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July 6,2011 Translink

July 06, 2011

TransLink to roll-out updated transportation expansion plan

-- Plan up for public comment; includes funding for the Evergreen Line plus other expansion

TransLink is set to unveil an updated plan to expand Metro Vancouver’s transit system and sustain funding for Major Road Network and cycling network improvements. 

The plan, titled ‘Moving Forward,’ was originally rolled out in the fall of 2010 in a series of public events held around the region as well as an internet-based process that gathered thousands of comments.

Moving Forward received strong public and stakeholder endorsement, but lacked an approved funding formula needed to support it.  With the announcement earlier today that the Mayors’ Council on Regional Transportation and the provincial government have agreed on a way to provide $70 million in additional annual revenue, TransLink will bring back the plan for a final round of public comment over the next two weeks.

In addition to gathering comments via its web site, TransLink will hold a region-wide ‘webinar’ – an internet-based audio/video program providing full details of the Moving Forward plan – scheduled for 7 pm on Tuesday, July 19th.  The webinar will include e-mail and phone-in feedback to the TransLink planners, who will moderate the session and report the results back to the Board of Directors and the Mayors’ Council.

If ultimately approved by the Mayors’ Council, the plan will provide Metro Vancouver’s $400 million share of funding for the Evergreen Line SkyTrain extension from the Lougheed Town Centre to Coquitlam Town Centre.   With that funding committed, the way will be cleared for construction to begin on the Evergreen Line project.

A number of other projects will improve transit services across the region:

  • Major upgrades to the Main Street, Metrotown, New Westminster and Surrey Central SkyTrain stations
  • More SeaBus service – sailings every 15 minutes every day plus three-vessel service for special events
  • Over 200,000 additional transit service hours for the South of Fraser region; 425,000 hours region-wide
  • A new B-Line service from White Rock Centre to Guildford Town Centre in Surrey plus a new bus route from White Rock to Langley serving Grandview Heights
  • Highway #1 RapidBus service from Langley to the Lougheed SkyTrain Line station, coincided to launch with the completion of the new Port Mann Bridge and Highway #1 expansion
  • Additional bus service to improve frequency and address overcrowding, including on U-Pass BC routes.

The Moving Forward plan will allow TransLink to maintain $6 million in annual funding for cycling network capital projects and $20 million per year to co-fund Major Road Network improvements with municipalities.

As part of the process for updating the plan, TransLink will review major financial assumptions to ensure the sustainability of the current system and levels of service as well as the proposed expansion.

The Mayors’ Council and the province have agreed on a funding formula for the plan that includes a 2 cent per litre increase in motor fuel taxes in April 2012 plus, by 2013, either a property tax increase averaging about $23 per year for the average Metro Vancouver residential property or a new, long-term source of funding.


Moving Forward Supplemental Plan – 2012 to 2014

TransLink will present a supplemental transportation and funding plan to the Mayors’ Council, which outlines a series of transportation network expansion projects that would, if the plan is approved, be funded by $70 million in additional, annual revenue.

‘Moving Forward’ - Proposed transportation network expansion:

The Evergreen Line – a new 11 km SkyTrain connection between Coquitlam Town Centre and the Millennium Line at Lougheed Town Centre via Port Moody and North Road. The line would include five stations and 28 new SkyTrain vehicles.
SkyTrain and SeaBus station upgrades – major improvements to key transit hubs including Main Street, Metrotown, Surrey Central and New Westminster SkyTrain Stations and the Lonsdale Quay SeaBus Terminal.
SeaBus service increases – more sailings with service every 15 minutes all day, every day plus three-vessel service (every 10 minutes) for special events.
RapidBus service improvements for the South of Fraser – a new King George Boulevard B-Line from White Rock Centre to Guildford Town Centre with connections to SkyTrain: travel time cut by 14 minutes; Highway 1 Bus Rapid Transit from Langley to Lougheed Station: travel time cut by 42 minutes
Conventional bus improvements – more routes, more frequent service, more capacity including a new route between White Rock and Langley serving Grandview Heights, more service hours region-wide to increase frequency, address overcrowding and accommodate population growth and increased bus service for U-Pass B.C. routes
Roads and cycling improvements – maintain an annual $20 million fund for Major Road Network improvement projects; sustained Bike Capital program funding at $6 million per year.

Benefits of the proposed expansion

  • 9 per cent or 425,000-hour annual bus service increase (equal to more than 23 million additional transit trips a year) by 2013, with about half of those hours dedicated to the South of Fraser
  • 8 per cent or 30 million more annual transit boardings by 2015
  • Reduced number of vehicle kilometres travelled per capita by 2015; a reversal of historic trends, contributing to a decline in passenger vehicle greenhouse gas emissions
  • Improved road efficiency and goods movement
  • Upgraded bicycle facilities, increased cycling
  • Progress toward our Transport 2040 goals of creating a sustainable, livable community

‘Moving Forward’ Supplemental Plan Funding

The Mayors’ Council on Regional Transportation and the provincial government have agreed to a funding formula that will see a staged introduction of measures that will produce $70 million in additional annual revenue needed to fund TransLink’s Supplemental Plan:

Motor Fuel Tax - 2012

The provincial government has agreed to increase motor fuel taxes in Metro Vancouver by 2 cents per litre in April 2012.

Time-limited Property Tax or an Alternative - 2013

The Mayors’ Council and the province have agreed that the balance of the funding to support the Moving Forward supplemental plan would come from one of two sources:

a)  A property tax increase, implemented in 2013, that would amount to approximately $23 per year on the average residential property, or;

b)  A new long-term revenue source that the province and the Mayors’ Council would approve that, if implemented before the end of 2012, would replace the property tax portion of the total funding package.

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