Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Feds continue support for public transit, and what this means for Metro Vancouver

In September, I posted about TransLink’s 10-year Transportation Vision - Phase 1, and what that meant for the South of Fraser. This is phase 1 of a 3 phase plan which is based on the Mayors’ Council Regional Transportation Investments Vision.

Map of TransLink's 10-Year Vision - Phase 1. Select map to enlarge.

Phase 1 of this plan is being funding in part by $370 million provided by the federal government. The following table shows the full breakdown of funding for Phase 1.

Funding and expenditures for TransLink's 10-Year Vision - Phase 1. Select tables to enlarge.

To implement the full Mayors’ Council Vision will require around $3.9 billion in capital funding over the next decade, and will require the support of all orders of government. The federal government recently announced more details on their 11-year infrastructure plan. In that plan, $25.3 billion is set aside for public transit nationally. If the funding formula is similar to how they allocated public transit funding during this budget cycle, this could mean around $2.7 billion in funding for our region.

The federal government funded 50% of public transit capital cost during the 2016/17 budget cycle, and I don’t expect this to change going forward. What this means is that the federal government is doing its part to funding public transit in our region.

The provincial government has in the past committed to funding 33% of public transit capital costs in the region, this support will need to continue. In addition, the province will need to approve additional on-going funding sources that will generate $100 million annually starting in 2021 to enable the full Mayors’ Council Transportation Investments Vision to come to fruition.

I’m pleased that the federal government is continuing with its plan to make significant investments over the next decade into public transit. With such a large amount of federal funds on the table, I’m hopeful that this will encourage that province and region to come up with a long-term plan for on-going funding to support the Mayors’ Council Vision.

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