The provincial government confirmed today its support for public transit in Metro Vancouver and for finding innovative ways to develop new housing.
“We all want to see new communities built, and neighbourhoods that are affordable and accessible,” said Community, Sport and Cultural Development Minister Peter Fassbender, who is also responsible for TransLink. “We believe investment in public transit can also result in more affordable housing, and we’re going to work closely with the region to see how we can fulfil the potential there.”
Fassbender confirmed an investment of nearly a quarter of a billion dollars over the next three years for transit improvements across Metro Vancouver.
Investments in this phase of funding are expected to support the purchase of more SkyTrain cars, improvements to bus exchanges and SkyTrain stations, enhanced SeaBus service, initial work towards new major rapid transit in Vancouver and Surrey, and the modernization of a variety of TransLink’s transit infrastructure.
These improvements will benefit residents across the Metro Vancouver region and open up more affordable, transit-friendly housing options for Metro Vancouver families.
Fassbender also plans discussions with the Mayors’ Council on revenue mechanisms that could fund a share of their 17%. Recognizing that public-transit investment results in increased property values near transit stations, the government wants to explore ways to ensure the public receives a benefit from land development in those areas.
“We believe public transit investment leads to increased property values near stations and that the public should share in the rise in property values through increased support for transit and affordable housing options,” said Fassbender. “This is an idea worth supporting and we will work closely with regional leaders and others on how we can develop better transit and better housing options right across Metro Vancouver.”
As well, Fassbender will ask his deputy minister to work with the Mayor’s Council and TransLink to explore the potential for creating new housing supply through investments in public transit.
- The Province is providing $246 million over three years for transit improvements in the Metro Vancouver region.
- This builds upon the federal government’s commitment to provide $370 million to transit improvements, with a 50% cost-share.
- The regional share of funding has been reduced from 33% to 17%.
- In total, these investments will support $740 million in transit improvements throughout the region.