May 5, 2017
A message from the Mayors’ Council to Metro Vancouver voters
With the provincial election just days away, we want to thank everyone who has supported, participated in and responded to our #CureCongestion campaign. We appreciate the opportunity to share our priorities for the future of Metro Vancouver transportation and to hear your ideas and concerns. On May 9th, we encourage all British Columbians to get out and vote.
The members of the Mayors’ Council share a common goal: to make it easier for people and goods to move around the region, and to give residents better transportation choices. In this campaign, we have clearly set out the next steps we need to take – in partnership with the next provincial government – to complete the 10-Year Vision, our comprehensive region-wide plan for improvements to public transit, roads, walking and cycling infrastructure.
The Mayors’ Council is not endorsing any particular candidate or political party. We have posed questions of the three major political parties about their commitment to key projects included in the 10-Year Vision, and published their responses in our Voters’ Guide. We have sought clarification from two of the parties on the impact of proposed changes to bridge tolling policies; confirmed our opposition to another unnecessary referendum on transit funding; and, proposed a regional funding strategy for the 10-Year Vision that would avoid any new property taxes on Metro Vancouver residents. [See our news release from May 4th for details].
Our most important message to the provincial parties, and to voters, is this: we cannot afford to continue delaying implementation of the 10-Year Vision. If we wait, congestion on our roads and overcrowding on our transit system will keep getting worse, and costs to complete the projects will grow due to inflation. Just by completing the 10-Year Vision, we know that we can reduce road congestion by 20 percent, and commuters could save as much as 40 minutes on their daily commute. We believe these kinds of improvements are what Metro Vancouver residents want to see their regional and provincial governments working in partnership to achieve.
The Mayors’ Council is prepared to work with whatever party forms the next government, and we’re looking forward to getting to the table with that government immediately following the election to move forward on completing the 10-Year Vision.
We also want residents of Metro Vancouver to know that, as mayors and regional leaders, we are committed to carrying out our responsibilities according to the following key principles:
- Mobility. Changes to our transportation network must improve mobility for people and goods in the region, by providing more choices, reducing travel times and improving the experience of users.
- Accountability. Every dollar raised from fares, fees, taxes or other revenues intended for transportation must contribute to improvements that benefit the travelling public and that will help meet our objective of reducing congestion.
- Fairness. Benefits of new transportation infrastructure and services, and revenues to support them, should be applied in an equitable way throughout the region. Our transportation network is integrated — all users should contribute to maintaining it.
- Affordability. A high-quality transportation network that improves mobility gives residents more choice where to live and work, which helps combat the region’s housing affordability challenges. At the same time, building and maintaining this network must respect taxpayers by making smart choices to keep costs low, and maximize return on investment.
- Engagement. Metro Vancouver residents and businesses should have a say in establishing priorities and making choices about transportation improvements, and how those improvements are paid for.
We take our responsibility in shaping the future of Metro Vancouver’s transportation system very seriously, and look forward to continuing the dialogue with you in the years ahead.
Mayors’ Council on Regional Transportation