Wednesday, March 3, 2010

BC Budget Transportation Overview

Well, I had a look at the Provincial 2010/2011 budget and wanted to point out some of the transportation highlights and spending. You can also view a copy of the budget for yourself.

First let’s look at transportation capital projects over $50 that have been approved by the Treasury Board (basically projects being built right now).

For Transit: $0
For Roads: $4.5 billion
-Port Mann Bridge and Highway 1 Expansion: $3.3 billion
-South Fraser Perimeter Road: $1.1 billion
-Sierra Yoyo-Desan Road (Northern BC): $187 million

Things look bleak for transit.

Now if we look at “in-the-works”, smaller spending, and operating costs for the next three years:

For roads there is $1.8 billion
26% for rehabilitation, 40% for interior and northern roads, 18% for the Gateway Program, and 16% for other road projects.

For transit there is $822 million
-Evergreen Line: $302 million
-Rapid Transit Projects (Rapid Bus on Highway 1, 7, 99, and in Kelowna; Faregates and Smartcards on SkyTrain): $224 million
-News Buses and Other Projects: $216 million

For cycling there is $9 million which could build about 450km of bike lanes.

About 30% of the BC Budget's 3-Year Plan and 13% in total is committed to sustainable transportation. This isn't very good. The South Fraser gets more buses and no light rail. Also, no way to pay for operating these new buses as TransLink is broke. Cycling funding is very minimal. Maybe the 2011 budget will have money for light rail given the success of the Olympic Line Streetcar?

From Transportation Minister Shirley Bond in the Vancouver Sun:
"We have an incredible incentive after seeing the success of the Canada Line, in particular, during the Winter Games," Bond said. "The transportation system worked exceptionally well."

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