For Immediate Release
Oct. 13, 2016
VANCOUVER, B.C. — The Greater Vancouver Board of Trade is throwing its support behind Phase One of the 10-Year Vision for Metro Vancouver Transit and Transportation proposed by the region's Mayors.
Iain Black, President and CEO of the Greater Vancouver Board of Trade, made the announcement today during a Board of Trade event with TransLink CEO Kevin Desmond and City of Vancouver Mayor Gregor Robertson, who serves as Chair of the Mayors' Council on Regional Transportation.
"The Mayors' ambitious $2-billion Phase One plan would move forward vital transit and transportation investments across our region, ultimately helping to alleviate traffic congestion and improve our collective quality of life," said Black. "The business community endorses the Mayors' vision because we understand how crucial regional transportation is to our economy and businesses across Greater Vancouver."
If approved, Phase One of the plan would kick in as early as January 2017, following a public consultation this month and a final vote by the region's mayors in November.
The plan would leverage billions of dollars offered by the federal government and would raise the region's 17-per-cent share through modest increases to property taxes, fares, and a new regional cost charge on new development. The plan would help get our region moving again through the addition of 50 new SkyTrain cars, a 46 per cent increase in Canada Line capacity, five new West Coast Express cars, up to 5 news B-line rapid bus routes, and a new SeaBus. Perhaps most importantly, the plan would also move forward detailed design and engineering on two key projects — the Broadway subway expansion and the extension of rapid transit in Surrey and to Langley.
"The Board of Trade believes these two projects would go a long way toward tackling traffic congestion in two of our region's most densely populated communities. This would improve the flow of not just people, but also free up capacity for goods on our bridges and roadways," said Black.
In recent years, the Greater Vancouver Board of Trade has been urging all levels of government to tackle traffic congestion. In fact, the Greater Vancouver Economic Scorecard 2016 found that underinvestment in roads and public transit infrastructure is the number one threat to our region's prosperity. Long commute times and congestion make it difficult for our region's businesses to attract high-end talent, while the inefficient movement of goods hampers our competitiveness.
The Phase One plan would leverage funding from the federal and provincial governments while building momentum towards negotiations with senior levels of government for the critical regional projects included in Phase Two and Phase Three.
"Phase One of the plan lets our region get a start on improving its transportation network, but we must look beyond these early wins to securing the necessary federal and provincial funding to deliver the rest of the Mayors' vision," said Black. "We encourage the federal and provincial governments to commit the long-term funding needed to implement the entire 10-Year Vision and get our region moving again."
Public consultation on Phase One of the plan began earlier this week and will continue until October 31. The Greater Vancouver Board of Trade is encouraging its Members and businesses across the region to review the plan's details at tenyearvision.translink.ca and submit feedback to .
About the Greater Vancouver Board of Trade:
Since its inception in 1887, the Greater Vancouver Board of Trade has been recognized as Pacific Canada's leading business association, engaging members to impact public policy at all levels of government and to succeed and prosper in the global economy. With a Membership whose employees comprise one-third of B.C.'s workforce, we are the largest business association between Victoria and Toronto. We leverage this collective strength, facilitating networking opportunities, and providing professional development through four unique Signature Programs. In addition, we operate one of the largest events programs in the country, providing a platform for national and international thought leaders to enlighten B.C.'s business leaders.