Metro Vancouver affirms transit expansion as top priority

TransLink CEO Kevin Desmond

EXPANDING and improving Metro Vancouver’s transit system is a top priority for residents regardless of whether they drive, cycle, or take transit. That is one of the conclusions of the first phase of engagement with Metro Vancouver residents as part of Transport 2050.

To help develop the next 30-year blueprint, TransLink asked the region to share its priorities, concerns, values, and ideas. Through the first phase of public engagement, TransLink reached 159,000 people and received a record-breaking 31,682 responses through its survey. Respondents also submitted over 4,000 ideas for the future of transportation.

“What the region has told us reinforces the need to invest in transit expansion and improvement,” said TransLink CEO Kevin Desmond on Tuesday. “We’ve seen how important transportation investment is to our region and we need to keep the momentum going for the next 30 years to help ensure that Metro Vancouver remains one of the most livable regions in the world.”

When TransLink asked what should be prioritized as the region changes, respondents said:

GroupPriorities
Drivers1. Expanding and improving the transit network
2. Managing road congestion
3. Increasing housing choices and affordability
Walkers1. Expanding and improving the transit network
2. Increasing housing choices and affordability
3. Encouraging more active transportation like walking and cycling
Cyclists1. Encouraging active transportation like walking and cycling
2. Expanding and improving the transit network
3. Increasing housing choices and affordability
Transit users1. Expanding and improving the transit network
2. Increasing housing choices and affordability
3. Creating jobs, homes, and services closer together

What’s next?

The full Phase One report with findings, ideas and survey results will be released later this month. Phase Two engagement, beginning spring 2020, will ask the public to help weigh trade-offs between different packages of projects, services, and policies.

Selina Robinson, Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing, said: “Our government wants to make sure the plans that will shape future transportation and development in Metro Vancouver benefit the region as a whole and that is why we are an active partner in the development of Transport 2050. I want to thank everyone who participated in the Phase 1 consultation as your feedback will help us ensure we have a transit system that people in Metro Vancouver can count on for years to come.”

Jonathan X. Coté, Mayor of New Westminster and Chair of the Mayors’ Council, said: “Metro Vancouver has sent a clear message with consensus from all 23 communities expressing their desire for more transit services, and the Mayors’ Council looks forward to working with all levels of government to help that become a reality. Amidst a climate emergency, growing road congestion, and transit ridership growth outpacing every other metropolitan area in North America – now is the time for long-term transit expansion commitments to be at the forefront of regional planning.”