Thursday, December 5, 2019

People in Metro Vancouver want more transit, especially in the Fraser Valley

Yesterday, TransLink released the results of its phase one engagement report for Transport 2050. Transport 2050 is the upcoming update to our region’s long-term transportation strategy. This strategy will guide how we build our transportation network for the next 30 years.

In 1993, Transport 2021 was adopted which is a similar long-range plan. It is essentially built-out, or the last components of the plan under construction. The biggest change to that original plan was the switch of high-capacity transit from King George/104th to Fraser Highway in Surrey.

Transit vision from Transport 2021 which was adopted in 1993. Select map to enlarge.

To help inform the creation of Transport 2050, TransLink engaged in a significant public feedback program which resulted in some 31,682 people completing a 6-part questionnaire and/or submitting ideas. As these public engagement results may not have necessarily represented all people in our region —some groups of people may be over- or under-represented— TransLink also commissioned a polling firm to ask the same questions, weighting the responses to be more representative of our region’s people.

So, what do people think about Metro Vancouver and its transportation system?

Well, the most submitted idea was to expand transit in the Fraser Valley. This is good news because it confirms what I and others in the South of Fraser have known for a long time; there is a pent-up demand for transit service in our communities.

When asked why people live in their neighbour, the top four responses were because it was:

  • Near transit
  • Close to shops and amenities
  • Near my family and community
  • More affordable

When asked about what we should prioritize as a region in the future, there we two response that received more than 50% agreement:

  • Expanding and improve the transit system
  • Increasing housing choice and affordability

As the region changes, I’d most like us to prioritize. Blue = TransLink public engagement, Orange = Weighted Poll. Select image to enlarge.

Expanding highways, which just get jammed up with traffic a year or so after being expanded anyway, is not a priority for people in our region.

To view a summary of the feedback received, please view the full phase one report. As I stated earlier, this feedback will be used to help create Transport 2050 which is due to be completed at the end of 2020.

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