Opinion: The North Shore must be next for rapid transit investment

Oct 27 2021, 6:39 pm

Written for Daily Hive Urbanized by Linda Buchanan, the mayor of the City of North Vancouver.

We all want to move from place to place as easily and efficiently as possible. As mayor, people tell me that improving mobility and transportation on the North Shore is their top priority. And I get it. Anyone who has tried to travel across the North Shore has experienced the frustration of our congestion crisis firsthand.

The North Shore is filled with opportunity for people as we are home to many growth industries, family-supporting jobs, recreation destinations, and we are also the gateway to the Sea-to-Sky corridor.

For too long, cars have been treated as the de facto main mode of transportation through the region. The reality is cars are not moving us as safely or efficiently as we think. Our only way out of this problem is to embrace transit and active forms of transportation. This will make it easier for people and goods to move across the region.

The people who keep our economy moving have limited options for getting to the North Shore efficiently, and this is simply unsustainable and inequitable. It has real consequences on our economy, environment, and liveability.

north vancouver city mayor linda buchanan

City of North Vancouver mayor Linda Buchanan. (Mike Wakefield)

People need more, and better, options for moving to, through, and from the North Shore. That’s why the City of North Vancouver, Squamish Nation, District of West Vancouver, Tsleil-Waututh Nation, and District of North Vancouver have come together to form North Shore Connects.

Our partnership will advance many transportation solutions, but our top priority is securing a rapid transit connection across the Inlet, and doing so quickly. To achieve this we need the people who live, work, and play on the North Shore, along with businesses big and small, to join our call.

TransLink is leading the development of Transport 2050, the region’s next 30-year transportation strategy. A draft strategy has recently been released and we all have until this Friday, October 29, to provide feedback. This is our chance to have a say in how we move.

I encourage everyone to share their thoughts so that we can have the best possible transportation network that supports students, jobs, families, tourists, and more. We must all pull together to advance this investment and send the message that Burrard Inlet Rapid Transit must be next.

north shore rapid transit study skytrain

September 2020 map of North Shore SkyTrain route options. (Government of BC)

north shore connects burrard inlet rapid transit skytrain

Burrard Inlet Rapid Transit concepts of two North Shore SkyTrain lines via the Second Narrows: Gold Line from Park Royal to downtown Vancouver via Hastings, and Purple Line from Park Royal to Brentwood Town Centre Station and Metrotown Station via Willingdon Avenue. (North Shore Connects)

I’m thrilled to be working with the partners of North Shore Connects. Together, we will improve mobility and advocate for long overdue investments. Earlier this month, the partners of North Shore Connects released a Benefits Assessment that highlighted the impact of a rapid transit investment across the Burrard Inlet.

A rapid transit investment would mean shifting approximately 50,000 daily vehicle trips to transit, better connecting four First Nation communities with their ancestral lands, and improving job access for people on and off the Shore.

We all want to spend less time commuting, and more time living. Congestion is frustrating and we all want solutions fast. But the truth is we all have a role to play and we are all responsible for creating a better community. Now is the time to act. The first step can be taking a few minutes to fill out the Transport 2050 survey and sending the message that we want to move differently to, through, and from the North Shore.


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