THE largest investment in transit and transportation in Metro Vancouver’s history was approved by the Mayors’ Council on Regional Transportation and the TransLink Board of Directors on Thursday, setting the stage for unprecedented increases to transit service.
“This builds on positive momentum sparked by last year’s major boost to transit service through Phase One of the Mayors’ 10-Year Vision,” said Mayors’ Council Chair Derek Corrigan. “Those increases helped drive transit ridership growth that is leading North America, helping reduce congestion by getting thousands of people out of their cars in the process. This next phase of investments will capitalize on this fantastic start.”
Highlights of Phase Two
· 900,000 more hours of new bus service on 75 different routes.
· Two new B-Lines in Richmond and Surrey (In addition to five new B-Lines being rolled out by 2019 as part of Phase One).
· Extension of the Millennium Line with six new stations along Broadway from VCC-Clark to Arbutus Street in Vancouver.
· 40% increase to service on Expo and Millennium lines.
· 203 new SkyTrain cars (108 new, 95 replacement) for Expo and Millennium lines.
· Increased Canada Line service during rush hours, evenings, and weekends starting in 2020.
Light Rapid Transit
· Construction of Surrey-Newton-Guildford LRT Line along 104th Avenue, City Parkway and King George Boulevard.
· $75 million for rehab and upgrades to the Major Road Network.
· 249,000 additional HandyDART trips.
· Project development and early works for the Surrey-Langley Line.
· Planning for a potential Burnaby Mountain Gondola.
· Planning for rapid transit to UBC Point Grey campus.
“This milestone could not have been possible without all levels of government working together to finalize a funding plan,” said TransLink CEO Kevin Desmond. “Already we’ve seen the benefits that come when you add more service. You reduce crowding and make transit more convenient and enjoyable. By making transit a better experience, ridership grows and the benefits continue to add up for everyone across the region.”
The Government of British Columbia has committed to funding 40% of the capital costs of Phase Two of the Mayors’ Council 10-Year Vision. In addition, the Government of Canada, through the Public Transit Infrastructure Fund, is also making significant investments in public transit.
“People in the Lower Mainland have been stuck in gridlock for far too long,” said Selina Robinson, Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing. “With the region expected to grow by one million more residents in the next 30 years, there is a desperate need for action and these investments will help people spend less time in traffic and more time with their friends and families.”
In order to assist the region in funding the Investment Plan, the Province of B.C. will commit to introducing legislation by spring 2019 to enable the region to increase the motor fuel tax in Metro Vancouver by up to 1.5 cents per litre – an increase of about one per cent based on current fuel prices. This tax hasn’t been increased since 2012.
The Mayors’ Council has determined that the region’s portion of the Plan will be funded through:
· Increased revenue from ridership growth: $1.6 billion of the region’s share will be funded through increased fare revenue from higher ridership resulting from service expansion.
· Fares: Five to 15 cents increase to adult transit fares, part of a 2% increase to all fares over two years beginning 2020.
· Parking Tax: 15 cents per hour increase for an average $5 per hour parking, increasing the parking sales tax from 21 to 24%.
· Property Tax: $5.50 increase per average household each year or about 46 cents a month, beginning 2019.
· Development Cost Charge: $300 to $600 increase, to the charge on new residential units depending on type of dwelling, relative to the Phase One Plan.