TransLink hopes to speed up transit service delivery

TransLink is looking at whether it can deliver some of the services promised in the third phase of a 10-year transit plan sooner than expected.

The regional transit authority is hoping that doing so will help address overcrowding on the system.

“We’ve recognized that there are huge demands on our transit service here in Metro,” said New Westminster Mayor Jonathan Coté, who chairs the Mayors’ Council on Regional Transportation. “We’re seeing record ridership growth and that’s put even more pressure on the Mayors’ Council to try and speed up the implementation of better transit service across the region.”

The first two phases of the 10-year vision for Metro Vancouver transportation are already fully funded and TransLink has started to deliver the promised services.

The third phase calls for further increases to bus service — including five new B-Lines and two new service areas — and HandyDART, upgrades to SkyTrain stations, more West Coast Express cars, transit exchange upgrades, and work on the major road, walking and cycling networks. This phase has not been funded.

In February, the council asked staff to look at whether some of those services, like new bus routes, could be delivered ahead of schedule. A report from staff that was presented on Friday suggested two options: waiting on Phase 3 development until federal and provincial funding is committed, or delivering the phase in two parts, with one investment plan in 2020 and a second in 2022-23.

Richmond Mayor Malcolm Brodie said he is personally in favour of accelerating Phase 3.

“I very much think we need to keep going and not wait until we get those firm commitments,” Brodie said.

Surrey’s mayor agreed, but suggested that the plan should be tackled as a whole, not piecemeal.

“Let’s get on with it and let’s push hard, because we have to keep the …read more

Source:: Vancouver Sun

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