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TransLink Mayors' Council Welcomes Historic Federal Investment in Metro Vancouver TransportationTransLink
NEW WESTMINSTER - On March 22, the TransLink Mayors’ Council on Regional Transportation welcomed the Government of Canada’s commitment of approximately $2.2 billion in its 2017-2018 budget which marks the next step forward in building two critically important rapid transit projects in Metro Vancouver.
The estimated contribution from the government’s Public Transit Infrastructure Fund (PTIF) builds upon an initial commitment of $370 million for local transit projects in 2016, which at a combined total of $2.6 billion marks the single largest federal investment in Metro Vancouver transportation in at least 20 years.
TransLink and the Mayors’ Council can now move forward in negotiations with the provincial government to secure matching funds for Phase Two of the 10-Year Vision for Metro Vancouver Transit and Transportation, which includes construction of the Millennium Line Broadway Extension in Vancouver and the Surrey LRT, as well as increased service on existing SkyTrain lines, continued expansion of bus service in every corner of the region, and new funding for major roads, walking and cycling infrastructure.
“Today’s historic federal investment in transit and transportation is a game-changer for our region and the largest in Metro Vancouver in 20 years,” said Vancouver Mayor Gregor Robertson, Chair of the Mayors’ Council. “The Mayors’ Council appreciates the federal government’s commitment to improving public transit and reducing traffic congestion to keep people moving across our growing region. Metro Mayors are ready to roll-up our sleeves in partnership with the BC government and match this funding with additional dollars to deliver crucial new projects like the Broadway Subway, Surrey rapid transit and the new Pattullo Bridge.”
With a provincial election less than two months away, the Mayors’ Council is calling on all provincial political parties to commit, as a first step, to match the federal funding dollar for dollar for construction of the Broadway and Surrey rapid transit projects, and to work with the Mayors’ Council to confirm other provincial and regional funding required to fully implement the 10-Year Vision.
“TransLink is doing great work in rolling out the first phase of the 10-Year Vision which is adding more bus, SkyTrain and SeaBus service region-wide this year, but these new services are playing catch up from years of under-investment,” said Surrey Mayor Linda Hepner, Vice-Chair of the Mayors’ Council. “With today’s federal budget, we are closer than ever to putting shovels in the ground for Surrey LRT and the Broadway subway so we can move more people around our growing region on transit. The Mayors’ Council is looking forward to working with the provincial government to match the federal investment and have these projects ready to break ground in 2018.”
In addition to transit, road, walking and cycling projects, Phase Two of the 10-Year Vision also includes replacement of the aging Pattullo Bridge, which is not eligible for PTIF funding but could be funded through either the new federal Infrastructure Bank or Trade Transportation Corridor Initiative. The Province has committed to provide one-third of the cost of this project. The Mayors’ Council and TransLink are reviewing new details about these programs and will work immediately with the federal and provincial governments to finalize their investments in this project.
FOR MORE BACKGROUND:
- 10-Year Vision, including Phases One and Two: http://tenyearvision.translink.ca/
- Major Projects in Phase Two: http://www.translink.ca/en/About-Us/Media/2017/March/Phase-Two-Project-Update.aspx
Mike Buda, Executive Director, TransLink Mayors’ Council
Katie Robb, Mayor’s Office, Vancouver
Oliver Lum, Mayor’s Office, City of Surrey