Thursday, November 23, 2023

Metro Vancouver Mayors Ask Feds to Fund $2.9 Billion in Need Transportation Investments

RapidBus at Coquitlam Central

In September, the Mayors’ Council on Regional Transportation announced the $21 billion Access for Everyone plan. This transportation plan will keep our region moving over the next decade with generational investments in rapid transit, buses, walking, and cycling. The plan will also keep our regional roads and bridges in good repair.

The region cannot do this alone, and as in the past, it will require the continued partnership of the federal and provincial governments. To secure funding for transportation in Metro Vancouver, local governments advocate to their local MPs and MLAs. As a region, we also go on political road shows to Ottawa and Victoria to pitch our vision. Another way that the Mayors’ Council advocates is via Pre-Budget Submissions. These documents are sent to the provincial and federal governments, making the case on why and where they should invest money.

At today’s TransLink Mayors’ Council meeting, our region’s mayors (including myself) supported sending in the following funding requests for the 2024-25 federal budget.

  • Add bus depot capacity to support Bus Rapid Transit and expanded regular bus service to address overcrowding and increase transit access ~$1.4 billion
  • Support building three new Bus Rapid Transit projects ~$900m
    • Park Royal to Metrotown
    • Langley City to Maple Ridge along 200th
    • Surrey to White Rock along King George
  • Expand TransLink’s bus fleet to support growing ridership ~$375 million
  • Upgrade Golden Ears Way to support Bus Rapid Transit and goods movement ~$120 million
  • Deliver walking, cycling, and road safety projects ~$70 million

In total, the ask to the federal government is to support $2.9 billion in projects in next year's federal budget.

As the saying goes, Rome wasn't built in a day, nor will it be securing the funding all at once to support the Access for Everyone Plan. As in the past, I'm hopeful that the federal government will come to the table to support affordable transportation solutions that will keep Metro Vancouver going as our population continues to grow due to increased and needed immigration.

No comments: