In a few weeks, B.C. will be officially opening the widest bridge in the world. Which will connect to a widened Trans-Canada Highway. Which will connect to an at-the-moment under-utilized Golden Ears Crossing. Connecting to the Pitt River Bridge, then in turn to the vast new Cape Horn Interchange, linking to pieces of the North Fraser Perimeter Road, across from the construction of the South Fraser Perimeter Road – just part of the multi-billion expansion of road-based infrastructure.
All justified as necessary for the economic health and growth of our economy, to reduce congestion, to improve our quality of life. Etc.
So, please help explain this:
TransLink has released a very important document that lays out our plan for the next three years of transit in Metro Vancouver. Our draft 2013 Base Plan is a blueprint for transit planning, funding and servicing.
TransLink will not proceed with:
- Implementing approximately 306,000 hours of planned increases of bus service hours
- Expanded SeaBus service to provide 15-minute service on Sundays and holidays in fall, winter and spring
- Restoring original funding for cycling programs and the Major Road Network
- Ten-minute, off-peak frequency on the Highway 1 Rapid Bus service
- The White Rock Centre extension on the King George Boulevard B-Line service
Yes, the Evergreen Line and Rapidbus on Highway 1 goes ahead – both priorities of Province – along with a partial B-line on King George and some (but not all) upgrades to SkyTrain stations, plus additional hours on congested routes. Reality: the news will be dominated by the cutbacks that TransLink will be compelled to make in order to offset declining revenues and the failure of decision-makers to even discuss new revenue sources.
It’s not for lack of resources in this province – as the road-based list above indicates. Remember, even TransLink is still proceeding on the design of a six-lane bridge to replace the Pattullo. However, when it comes to transit: “Over the next three years, we will live within our means and only deliver those services for which we have the necessary funding,” said Nancy Olewiler, the TransLink board’s chair. (More details here.)
We have made a decision: we don’t want to spend the money on transit and other options while doubling down on a transportation vision that was relevant a half-century ago and may not be even in the next decade. The next generation, however, will be paying for both the infrastructure we decided to build for us and the lack of options for them.