November 23, 2016 5:01 pm
Updated: November 23, 2016 11:48 pm

Phase 1 of Metro Vancouver transit plan approved

WATCH: TransLink mayors council voted unanimously Wednesday to approve phase one of the new 10 year plan for transit in the region. Grace Ke has the details.

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The TransLink’s Mayors Council has voted unanimously to approve Phase One of the 10-year transit plan for the region.

This first phase will cost $2 billion and will include more SkyTrain, bus and SeaBus service.

TransLink says it is hoping to roll out this phase starting in January.

The Phase One Plan is aimed at reducing overcrowding on transit and on HandyDart, expanding transit to new areas, reducing bottlenecks on major road networks and creating more pedestrian pathways and bike paths.

This phase will be funded by a $370 million contribution from the Federal Government and $246 million from the Provincial Government, with the remaining $1.3 billion that is needed coming from TransLink, along with increases in property taxes and transit fares. It is expected fares will be increased mid-2017.

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Burnaby Mayor Derek Corrigan was not present at the vote. All the other mayors did vote in favour of the plan.

West Vancouver Mayor Michael Smith had expressed previous concerns about this plan, saying an average property tax increase in the district could be $825 for residents, so while Smith did vote yes he said he might have more reservations going forward.

“Confirming Phase One funding is a major milestone in delivering on the Mayors’ Council’s 10-Year Vision that will keep people moving across Metro Vancouver,” says Vancouver Mayor Gregor Robertson in a release. “Phase One of the 10-Year Vision delivers the region’s biggest transit expansion in nearly a decade, kick-starting immediate and urgently needed improvements in our transit system while laying the groundwork for the Broadway Subway and Surrey-Langley LRT projects. I look forward to working with all levels of government to make the entire 10-Year Vision a reality.”

Transit and transportation improvements to be delivered during Phase One will include:

  • 10 per cent increase in bus service
  • 15 per cent increase in HandyDART service
  • 20 per cent increase in rail service following delivery of new rail cars (Expo Line, Millennium Line and Evergreen Extension, Canada Line, West Coast Express)
  • Pre-construction and consultation on Broadway subway and Surrey-Langley light rail
  • New funding for improvements to the Major Road Network
  • Expansion and improvements to cycling and walking networks

Bus service improvements will start to roll out in April 2017, and further rail service increases will occur as new fleet is delivered starting in late 2018.

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