Monday, February 15, 2016

Updated Metro Van report shows offices locate near transit

Last May, I posted about a Metro Vancouver report that looked at the distribution of office space around the region. One of the areas that the report looked at was the location of new development in relation to frequent transit service.

When the original report was presented last year, there was a desire by people on the Metro Vancouver board to get more detailed information about office space in our region. This included looking at the different types and sizes of office development, and how they related to urban centres and the frequent transit network. People also wanted to know if certain types of office space tenants were drawn to certain styles of development, and areas in the region.

One of the trends noted in the updated report is that “between 1990 and 2014, approximately 61% of new office space was located within 800 metres (10 minute walk) of rapid transit, and an additional 22% was located within 400 metres (5 minute walk) of bus service on the Frequent Transit Network (FTN).” 83% of all office space built in the last few decades is near high-quality transit service.

The following map shows the distribution of all office space in Metro Vancouver. The map also shows the size of these office spaces. The Carvolth area in the Township of Langley has a high concentration of office space located by a busy Park and Ride along Highway 1. This is also one of the few areas where there is a large amount of office space with no frequent transit service.

All office space in Metro Vancouver. Select map to enlarge.

The next map shows where new office space has been built between 2010 and 2014. With the exception of Carvolth and South Surrey, there is a clear alignment between rapid transit and new office space.

Office space built in Metro Vancouver between 2010 and 2014. Select map to enlarge.

Locating office space in urban centres and along frequent transit corridors is a key policy priority for Metro Vancouver. It appears that our region has been relatively successful in this regard though more work needs to be done in the South of Fraser.

The problem isn’t actually the location of most office space in the South of Fraser, but the lack of funding to provide transit services to these locations. For example, frequent transit along the 200th Street corridor is a priority in the unfunded Mayors' Transportation Plan, and would service the offices in the Carvolth area. With properly funded transit, our region would meet its goal of locating pretty much all office space near high-quality transit service.

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