We have an important vote coming up in our region: the Metro Vancouver Transit and Transportation referendum. The question will be: “Do you support a new 0.5% Metro Vancouver Congestion Improvement Tax, to be dedicated to the Mayors’ Transportation and Transit Plan? Yes or No.” Many groups have come out either for or against the proposal from the region’s Mayors. Recently the SFU Centre for Sustainable Community Development came out on the yes side. While I don’t agree with all of the transportation plan that the Mayors’ Council is proposing – specifically the SkyTrain to Arbutus (preferring the alternative plan put forth by UBC’s Sustainability by Design) – I will be plugging my nose and voting yes. The vote will take place via mail from March 16 through May 29, 2015. Here are a few of the reasons to vote yes, from the Better Transit & Transportation Coalition. Read more here.
KEY POINTS ON METRO VANCOUVER’S TRANSIT & TRANSPORTATION REFERENDUM
•Voting ‘Yes’ for better transit and transportation helps the economy, the environment and our quality of life.
•Voting ‘Yes’ is the single biggest step we can take to improve the region’s health, economy and livability while fighting climate change. It’s the most important decision our region will make for the next 20 years as we prepare to add 1 million more residents to our region.
•The mayors’ plan invests in every mode of transportation and will benefit everyone in Metro Vancouver (e.g. citizens, business, students, drivers). The plan includes enhancements for every municipality (examples below). It also marries accountability and transparency with the green/business/community values we share as a region.
•Committed investments of the Mayors’ Council Transit & Transportation Plan
•Three Light Rail Transit lines to Surrey – connecting with Langley as well – to help improve transit service south of the Fraser.
•75% more B-line fast bus service – 11 new routes as well as 400 new buses – a 25% service increase (from 1800 buses to 2200).
•70% of Metro Vancouver residents will have access to more frequent transit service throughout the day, especially during rush hours.
•50% more SeaBus service: Every 10 minutes during peak hours, and 15 minutes the rest of the day.
•Upgrades to the Expo, Millennium and Canada Lines: 129 more passenger cars for SkyTrain and stations upgraded to meet growing demand.
•More West Coast Express service: 10 additional train cars and one new locomotive.
NightBus service will be boosted by 80%
•A new, safer Pattullo Bridge along with massive road improvement projects
•2,700 kilometres of bikeways.
•Increase Handi-Dart service for people with disabilities by 30%.
•Extend the Millenium SkyTrain line underground along Broadway in Vancouver to Arbutus.