I wanted to take this opportunity to correct misinformation which appeared in the opinion section of the online edition of the Abbotsford News on Nov. 20, in the item headlined Be Afraid of Metro.
TransLink’s responsibilities are not limited to buses as the letter suggests, but rather TransLink is responsible for planning and maintaining Metro Vancouver’s regional transportation network.
The regional transportation network is critical to the flow of goods and people in the region and includes, but is not limited to, the major road network (most major arteries in Metro Vancouver which are not already managed by the provincial government); bridges (including Golden Ears Bridge and Pattullo Bridge); cycling and sustainability (including AirCare, transit-related road improvements and public consultation); as well as transit (including buses, community shuttles, SkyTrain, SeaBus and HandyDART as well as West Coast Express which services Mission).
In October, the Mayors’ Council voted to raise gas taxes in Metro Vancouver by two cents a litre to fund TransLink’s Moving Forward Plan, which includes the Evergreen Line, improvements to some Expo Line SkyTrain stations, as well as bus service expansion – mainly south of the Fraser.
The province has also committed to finding an alternative funding source to replace a temporary two year increase in property tax which was also needed to fund the above improvements.
Also worth noting is that TransLink is not, as the letter suggests, responsible for the Sea to Sky Highway or its maintenance contract – the province is.
At the heart of the issue is the challenge to balance transportation network needs (roads and transit) with the funding available now, and the ability and willingness of citizens to cover the costs of further improvements.
An agency like TransLink can operate at any level a region chooses, but having one that champions transportation network expansion has been a successful model for Metro.
TransLink’s plans support the region’s objectives and that, combined with its track record in delivering services and improvements, has been instrumental in attracting significant partnership funding from senior governments.
Communications Liaison BC Rapid Transit Co. Ltd
(SkyTrain & West Coast Express)