Translink has made a big splash today by announcing more details of the $ 2B Phase One of its 10-year Vision. It’s good news for everyone who moves themselves around the region.

The plan will increase sustainable alternatives to the motor vehicle, and so help to reduce congestion on the roads as the region grows, and further the vision of density and transit orientation.  This is smart and necessary. Smart, too, is a focus on integration of transit, cycling and walking.

Phase One also begins to deal specifically with the hidden congestion so prevalent in Metro Vancouver — the transit pass-ups and overcrowding due to high demand. Odd, isn’t it, that we rarely hear about this amid the noise about motor vehicle congestion.



Phase One Deliverables:   Click for larger version

Major detail on Phase One HERE in a 104-page PDF, which also serves as TransLink’s Strategic Plan until superseded.  (Funding detail starts on p 39/104).

The funding for this Phase One is a combination of Federal ($370M) and Provincial ($240M) money for capital only. The 23 municipalities will fund $500M for capital and $800M for 10-year operating costs. As a result, the munis will increase fares and property taxes. They will also borrow money, introduce a development fee and sell TransLink property (such as the Oakridge site, which brought in an astonishing $ 440M).

The big bucks will come in Phase Two, which will see construction of new rapid transit and a new Pattullo Bridge, among other things. There are serious hints of upcoming tolls and road pricing (a.k.a. mobility pricing) to fund Phase Two. The Mayors have already begun lobbying the Feds for infrastructure money via the Federation of Canadian Municipalities for transit, plus other things such as housing. No sign of Provincial intentions yet.

Excerpt from “Seizing the Moment:  Budget 2017 Recommendations From Canada’s Local Order of Government”   

It’s no coincidence that the world’s most dynamic cities feature some of the best transit systems. People want to spend less time commuting and more time with their families. And those faster connections increasingly attract top employers, skilled workers and innovative professionals.

Local transit solutions will tackle national challenges as well. Getting people and goods moving faster will kickstart economic growth. Getting more cars off the road will reduce Canada’s climate-changing emissions. And we’ll finally start recovering that $10 billion in productivity that our country loses to gridlock each year.

Given the right financial tools, large and mid-sized cities have major transit expansions ready to go. These projects incorporate light rail, streetcars, hybrid buses, accessible transportation and beyond—as the backbone for innovative, lower-carbon models of urban land use and development. In many cases, planning, consultation and engineering are well underway.