approved in the first phase of the 10-Year Vision - getting around Metro Vancouver will start getting easier with these.
The region's focus must now turns to delivering the remainder of the 10-Year Vision, starting with the Phase Two Plan. While Phase One Plan is a first step to reduce current overcrowding and congestion, Phase Two will enable TransLink to expand and improve the region's transportation network to meet the demands of our growing population, including new bus and SkyTrain service, the Millennium Line Broadway Extension and the Surrey-Newton-Guildford LRT projects, the replacement of the Pattullo Bridge, and addressing key traffic bottlenecks across the region.
Public feedback on the 10-Year Vision has been clear: residents of Metro Vancouver support the plan and want to see the provincial government take stronger action to continue reducing road congestion and improving our transit system. We have a once-in-a-generation opportunity to make significant improvements to our local transportation network, at a lower cost to regional taxpayers, thanks to the availability of additional federal funding. A funding commitment from the provincial government must be secured for Phase Two as quickly as possible after the election in order to keep the 10-Year Vision on schedule. TransLink is ready to proceed with Phase Two and the next wave of transit and road improvements - we are waiting for the provincial government to commit to the Plan and move forward together, starting on May 10.
If elected, what specifically will your party do to help TransLink and the Mayors' Council deliver Phase Two of the 10-Year Vision for Transit and Transportation in Metro Vancouver, and how quickly do you foresee Phase Two proceeding?
A BC Green government would commit to the 10 year vision for Metro Vancouver transportation at 33% funding, immediately on forming government. We would consider increasing the provincial share if the plan includes strategies to improve housing affordability by addressing zoning for more density tied into transit infrastructure.
A BC Green government would work with the region to develop a rational mobility pricing plan to manage congestion; to amortize the cost of the Port Mann and Golden Ears bridges; and to finance the regional share of the 10 year plan.
A BC Green government would immediately suspend work on the George Massey tunnel replacement pending a comprehensive and transparent review of the project, taking into account alternatives and the priorities of the region.
As we invest unprecedented dollars in Metro Vancouver transit, we have an opportunity to ensure we do so in the smartest way possible, for the 21st century and beyond. Our vision is to build communities connected by transit, with affordable housing, leaving a smaller environmental footprint. This will help ensure Metro Vancouver grows in a way that limits congestion, cuts emissions, and gives people more time with their families.
Today’s BC Liberal government was pleased to be the first jurisdiction in Canada to sign a transit agreement with our federal partners. As a result, investments in Phase 1 of the 10-Year Vision for Transit and Transportation in Metro Vancouver are now underway. This $2 billion expenditure includes:
- Additional SkyTrain vehicles for the Expo, Millennium, and Canada Lines;
- A new West Coast Express locomotive;
- A new SeaBus;
- Upgrades to SkyTrain stations; and
- Design and planning for Rapid Transit South of the Fraser and the Millennium Line Extension along Broadway.
With these historic commitments, we will work with all of our partners to help find the remaining funding to make these projects a reality and improve transit in Metro Vancouver. Today’s BC Liberals will match the federal government’s $2.2 billion investment in Metro Vancouver transit projects over 11 years. We are committed to negotiating with all three levels of government on project specifics, with the Surrey LRT Project and the Broadway Line our top two priorities. We will also continue working constructively with the Mayor’s Council to move forward on their 10-year Vision for Metro Vancouver Transportation.
Gridlock is costing our economy over a billion dollars a year. We need to get people and goods out of gridlock and moving again. Metro Vancouver has a growing population. It’s time for a transportation system that grows with us. We’ll build projects we need and create reliable long-term funding models.
We will support the Mayors’ Council 10-Year Vision for Metro Vancouver Transportation. We have committed to funding 40 per cent of the capital costs of every phase of the plan, in partnership with all levels of government. The plan is essential to growing the region, breaking traffic gridlock, and will create thousands of jobs and fuel economic growth.
This means important projects like the Broadway SkyTrain, rapid transit in Surrey, replacing the Pattullo bridge, and adding essential bus service and improving road networks will all go forward.