Metro Vancouver’s transit services are essentially frozen at 2019 levels even as the region’s population has grown by almost 200,000 between 2019 and 2023.  -  Photo: TransLink

Metro Vancouver’s transit services are essentially frozen at 2019 levels even as the region’s population has grown by almost 200,000 between 2019 and 2023.

Photo: TransLink

The TransLink Mayors’ Council confirmed the projects and investments to be included in the first phase of the Access for Everyone plan and approved a submission to the federal Minister of Finance calling for the government to join the region and the province in developing a new funding model for TransLink, according to the agency's news release.

The federal budget submission requests funding to support the building of three new Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) projects, expansion of TransLink’s bus fleet, additional bus depot capacity, active transportation, and road safety projects, as well as initial funding for the Golden Ears Way BRT-readiness and goods-movement project.

The Mayors’ Council said it is urging the federal government to join the provincial government and TransLink in developing a more sustainable and equitable funding model for transit that shifts away from regressive funding sources such as fares and property taxes.

“The Mayors’ Council has agreed on a plan for the new and expanded transit services we will need to accommodate population growth and put affordable housing within reach for everyone in our communities,” said Mayor Brad West, chair of the Mayors’ Council. “Transit-oriented development is a key component of the province’s and region’s plan to respond to the housing affordability crisis, but without federal financial support and a sustainable funding model to help deliver additional transit into the future, we won’t be successful.”

Access for Everyone Plan

Metro Vancouver’s transit services are essentially frozen at 2019 levels even as the region’s population has grown by almost 200,000 between 2019 and 2023. The Access for Everyone plan is designed to deliver new rapid transit routes and additional bus service to support growth, affordability, and climate action.

In its submission ahead of the 2024-2025 federal budget, the Mayors’ Council is asking the Government of Canada to:

  1. Support the building of three new Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) projects in the region, to be completed by 2027. Initial cost estimates for the BRT projects are $250-$300 million each (to be confirmed in final business cases in early 2025), with additional funding also needed to expand TransLink’s bus fleet and associated maintenance facilities.
  2. Commit new capital funding by mid-2024 from the Permanent Transit Fund to support the immediate delivery of the first phase of the Access for Everyone Plan.
  3. Join the working group between the Province of British Columbia and TransLink which launched in mid-2022 to develop a new transit funding model for TransLink.

“Time is running out. For TransLink to reduce overcrowding as soon as possible, and enable the substantial service expansion we need in the coming years, we must have both federal and provincial funding commitments for this first phase of Access for Everyone, no later than mid-2024,” said Mayor West. “Provincial and federal governments are calling on municipalities to accelerate the approval of new housing to address the affordability crisis, but we need additional transit infrastructure to serve residents moving into new housing developments.” 

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