New Westminster: The Mayors’ Council and TransLink Board of Directors today approved a plan for $2 billion in transit and road improvements to be implemented as Phase One of the 10-Year Vision for Metro Vancouver Transit and Transportation, marking the beginning of a multiyear investment in transit and transportation across the region. Metro Vancouver now has the most advanced, integrated and sustainable transportation investment plan in Canada. With the 10-Year Vision underway, the region is at the forefront among Canadian cities in delivering a major, multi-modal, regional transportation infrastructure program. The Phase One Plan will bring noticeable improvements to the way residents travel throughout Metro Vancouver, by reducing overcrowding on transit and on HandyDart, providing new services to areas which haven’t had transit before, helping to address bottlenecks on the region’s major road networks, and creating pedestrian walkways and bike paths. The Plan reflects input gathered through public consultation that demonstrated strong support from Metro Vancouver residents and businesses for new transportation investments. Phase One of the 10-Year Vision 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 of capital and operating costs coming from TransLink’s existing funding sources, cost savings and efficiencies, as well as new regional revenues including modest property tax and transit fare increases. With Phase One approved and set to roll-out starting in January, the Mayors’ Council and TransLink will begin development of the plan for Phase Two, which will be put forward for public consultation in 2017. “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 Mayor Gregor Robertson. “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.” “For too long, transportation investments have not kept pace with population growth, but with this plan we can begin to address transit overcrowding and road congestion. We’re responding to what residents have been asking for: better transit service across the region and moving forward on important infrastructure like Surrey-Langley LRT,” said Surrey Mayor Linda Hepner, Vice-Chair of the Mayors’ Council. “TransLink is ready to deliver the services and investments in the Phase One Plan,” said Kevin Desmond, CEO of TransLink. “Our team has put in months of detailed planning and preparation. Now we are looking forward to putting this preparation into action, and delivering the positive change we heard our customers demand during the public consultation last month.” Transit and transportation improvements to be delivered during Phase One will include: · 10% increase in bus service · 15% increase in HandyDART service · 20% 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 Investments included in Phase One extend across the entire region. Metro Vancouver residents will start to see the improvements in January 2017 – including initial expansion of service on SeaBus, Expo Line, Millennium Line and Canada Line. 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.