Thursday, October 4
Time: 12:30-1:30 pm
Place: Room 1900, Harbour Centre, 515 West Hastings St.
Except for funding the Evergreen Line and some bus service when the new Port Mann Bridge opens, Translink has no money to meet growing transit demand. Now that we’ve widened our freeway and built the world’s widest bridge– copying the Los Angeles strategy of the past 60 years– where’s the money for transit? The provincial government says not here, the Mayors Council says not from property taxes if the province doesn’t chip in, gas taxes are down, and on and on. Thus, no 300,000 hours of expanded bus service, no frequent bus service on Highway 1 except at rush hour, no expanded Seabus service, no B-Line service to White Rock on the King George Highway, no bicycle programs or work on the Major Road Network. Even Los Angeles has stopped building freeways; its residents voted to tax themselves to build rapid rail lines, subways and fast bus routes.
Now comes the Lower Mainland reaction. Transit coalitions are forming. Cities are mobilizing. Business groups that called for more roads now call for more public transit. To explore the possibilities, City Conversations has invited Nancy Olewiler, chair of the Translink Board; Tanya Paz, representing new advocacy groups Get On Board and the Sustainable Transportation Coalition, and Anne McMullin, President and CEO of the Urban Development Institute, Pacific Region. Then it’s your turn to identify the needs and help define the strategies. Get on board!