Transit promises to improve, at a price

Image via Wikimedia
Image via Wikimedia

TransLink introduces phase one of 10-year vision

By Aaron Guillen, Staff Reporter

After more than half a decade without any significant investments in Metro Vancouver’s transit and roads, TransLink is taking a bold step with its new Phase One Plan. As the first of three phases, Phase One promises to “get the region moving again.”

Among the list of to-dos, there will be a 10 per cent increase in bus service, with proposed B-Lines for Fraser Highway, Lougheed Highway, Marine Drive, 41 Avenue, and Hastings Street. In addition, there will be new or expanded services for neighbourhoods with few or no transit options, such as Silver Valley in Maple Ridge, Morgan Creek and Clayton in Surrey, Willoughby in Langley, and Burke Mountain in Coquitlam.

Small improvements include a 15 per cent hike in Access Transit service, five new cars on the West Coast Express, and one new SeaBus. Finally, 50 new SkyTrain cars will be added throughout all lines to get riders where they need to be faster than ever before. If approved by the TransLink Board of Directors and Mayors’ Council, the transit system will apply their 10-Year Vision to dramatically improve walkways, bike lanes, and bottlenecked roads.

With a much more transparent and concrete blueprint for the future, TransLink hopes customers will understand that fare hikes will become essential. Even though TransLink has $616 million in capital funding, increases to transit fares will be introduced in order to meet their goals. Annual increments of 5–10 cents will be added onto single fares and $1–3 on monthly passes. Also, a minimal hike will be seen in property tax bills, with an estimated 0.01 per cent increase for the average homeowner ($3 annually).

As Phase One hopes to be set into motion, future improvements in Metro Vancouver are headed down the pipeline in the following phases (two and three)—some of which includes: Broadway Subway, Surrey Light Rail, and the Patullo Bridge Replacement.

TransLink hopes to hear the opinions of residents across the region; their online questionnaire can be found at and they are offering open houses before the end of October.

“We’re looking forward to public feedback on this in October,” Vancouver Mayor Gregor Robertson said to the Province. “For most of us mayors, we want to see this investment move forward and get the new transit services as urgently as possible.”

Public Open Houses are taking place in Vancouver at Collingwood Neighbourhood House (Wednesday, October 19, 4–8 p.m.), Surrey at Chuck Bailey Recreation Centre (Thursday, October 20, 4–8 p.m.), and Richmond at Kwantlen Polytechnic University (Monday, October 24, 4–8 p.m.).