2016 was a year of historic investments in transit for Metro Vancouver. It began with a commitment by the Government of British Columbia for approximately a quarter of a billion dollars ($246 million) over three years for significant transit improvements and expansions in Metro Vancouver. The investment will help meet the transportation needs of the travelling public, reduce road congestion, grow the economy, meet climate objectives and improve the overall liveability of the region.
The Province’s investment leveraged a $370-million commitment by the Government of Canada to improve transit and transportation infrastructure through its Public Transit Infrastructure Fund (PTIF). British Columbia was the first province in Canada to sign a bilateral transit-funding agreement, demonstrating commitment to Phase One of the Mayors’ Ten-Year Vision to improve transit in the region. With provincial and federal funds in place, the Mayors’ Council and TransLink’s board of directors voted to move forward with a new Investment Plan to fund the region’s share.
Hard work and collaboration between federal, provincial and municipal governments and TransLink in 2016 have enabled $2 billion in new investments for the region - a milestone achievement that will bring significant benefits to Metro Vancouver’s transit system for residents and visitors alike.
For example, the recent signing of the British Columbia-TransLink Public Transit Infrastructure Fund Contribution Agreement, which facilitates the transfer of provincial and federal funding earmarked for Phase One transit upgrades, enabled the announcement of an order for 28 new Mark III SkyTrain cars from Bombardier Transportation to provide additional service and capacity on the popular Expo and Millennium Lines, including the new Evergreen extension.
Looking ahead to 2017, Metro Vancouver’s public transit users can look forward to Phase One service improvements, including initial service expansions in January on the Expo, Millennium and Canada Lines and on SeaBuses. Bus and HandyDart service improvements will begin in April 2017.
The Province looks forward to continuing to work collaboratively with the Government of Canada, the Mayors’ Council and TransLink to identify and take advantage of funding opportunities, including the federal government’s long-term funding plan for transit, to move ahead with Phase Two of the Mayors’ 10-Year Vision to improve and expand public transit in Metro Vancouver.
Finally, in 2016 the Province celebrated the historic opening of the greatly anticipated Evergreen extension. The $1.43-billion project that came in under budget provides fast, frequent and convenient rapid transit service between Coquitlam, Port Moody, Burnaby and Vancouver. Metro Vancouver’s SkyTrain system is the longest, fully automated rapid transit system in the world.
2016 was a historic year of new investments in transit for the Metro Vancouver region and the Government of British Columbia looks forward to a bright 2017 with “shovels in the ground” for projects across the region.
Peter Fassbender, Minister of Community, Sport and Cultural Development and Minister Responsible for TransLink –
“2016 was a historic year of new investments in transit for Metro Vancouver, including almost a quarter of a billion dollars from the Government of British Columbia. We are pleased to have been a part of collaborative efforts that have resulted in $2 billion of key transit initiatives for the region. This means the travelling public can look forward to more frequent service on expanded bus, SkyTrain and SeaBus routes; increased capacity; and modernized infrastructure, including station upgrades and improvements to pedestrian and cycling networks. We look forward to maintaining momentum throughout 2017 by getting 'shovels in the ground' on projects across the region.”
B.C.’s $246-million investment in Metro Vancouver transit improvements: https://news.gov.bc.ca/releases/2016CSCD0026-000867
Fassbender’s statement on the Mayors' Council Investment Plan: Phase One of the 10-Year Vision: https://news.gov.bc.ca/releases/2016CSCD0062-002482
Signing of the British Columbia-TransLink Public Transit Infrastructure Fund Contribution Agreement and TransLink’s order for 28 new SkyTrain cars:
Opening of the Evergreen extension: https://news.gov.bc.ca/releases/2016TRAN0383-002575