Members of TransLink’s Mayors’ Council took their Congestion Relief Fund (CRF) campaign directly to the federal government in Ottawa this week.
Timed with the upcoming federal election, the funding request is intended to create a permanent, predictable, direct funding source from the federal government towards public transit investments across Canada.
For TransLink, this would amount to $375 million in funding every year, starting in 2028. It would mean Metro Vancouver would have the necessary federal funding share to complete the remaining projects outlined in the Mayors’ Council’s 10-year plan — such as the full extension of SkyTrain to Langley Centre and UBC, the SFU Burnaby Mountain Gondola, and more B-Line routes.
Additionally, the funding would allow the implementation of some of the new transit projects that will be identified in the update to the 30-year Regional Transportation Strategy, which will be finalized in late 2020.
Transportation is a growing issue in Metro Vancouver, and the regional transit system’s ridership growth has been leading the pace in North America.
A Mustel Group survey conducted earlier this year of Metro Vancouver residents found significant support for continued transit expansion and federal funding towards transit.
Respondents were also asked about their thoughts on the current progress of implementing the 10-year plan. At least six-in-10 respondents noted they were “somewhat satisfied” with the rollout.
“We want Metro Vancouverites to know that we have heard them loud and clear: congestion is affecting our quality of life and we need all levels of government to make transportation a priority,” said Jack Froese, Vice Chair of the Mayors’ Council and Mayor of the Township of Langley, in a statement.
“Transit Day is an opportunity to bring this message to Ottawa and garner support from all major parties to improve the way we plan and fund transportation improvements.”