Civic leaders feel aid will help fix transit woes
rafe arnott/metro vancouver
The province’s $14-billion transit plan will go a long way to address the needs of commuters in the Lower Mainland, Metro Vancouver mayors said yesterday.
The plan includes construction of the Evergreen Line and extensions of the Expo and Millennium Lines. It aims at doubling ridership to 400 million trips annually.
"In Vancouver you have buses passing up people who are waiting for a bus, in Surrey you simply have a lack of service," said Richmond Mayor Malcolm Brodie, former chair of TransLink. "So you have to address both problems and I think this plan goes a long way toward that."
Surrey Mayor Dianne Watts was pleased with plans to extend the Expo Line to Guildford and was hopeful her city — one of the fastest growing in the province — would get its share of the 1,500 new clean buses.
For his part, Port Moody Mayor Joe Trasolini said he was overjoyed with the province’s commitment to the often-delayed Evergreen Line.
"I’m really happy that finally the provincial government has come up with the $400 million to be part of the partnership to build the Evergreen Line," Trasolini said.
The announcement included plans to extend the Millennium Line out to UBC by 2020. Vancouver Mayor Sam Sullivan said the extension couldn’t "come quickly enough."
"This is great news for the citizens of Vancouver and the region," Sullivan said, adding that he’d like to minimize impacts on merchants and residents through a bored tunnel to UBC.
"Right now we have a situation on Broadway where the buses are absolutely congested. We can’t put many more buses on Broadway. We need to move beyond that."