Rendering of a planned Surrey light rail train. (City of Surrey)

New federal deal unlocks $2.2B in TransLink cash

Money will help pay for Ottawa’s share of projects like Surrey light rail, Millennium Line expansion

A $4.1-billion funding agreement between Ottawa and B.C. has unlocked the $2.2 billion in federal money that TransLink needs to complete the next phase of its 10-year vision to improve transit and transportation in Metro Vancouver.

The 10-year agreement was announced Monday by federal Infrastructure and Communities Minister Amarjeet Sohi and B.C. Transportation Minister Claire Trevena in Vancouver.

It comes from a pool of $33 billion already set aside by Ottawa for provincial funding agreements.

Ottawa had previously promised to cover 40 per cent of project costs for phase two of the vision, which includes the construction of Surrey light rail, upgrades to the Millennium and Expo SkyTrain lines and an additional 420,000 hours of bus service. B.C. had pledged to cover another 40 per cent, while TransLink and the region’s mayors would come up with 20 per cent.

Surrey light rail was originally scheduled to be up and running by 2024 but following the federal announcement, Surrey Mayor Linda Hepner bumped up the operating date of the City Centre-Newton and Guildford lines to 2021 in a Tuesday morning message to Black Press Media.

TransLink CEO Kevin Desmond called the announcement “another milestone on the path toward a fully funded phase two” of the 10-year-vision.

“Transit ridership in Metro Vancouver has never been higher and with over one million more people coming to the region over the next three decades, we need to be prepared,” Desmond said in a statement.

The plan had previously included a new Pattullo Bridge, but in February, the provincial government announced that it would solely fund the $1.4-billion new crossing.

The agreement finally being signed means a major step forward in the transportation plan. Last month, Metro Vancouver mayors announced they would fill their $70-billion gap with increases to parking, transit fares and property taxes.

The feds’ remaining $1.9 billion announced Monday will be split between BC Transit ($464 million), greenhouse gas emission-reducing infrastructure ($1.1 billion), projects to improve the quality of life in northern communities ($166 million), and culture and recreation projects ($157 million).

The funding will pay for up to 40 per cent of new builds and 50 per cent of repair and rehabilitation projects.

Rural and northern communities will get 50 per cent of all costs covered, while communities under 5,000 people will get 60 per cent.


@katslepian

katya.slepian@bpdigital.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Abbotsford woman charged after police find loaded gun in bag at mall

Danielle Rigdon, now facing 11 charges this year, was on house arrest at the time

Vehicle crashes, flips on its side in downtown Mission

The vehicle came to a stop in front of the Mission Post Office

SLIDESHOW: Abbotsford celebrates balmy start to spring

Readers share photos of how they’re enjoying the glorious sunshine

Abbotsford the hottest spot in Canada as temperatures near 25 C

Abbotsford hottest spot in Canada on Tuesday

Abbotsford school officials hope for new school approval before July

Eagle Mountain elementary school proposed back in October 2016 may finally see light this year

VIDEO: Can you believe it? This B.C. hill pulls cars backwards up a slope

Sir Isaac Newton had clearly never been to this Vernon anomaly when he discovered gravity

Canucks hang on for 7-4 win over Senators

Horvat nets 2 for Vancouver

European, Canadian regulators to do own review of Boeing jet

Air Canada plans to remove the Boeing 737 Max from its schedule at least through July 1

Prime minister defends Liberal budget measures as sales effort gets underway

Conservatives under Andrew Scheer say it’s a spree funded by borrowing against the future

Mayor meets with B.C. health minister on homeless taxi transfers

Two homeless people were discharged from Surrey Memorial and sent to a Chilliwack shelter

B.C. lottery winner being sued by co-workers

They claim he owes them $200,000 each, in a lawsuit filed in B.C. Supreme Court in Vancouver

Teacher reprimanded for conduct towards special needs student

Alan Stephen Berry told vice principal he did not have time to use positive strategies

‘Full worm super moon’ to illuminate B.C. skies on first day of spring

Spring has sprung, a moon named in honour of thawing soil marks final super moon until 2020

Having phone within sight while driving does not violate law: B.C. judge

The mere presence of a cell phone within sight of a driver is not enough for a conviction, judge says

Most Read