Cure Congestion launch | April 5th, 2017

Dashboard view of traffic

Mayors’ Council Launches Public Outreach Campaign to help #CureCongestion in Metro Vancouver

Campaign will engage B.C. political parties and Metro Vancouver residents to make transit and transportation a key election issue
April 5, 2017 (New Westminster, BC) – Today, the Mayors’ Council on Regional Transportation launched a public outreach campaign to raise awareness about the importance of continued investments in Metro Vancouver’s transportation system.

The Cure Congestion campaign aims to educate voters about the 10-Year Vision for Metro Vancouver Transit and Transportationand ensure transit and transportation are a priority during the provincial election. The Mayors’ Council has published a 2017 B.C. Election Platform which outlines the actions needed from the next provincial government to fund and deliver the 10-Year Vision, and includes a questionnaire that has been distributed to the major political parties for their response prior to April 21.

“Metro Vancouver voters need clear, detailed commitments from BC’s political parties – before the election on May 9th – on how they plan to solve transit overcrowding and traffic congestion,” says Mayor Gregor Robertson, Chair of the Mayors’ Council. “We’ve heard loud and clear that people across our region want action on the transit improvements in the 10-year plan, which Metro Mayors approved almost three years ago. We can’t afford to see more delays on funding the entire plan, and that hinges on strong commitments and follow-through from the next B.C. government.”

“Already we have seen the major parties making major commitments to support transit expansion, which is positive,” says Surrey Mayor Linda Hepner, Vice-Chair of the Mayors’ Council. “Our region needs the next provincial government to work with the Mayors’ Council to complete the entire 10-Year Vision, which includes not only new rapid transit projects but other urgent priorities like replacing the Pattullo Bridge, improving HandyDART service for those who particularly rely on it to access the health care system, and making critical upgrades to the existing SkyTrain system to deal with overcrowding and growing demand.”

Research shows transportation and traffic are among the top concerns for Metro Vancouver residents. Transit service has struggled to keep up with the region’s fast growing economy and population, and drivers are becoming increasingly frustrated with traffic congestion.

Phase One of the 10-Year Vision – approved in November 2016 with funding from the federal, provincial and local governments – is adding more bus, SkyTrain and SeaBus service this year.

The Mayors’ Council looks forward to the next provincial government following through on commitments made by the current government, such as matching the federal investment of $2.2 billion towards rapid transit improvements and the construction of Broadway Subway and Surrey LRT; providing at least 1/3 of the capital costs towards replacing the aging Pattullo Bridge, and assisting in securing an additional federal share in the replacement project. Completing these projects, and other urgent priorities included in the next phases of the 10-Year Vision, will require additional commitments of funding and legislative action from the next provincial government.

The Mayors’ Council is asking B.C. political parties to commit to the following actions by Fall 2017:

  • Support essential upgrades to the existing SkyTrain network by cost-sharing additional rail cars, new storage and maintenance facilities and station upgrades, to address overcrowding and ready the system for expected future demand;
  • Develop a service improvement strategy with TransLink to deliver provincial financial support towards improving HandyDART service, in recognition of its critical role in providing access to the provincial healthcare system for residents who can’t always use conventional transit services;
  • Commit to authorizing the Mayors’ Council’s request for a development cost charge for transit in the fall legislative session so it can be enacted by TransLink by 2020, as one of the regional revenue sources for Phase One of the 10-Year Vision, to keep the plan on track and fairly funded; and,
  • Support the expansion of bus service region-wide, improvements to road conditions for drivers, and enhanced safety for cyclists and pedestrians by working with the Mayors’ Council to ensure that remaining operating and capital costs of the Vision are fully funded in a manner that is fair and equitable to Metro Vancouver taxpayers.
  • The Mayors’ Council platform, party questionnaire, residents’ pledge and survey are all available on the CureCongestion.ca website. Metro Vancouver residents can join the call for smart investments in transit and transportation, and stay up to date on the conversation, by following @Mayors_Council on Twitter and on Facebook.

BACKGROUND INFORMATION:
Mayors’ Council 2017 Election Platform
10-Year Vision Progress Dashboard
Backgrounder: SkyTrain System Upgrades
Backgrounder: HandyDART – A Backbone of Provincial Healthcare
Backgrounder: Development Cost Charge for Transit

Millennium Line Broadway Extension project information
Surrey-Langley Rapid Transit project information
Pattullo Bridge project information
Phase Two Project Updates
April 2016 Fair Funding Strategy

MEDIA CONTACTS:
media@mayorscouncil.ca
604-618-5231
604-839-6770