Regional funding plan agreed for rail expansion in Vancouver, British Columbia

A SkyTrain on the Expo line. Photo: Pepperer85 / Shutterstock.
A SkyTrain on the Expo line. Photo: Pepperer85 / Shutterstock.

Political figures in British Columbia have formulated a regional funding plan to enable a major expansion of rail services in the Metro Vancouver area.

The Mayor’s Council and the Province of British Columbia have detailed the revenue streams it intends to draw on to meet the region’s $2.5 billion share of Phase Two of their 10-Year Vision.

In total the infrastructure plan is set to cost around $7 billion with the remaining funding expected to come from federal and provincial sources.

As well as construction of the Surrey-Newton-Guildford light rail project, the 10-Year plan includes the extension of the SkyTrain’s Millennium line underneath Broadway and “significant upgrades” to the Millennium and Expo lines.

To deliver these projects, the Mayors’ Council says that $1.6 billion will be generated from higher ridership as a result of service expansion in Phase Two, transport authority TransLink’s resources and efficiencies.

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Transit fares are set to increase two per cent from 2020 for two years, as will parking charges and property taxes, as well as other commercial opportunities, are some of the proposed changes.

British Columbia’s minister of municipal affairs Selina Robinson said: “It is important that we get moving on Phase Two of the Vision as soon as possible to get people out of congestion, so they can spend more time with their families and less time stuck in traffic.

“We are giving Metro Vancouver the tools they need to be able to leverage the funding committed by senior levels of government so they can continue to meet the demands of a growing region.”

TransLink CEO Kevin Desmond added: “TransLink stands ready to deliver on Phase Two improvements that will benefit all people right across our region, regardless of whether you are travelling by car, cycle, transit or on foot.”

Read more: Manchester presents HS2 growth strategy



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