Planning for Phase Two moves forward with consultation on Vancouver and Surrey rapid transit projects
Vancouver: Today TransLink announced the beginning of expanded transit services it will be rolling out in 2017 as part of the 10-Year Vision for Metro Vancouver Transportation. TransLink has added more SkyTrain and SeaBus services, which will begin to reduce wait times and crowding.
“I’m thrilled to kick off transit improvements today with the first phase of the Mayors Council’s 10-Year Vision, turning words into action in launching the most advanced, integrated and sustainable transportation investment plan in Canada. There is huge need and appetite from people and businesses across the Lower Mainland for all levels of government to improve transit and transportation,” said Vancouver Mayor Gregor Robertson, Chair of the Mayors’ Council. “Metro Vancouver Mayors are ready to roll up our sleeves in partnership with the B.C. and federal governments to secure long-term funding so we can implement the full 10-Year Vision and keep people moving across our growing region.”
Over the coming weeks and months TransLink will continue rolling out Phase One of the 10-Year Vision with a region-wide expansion of bus services and HandyDART, and working with communities to prioritize improvements to the region’s major roads network to address traffic bottlenecks and congestion.
“With completion of the Evergreen Extension in December, and this week’s launch of the first transit enhancements from the 10-Year Vision, Metro Vancouver is starting to see the long-overdue transportation improvements that will get our region moving again,” said TransLink CEO Kevin Desmond. “The service improvements we’re launching today make space for 185,000 more people on our transit system each week.”
Later this month, planning for Phase Two kicks off with public consultations on the Broadway extension and Surrey-Newton-Guildford LRT projects, and meetings of the joint committee of the Mayors’ Council and TransLink Board of Directors responsible for leading development of the Phase Two investment plan.
“While approval of Phase One is worth celebrating, it is only the first step in delivering the transportation solutions our region needs. Funding commitments from the provincial and federal governments must be secured for Phase Two in order to keep critically important projects like the Surrey-Langley LRT and Broadway extension on track,” said Surrey Mayor Linda Hepner, Vice-Chair of the Mayors’ Council. “We need to build on the momentum created with Phase One, and continue the partnership between our regional, provincial, and federal governments that has resulted in the $2-billion investment we are launching today.”
Phase One of the 10-Year Vision is funded through investments from the federal and provincial governments and regional revenues.
“The Government of Canada recognizes how important efficient transit is to growing the middle class and getting Canadians to work and back home to their families at the end of the day,” said Jonathan Wilkinson, Member of Parliament for North Vancouver on behalf of the Honourable Amarjeet Sohi, Minister of Infrastructure and Communities. “We are committed to supporting improvements to public transit, such as the SeaBus and Canada Line projects, to help deliver fast and reliable transit services to the residents of Metro Vancouver.”
“The Government of British Columbia is pleased to celebrate today the launch of Phase One enhancements to SeaBus and SkyTrain services, which will benefit transit users across the region by making travel more convenient, frequent and comfortable,” said Andrew Wilkinson, MLA for Vancouver-Quilchena, on behalf of Peter Fassbender, Minister of Community, Sport and Cultural Development and Minister Responsible for TransLink. “We look forward to the continued roll out of exciting Phase One projects as part of approximately $2 billion of investments. The Province remains committed to working with all of our partners on Phase Two to continue improving transit across Metro Vancouver.”
The 10-Year Vision has been endorsed by the Better Transit and Transportation Coalition (BTTC), the largest coalition of community, environmental, labour and business stakeholders in B.C.’s history.
“This is a pivotal moment for our region and an opportunity to recognize the partnership between all three levels of government in taking the first steps to help alleviate congestion after years of under-investment in transit and transportation,” said Elizabeth Model, BTTC Chair. “As community leaders, we urge all governments to continue working together to invest in the next phase of the 10-Year Vision – for the sake of our economy, environment and quality of life.”
Investments included in Phase One extend across the entire region. The first improvements in the plan, starting the week of January 16, include:
An 11 percent increase in passenger capacity during peak periods on the Canada Line
Extended weekday peak-hour service, and increasing mid-day and early evening service on weekends, on the Expo and Millennium Lines
Doubled SeaBus service on Sundays and holidays to sailings every 15 minutes from 10:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m.
In addition to this initial expansion of services on SeaBus, Expo Line, Millennium Line and Canada Line, TransLink is increasing HandyDART service, and will start expanding bus services across the region this spring, with further rail service increases as new vehicles are delivered starting in late 2018.