February 4, 2020 (Vancouver, B.C.) – The Mayors’ Council on Regional Transportation was joined today by community leaders and representatives of business, health, transportation and environment groups in calling on the federal government to commit to the next phase of Metro Vancouver’s transit expansion plan. The appeal comes as a delegation of mayors heads to Ottawa for meetings with cabinet ministers, party leaders and MPs on February 5th. The mayors will share data on the record-breaking growth in transit ridership in Metro Vancouver, forecasts for increasing demand, and specific requests for funding and policy development the government should consider for the upcoming 2020/2021 federal budget and subsequent budgets. “Transit expansion has been a huge success story in Metro Vancouver, and it is clear that our communities want governments to continue investing in order to improve service,” said Mayor Jonathan Cote, Chair of the Mayors’ Council. “Our region is united in supporting the 10-Year Vision transit expansion plan because we all know what is at stake. If we want to grow our economy, tackle climate change, connect our regional business hubs and post-secondary institutions, and ensure better access to affordable housing, we need to expand our transit system.” In a formal submission to the Government of Canada ahead of the 2020/2021 federal budget, the Mayors’ Council outlines three areas requiring federal investment, which will help TransLink add more service in response to record-breaking ridership growth and reduce GHG emissions:
- A Permanent Transit Fund – introduced in legislation in 2021 with funding starting in 2027 when current programs expire – providing approximately $375 million annually to TransLink to support future regional transit expansion.
- Immediate transition funding to bridge the gap in advance of a Permanent Transit Fund. $685 million is required by mid-2021 as the federal share of Phase Three Plan of the 10-Year Vision, which includes extending SkyTrain from Fleetwood to Langley, a proposed gondola connecting rapid transit to the SFU campus on Burnaby Mountain, adding service on existing rapid transit lines, and adding more bus and rapid-bus service region-wide.
- Funding of $225 million to accelerate conversion of TransLink’s bus fleet to emissions-free battery electric technology starting in 2021.