New link to Fraser Valley a popular idea in TransLink's Transport 2050 consultation

Dec 4 2019, 11:17 am

Improved interregional public transit connections to the Fraser Valley proved to be a popular idea in the first phase of TransLink’s Transport 2050 public consultation earlier this year.

The public transit authority says transit expansion to the Fraser Valley was the most frequently submitted idea, while the SFU Burnaby Mountain gondola public transit line was the most “liked” idea on the online ideas board. The idea most commented on was mobility pricing.

TransLink released a report summarizing the findings of the first phase of Transport 2050, which will lead to the creation of a new 30-year transportation expansion and improvement strategy for Metro Vancouver.

Over the course of close to five months, there were 31,682 public survey responses and 4,024 ideas submitted from residents across the region, with engagement held both online and at over 300 events.

Those engaged included 8,300 youth aged 25 or younger, 2,600 seniors, 2,300 New Canadians, and 9,700 drivers.

All local and municipal governments in the region were amongst the more than 500 stakeholder groups also consulted, including major employers, business associations, tourism associations, neighbourhood associations, health authorities, post-secondary institutions, and developers.

The provincial government also provided input, which indicated early on that it wanted the process to consider interregional travel to areas such as the Fraser Valley and connections to BC Ferries terminals.

“Thank you to everyone who participated in the largest ever public engagement on transportation in this region,” said TransLink CEO Kevin Desmond in a statement.

“To develop the strategy for the next 30 years of transportation, it was important to first take the pulse of the public. We heard loud and clear that the people of this region care deeply about the future – and Transport 2050 will outline a path to a more livable Metro Vancouver.”

The first phase consultation asked residents a wide range of questions that will help guide and prioritize the creation of the new regional strategy.

Respondents said their top three priorities were expanding and improving the public transit system, increasing housing choice and affordability, and creating jobs, homes, and services closer together. They also provided their top concerns for living in Metro Vancouver, with growing cost of renting or buying a home, congestion on the roads, and the loss of green space topping the list.

When it comes to what matters most for the travel experience, respondents said reliability and efficiency, travel times, and convenience are the most important factors.

Some of the other top ideas submitted to the ideas board include the following:

  • Electrify more of the bus fleet
  • Use more double-decker buses
  • Expand transit options, with a wide range of specific ideas submitted
  • Increase retail options at SkyTrain stations and bus loops
  • Display more public art at SkyTrain stations
  • Add phone-charging stations at bus loops
  • Find sustainable sources of funding for building and operating transit
  • Replace the gas tax
  • Introduce scooter sharing apps
  • Integrate more services into the Compass Card
  • Create more Compass Card designs
  • Prepare the roads for driverless cars
  • Provide carshare services at BC Ferries terminals in Metro Vancouver
  • Build a cycling super freeway
  • Create pedestrian-only areas in city centres
  • Deliver constant wayfinding for bike routes
  • Add bus priority signal at busy intersections
  • Introduce congestion pricing
  • Prohibit parking on major arterial roads
  • Use waterways for ferries
  • Eliminate minimum parking requirements in new building construction

A second phase of consultation will be launched to receive feedback on the trade-offs between different transportation options for inclusion in the strategy, which is slated to be finalized by the end of 2020.

Kenneth ChanKenneth Chan

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