Last Thursday, Premier Christy Clark announced an audit of TransLink and rejected the vehicle levy proposed by Metro Vancouver mayors that would have partially funded TransLink’s “Moving Forward” transportation plan.
Today, Spacing Vancouver published a plea for Metro Vancouverites to defend our transit future and secure the future livability of our region. This resonates with me because I’m a regular transit user and support most of the projects included in the Moving Forward plan, such as the construction of the Evergreen Line and the many proposed improvements to bus service, particularly in places like Surrey where improved transit service is desperately needed if we hope to encourage more people to limit (or abandon!) their use of personal vehicles.
I want to live in a region where sustainable modes of transportation are prioritized and well-funded. The environmental, health and social benefits would be plentiful. If funded, the Moving Forward plan is projected to result in a drop in vehicle kilometres travelled per capita by 2014 and lead to a 10% increase in transit boardings by 2021. This would be a start for becoming a Transit City, but we would still have a long way to go since the Moving Forward plan doesn’t include funding for other major transportation issues such as the need for faster and less crowded service along the UBC-Broadway corridor.
For your convenience, here are some links to recent articles and blog posts written by individuals who are very knowledgeable about Metro Vancouver’s transportation history, urban planning, and TransLink politics. Read and speak up so that we can move forward on transit!
Frances Bula, State of Vancouver blog: Fragile TransLink agreements in pieces after Clark comments on audit
Vancouver City Councillor Geoff Meggs: Clark’s demand that TransLink “audit” find $30 million for Evergreen Line can only mean service cuts
Gordon Price, Price Tags blog: Another audit for TransLink, another futile round
Update (Apr. 15/12): More reading on this topic now that we know the TransLink mayors’ council voted to cancel transit expansion plans, except the Evergreen Line, and the TransLink Commissioner won’t allow transit fares to increase beyond the allowable 2% per year.
Frances Bula, Globe & Mail: Mayors vote to cancel TransLink expansion rather than hike property taxes and Major cuts only option left for TransLink
Frances Bula, State of Vancouver blog: TransLink mayors call for cancellation of new rapid-bus lines in Surrey/Langley + more til funding found
Vancouver City Councillor Geoff Meggs: Cancelled fare hike will force cancellation of service increases, throws TransLink into turmoil
Gordon Price, Price Tags blog: Clipping File: TransLink, Fares and the Future
Stephen Rees: Auditing TransLink