The largest transit and transportation investment plan in nearly a decade is now a reality, after The Mayors’ Council and TransLink’s board of directors approved a plan for $2 billion in transit and road improvements today.
The investment is Phase One of the 10-Year Vision for Metro Vancouver Transit and Transportation. It marks the beginning of a multi-year investment in transit and transportation across the region.
“Confirming Phase One funding is a major milestone in delivering on the Mayors’ Council’s 10-Year vision that will keep people moving across Metro Vancouver,” said Vancouver Mayor Gregor Robertson in a release.
The Phase One plan will address issues such as overcrowding on transit and on HandyDart, “by providing new services to areas which haven’t had transit before,” the release added.
It will also address bottlenecks on the region’s major road networks, and create pedestrian walkways and bike paths.
The plan will be funded using a $370 million contribution from the federal government and $246 million from the provincial government. The remaining $1.3 billion will come from TransLink’s existing funding sources.
The news was welcomed by Surrey Mayor Linda Hepner.
“For too long, transportation investments have not kept pace with population growth, but with this plan we can begin to address transit overcrowding and road congestion,” she said.
Hepner explained, “we’re responding to what residents have been asking for: better transit service across the region and moving forward on important infrastructure like Surrey-Langley LRT.”
TransLink is “ready to deliver the services and investments in the Phase One Plan,” said Kevin Desmond, CEO of TransLink. “We are looking forward to putting this preparation into action.”
— Van Mayor’s Office (@VanMayorsOffice) November 23, 2016
The transit and transportation improvements that are expected to be delivered during Phase One will include:
- 10% increase in bus service
- 15% increase in HandyDART service
- 20% increase in rail service following delivery of new rail cars (Expo Line, Millennium Line and Evergreen Extension, Canada Line, West Coast Express)
- Pre-construction and consultation on Broadway subway and Surrey-Langley light rail
- New funding for improvements to the Major Road Network
- Expansion and improvements to cycling and walking networks
Local residents will start to see the improvements coming into effect in January 2017 – including initial expansion of service on SeaBus, Expo Line, Millennium Line and Canada Line.
Bus service improvements will start to roll out in April 2017, and further rail service increases will occur as new fleet is delivered starting in late 2018.