TransLink’s first phase of the project brings added service to its SkyTrain and SeaBus systems to reduce wait times and congestion.
"I'm thrilled to kick off transit improvements with the first phase of the Mayors Council's 10-Year Vision, turning words into action in launching the most advanced, integrated and sustainable transportation investment plan in Canada," said Vancouver Mayor Gregor Robertson, chair of the Mayors' Council. "There is huge need and appetite from people and businesses across the Lower Mainland for all levels of government to improve transit and transportation. Metro Vancouver Mayors are ready to roll up our sleeves in partnership with the B.C. and federal governments to secure long-term funding so we can implement the full 10-Year Vision and keep people moving across our growing region."
TransLink plans to continue progressing the goals of the 10-Year Vision’s Phase One with expanded bus services throughout the region and increased availability of HandyDART, a shared ride-booking service available for passengers with physical or cognitive disabilities. The regional transportation network says it will work with local communities to gauge priority improvements to the area’s network and best mitigate issues such as congestion.
"With completion of the Evergreen Extension in December, and this week's launch of the first transit enhancements from the 10-Year Vision, Metro Vancouver is starting to see the long-overdue transportation improvements that will get our region moving again," said TransLink CEO Kevin Desmond. "The service improvements we're launching today make space for 185,000 more people on our transit system each week."
Planning for the project’s Phase Two will launch in late January with public consultations on the Broadway extension and Surrey-Newton-Guildford LRT projects, representatives say, adding that and meetings will take place regarding investment plans with the joint committee of the Mayors' Council and TransLink board of directors.
"While approval of Phase One is worth celebrating, it is only the first step in delivering the transportation solutions our region needs. Funding commitments from the provincial and federal governments must be secured for Phase Two in order to keep critically important projects like the Surrey-Langley LRT and Broadway extension on track," said Surrey Mayor Linda Hepner, vice-chair of the Mayors' Council. "We need to build on the momentum created with Phase One, and continue the partnership between our regional, provincial, and federal governments that has resulted in the CA$2-billion (US$1.5 billion) investment we are launching today."
Phase One of the project has received funding through investments from both federal and provincial governments, as well as regional revenues.
The 10-Year Vision has also been endorsed by the Better Transit and Transportation Coalition (BTTC), which is said to be the largest such coalition.
The investments included in Phase One of the project will extend throughout the entire region. The improvements include:
- An 11 percent increase in passenger capacity during peak periods on the Canada Line
- Extended weekday peak-hour service and increasing mid-day and early evening service on weekends along the Expo and Millennium Lines
- Doubled SeaBus service on Sundays and holidays to sailings every 15 minutes from 10:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m.
TransLink says further rail service increases will begin starting in late 2018 as new vehicles are delivered.