Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Regional Goods Movement Strategy

I was recently looking over Metro Vancouver’s Transportation Committee Agenda for June 20th, and noticed that TransLink is working on a Goods Movement Strategy update as part of TransLink’s larger update of its regional transportation plan.

Port Metro Vancouver is the largest port in Canada, and some 21% of the region’s workforce is directly employed by the goods movement sector. The efficient movement of goods in important for the economic prosperity of our region.

How goods are moved in the region. Source: Port Metro Vancouver

When it comes to actually moving goods, about 2/3 of goods are directly loaded onto train. 1/5 of goods are sent by trucks to transload facilities where they are resorted and put onto trains. The remaining 1/10 of goods are directly shipped by truck. It would seem that rail is one of the key modes of transportation to ensure efficient goods movement in the region, though it also seems the focus on goods movement to date has been on expanding roads.

TransLink has a tricky job ahead of it as the Goods Movement Strategy will be multi-jurisdictional. It will include stakeholders like Port Metro Vancouver, the Province, the railways, TransLink, Metro Vancouver, and municipal government; some of which aren’t required to work together.

Map of Metro Vancouver goods movement transportation infrastructure that highlights current project priorities. Click map to enlarge.

So far, TransLink has identified the replacement of the George Massey Tunnel, Pattullo Bridge, and (I’m sure to the displeasure of people in New Westminster) the proposed North Fraser Perimeter Road as regional goods movement priorities. It is still early in the process, as the Good Movement Strategy will not be completed until sometime in 2014, but it seems that rail is missing from the plan.

I wonder, since TransLink has no jurisdiction over rail or Provincial highways, how effective this strategy will be. On a positive note, TransLink and Metro Vancouver are talking about road pricing as a way to manage our goods movement network.

Metro Vancouver is also planning to hold a Goods Movement Forum in fall to talk about goods movement in our region and how it can fit with the Regional Growth Strategy’s goal of creating a sustainable region.


Kyle Zheng said...

I think you mean the Pattullo Bridge. Isn't the Massey tunnel replacement a Liberal Party initiative only?

Plus, it'd be irrational to justify a new bridge solely through the need of truck transport. The Alex Fraser isn't that far nor is the Port-Mann.

Nathan Pachal said...

I forgot about the Pattullo Bridge. Yes, the Massey tunnel is now a "regional" priority as deemed by the Province.