TransLink said they will work hard to fund the upgrades that were proposed in the transit plebiscite, despite receiving a 62 per cent ‘No’ vote.
TransLink CEO Doug Allen said in a press conference that it will take some creative use of funding, but he believes they will be able to make it work.
“This particular plebiscite, in my opinion, was about a tax increase, and it was rejected and we accept that,” he said. “It’s important for all of us at TransLink and across the province to respect democracy.”
Allen says that TransLink consistently gets good customer service marks and that Metro Vancouver’s transit system is “world class, but the upgrades are necessary to fulfill population increases.”
He says Vancouver will grow by one million people over the next 30 years, and TransLink will need to accommodate the changes.
“We have, in the past, been very good at extracting efficiencies, and it’ll be up to us to deliver the system as smartly and wisely as possible given the constraints we’ll be under.”
Vancouver Mayor Gregor Robertson said that the ball is now in Premier Christy Clark’s court.
“Ultimately it’s up to the B.C. government to make any changes to the TransLink governing structure,” he said. “The funding, accountability is in the hands of the province. TransLink is their creation.”
Roberston said it is good to have conversation about transit.
“Really, it was a very significant information campaign, for the first time in our history we had a very robust debate on transportation in our region.”
Voting was tight in the City of Vancouver where residents would have benefitted most from the proposed changes, with just over 50% of the 210,249 votes siding with ‘No.’
Total voter turnout was just 51%, with 798,262 of 1,562,386 eligible voters returning their ballot to Elections B.C.
For a full breakdown of the plebiscite results within each municipality, click here.