Remember the under-appreciated miracle that was The Mayors’ Plan?
That plan that almost all of the Mayors, 1 Chief, and 1 Director of Metro Vancouver agreed upon? Most voters had no idea what a huge accomplishment it was for 21 municipalities, 1 Treaty First Nation, and Electoral Area A to agree on the transportation infrastructure we needed as a region for the next 10 years – and in what order – just in time for our first transportation plebiscite.
The bad news is, those projects have been delayed ever since. The good news is, that plan is still useful. I’ve heard from a reliable source that The Mayors’ Plan continues to represent Metro Vancouver’s transportation needs to the federal government in recent budget preparations and negotiations. This includes a Broadway subway, LRT south of the Fraser, and 2700 kms of bikeways. My guess is that 11 new rapid bus routes will be the fastest to implement.
Further to Ken’s post earlier today Federal Budget — the Wish List in anticipation of tomorrow’s announcement, here’s another interesting bit from Toronto Mayor John Tory’s op-ed piece:

Every day, more than 2.7 million trips are taken on Toronto’s transit system. In Montreal, more than 2.2 million are taken on the Metro on an average day, while the Vancouver system sees more than 1.1 million.

[…] Taken together, their daily ridership numbers are higher than the combined populations of eight Canadian provinces and territories.

What’s not in The Mayors’ Plan? A 10 lane bridge to a fertile land that might soon be literally and figuratively below sea level. Let’s hope the federal budget focusses on sustainable transportation.
Stay tuned for more on this tomorrow.


  1. Yes, some portions of the plan are decent. Many are not. It is far too bus based and not bold enough. It misses many aspects.
    Missing is
    a) subway to UBC or even to new Jericho land (plan says it ends at Arbutus)
    b) RAPID transit to N-Van, E-Van, W-Van and S-Richmond.
    c) new bridges / bridge replacements for Oak Street and Knight street bridge and a third crossing further east aligning with boundary road.
    d) pedestrian zones downtown and 50% less roads downtown
    f) second southbound subway (say under Granville or Burrard) or lengthening of stations under Cambie
    g) any sense of local contribution by squatters, i.e. charging for parking on public land. See related article here:
    Why be responsible as a local government when one can offload costs, taxes and debt to others, i.e. province and feds ?
    Sustainable transportation such as a toll free Champlain bridge for Montreal ?
    $30B/year new debt is sustainable ?
    Please remember that sustainability has THREE components: environmental, social and financial. A massive untolled bridge is not sustainable in my opinion, and neither is free parking in Point Grey, Richmond, Burnaby or N-Van !

    1. It’s certainly challenging coming up with a plan that so many mayors with their own agendas have to agree upon. I don’t agree we need more roads or bridges for vehicles. I’d like to see at least some of the transit you suggest. And we agree on charging for parking and mobility pricing (tolling on roads and bridges).

    2. Split personality Thomas?
      c) new bridges / bridge replacements for Oak Street and Knight street bridge and a third crossing further east aligning with boundary road.
      d) pedestrian zones downtown and 50% less roads downtown

      1. roads downtown and roads in the region are different topics, for different folks. Car use in less dense parts of MetroVan will be with us for 100+ years, but downtown is far more walkable.
        Different strategies for different densities.

        1. So we should build big big big now and then undo it all later? How about we leave the roads and bridges smaller in the first place and use transit and TDM to reduce congestion? It will save a fortune and reduce greenhouse gas emissions too. But then you don’t believe in climate change or that 220 cities around the world have tram systems and more are on the way…

  2. It’s ironic that Metro Vancouver’s head office is in the city of Burnaby, where the mayor, as the majority of the citizens of the region, did not support and rejected The Mayors’ Plan.

    1. Indeed! I hadn’t thought of it that way. It’s clear that the City that has 2 extremely frequent train lines through it sees no need for other Cities to have something similar.

  3. We shouldn’t forget that Vancouver’s transit system moved 2.7 million people a day during the Olympics, the equivalent of Toronto’s daily ridership with twice the population. From this experience we know what can be accomplished when governments set their minds to it.

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