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Metro Vancouver mayors call for parties to commit to permanent transit fund

Metro Vancouver mayors are stepping into the federal election to call for a permanent transit fund.
Metro Vancouver mayors are stepping into the federal election to call for a permanent transit fund. Simon Little / Global News

Metro Vancouver’s TransLink Mayors’ Council is stepping into the federal election campaign, calling for all parties to commit to a permanent transit fund for the region.

The council made its plea on the second day of the annual Union of B.C. Municipalities (UBCM) conference in Vancouver on Tuesday.

READ MORE: TransLink to move forward with Surrey SkyTrain extension, but getting to Langley remains in limbo

The mayors say uncertainty around long-term funding could put the completion of planned SkyTrain extensions to UBC and Langley at risk.

Both of those extensions have been approved in principle by the council. However, current funding will only take the Broadway subway to Arbutus Street and the Surrey SkyTrain to 166 Street in Fleetwood.

Currently, only a SkyTrain subway extension from VCC-Clark Station to Arbutus Street is approved and funded, with an estimated price tag of about $2.83 billion.

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The full Langley extension is currently estimated to cost $3.12 billion, of which just $1.6 billion is secured.

WATCH: Surrey-Langley SkyTrain extension would cost significantly more than funding

Surrey-Langley SkyTrain extension would cost significantly more than funding
Surrey-Langley SkyTrain extension would cost significantly more than funding

The council says existing funding commitments from all levels of government, which includes federal funding until 2027, have virtually all been allocated to approved projects.

READ MORE: TransLink looks to get Phase 3 of Metro Vancouver’s transit plan rolling, despite federal funding gap

It says along with the SkyTrain extensions, the completion of five new rapid bus lines and rapid transit on King George Boulevard could also be at risk.

The mayors have also added their voice to a call by the Federation of Canadian Municipalities for a national transit funding commitment of $34 billion to cover transit expansion and improvement from 2028-2038.