The Mayors council and the Province have announced the plan that completes funding for Phase 2 of the 10-year vision for regional transportation in Metro Vancouver.

To deliver these projects, the Mayors’ Council is proposing:

  • $1.6 billion in fare revenues expected from higher ridership resulting from service expansion in Phase Two, TransLink resources and efficiencies.
  • A 2% increase to all transit fares over two years beginning in 2020. This amounts to a five to 15 cent increase to adult and concession transit fares and 1 to 3 dollar increase to adult and concession monthly passes to pay for more bus improvements.
  • 15 cents per hour increase for an average $5 per hour parking. This is an increase from 21% to 24% to the existing parking lot rate. Legislative amendments would be required to enable TransLink to make this change.
  • $5.50 increase in property taxes per average household each year or about 46 cents a month, beginning in 2019.
  • About $300 to $600/unit increase to the Development Cost Charge on new residential developments depending on type of dwelling. Legislative changes are required to enable the Mayors Council to levy the DCC.
  • Revenue from a variety of transit-related commercial opportunities.

Key elements of the plan for Phase Two include:

  • Construction of Surrey-Newton-Guildford Light Rail
  • Construction of Millennium Line Broadway Extension
  • Significant upgrade of existing Expo-Millennium Lines to expand capacity to meet and improve the customer experience
  • An 8% increase in bus service to address overcrowding, reduce wait times and bring bus services to communities with limited service
  • Improvements to sidewalks, bikeways, multi-use pathways and roadways



  1. It seems OK, but yet another charge piled on housing, which will make it even more expensive? It’s a shame that the BC Liberals left ICBC in such a mess, making a vehicle levy an even tougher sell. As a motorist I’d happily pay $75, once a year, to go to transit.

    1. Had to go to Surrey the other day. 2h by transit. 45 min by car. So I took the car. 500,000+ folks do similar daily math.
      It has to be RAPID transit.
      Time is money. Where are the RAPID transit expansions that will transform this region ?
      tiny tiny baby steps. Not bold enough.
      DCCs for transit FAR TOO LOW. Ought to be $20,000+ per unit for true improvements.

        1. Even a fifty thousand development cost charge would not increase development costs if parking stalls were not required. The buyer would likely be a transit user. Someone who prefers driving would look elsewhere

  2. Great news. Looking forward to the transit and active transportation improvements getting underway.

  3. Baby steps that will mire the MetroVan region in congestion for decades are celebrated as a huge victory ?
    Where’s the UBC subway?
    Where’s the new MasseyTunnel ?
    Where’s a fast rail link to north shore ?
    Where’s the widenend Lionsgate bridge ?
    Where are congestion fees or vastly increased parking fees to vastly reduce car use?
    Where’s the reduced civil servants salaries & benefits with out of control municipal operating costs?
    Where are fast ferries like we see in Sydney between various shore points in English Bay and Burrard Inlet?
    Transit DCCs of between 300-600 ? Is there a 0 missing .. or 2 ? New construction (by associated in-migration) is causing all this congestion and we hardly charge for it ?
    Baby steps that will do little, IF ANY, in a congested region that is expecting another 1M people the next 30 years. Plan too timid and not bold enough. Baby steps.

    1. We’ve only got 2.5 million people living here. Once there’s a taxpayer base the size of Singapore or New York, we can talk about getting more stuff done; for now, we take what we can get.

    2. Reasons to celebrate:
      1) The Mayor’s Council, representing all the municipalities in Metro, agreed on a path forward (their vision document, phase 1 and phase 2) and a prioritization. That in itself is worthy of celebration. Do you know how hard it is to get that many people to agree on anything?
      2) Even if their favourite item wasn’t included, they all voted together. They recognize the collective good over individual benefits.
      3) They agreed on a funding method to support the 10 year vision referenced above. Again, they didn’t all agree with everything, but they all came together. Even Mayor Corrigan. (that is worthy of a separate point of celebration, perhaps)
      4) The provincial government is working with the mayors, not in isolation from them. That is a huge step forward.
      5) When the mayors agree, and the province agrees, then we get to tap into federal cost sharing.
      6) There is a new sense of stuff happening with respect to Translink. Plans that matter. New transit services. Service changes. Very positive IMO.
      7) It is just a ten year vision. Be prepared to discuss the 20 and 30 year visions soon, and what comes next.
      Thomas, I think what you are asking for is input into the 20 year plan, ie what comes next? Apart from the items you list that are not Translink’s responsibility, like provincial highways.

      1. The plan is a joke. A total joke. I expect more, far more, from local well paid politicians. The main cause of congestion is new in-migrants and the fees / DCCs levied on them for new homes is not high enough. 300-600 per new dwelling. This is an insult to locals. Without RAPID transit to all nodes on MetroVan, incl north shore, and without punishing car use and car park fees nothing will change and the area will drown in congestion. $2 for a bridge toll will not change behaviour. $5 or $12 might though. It’s weak leadership. Very very weak. The Mayors council on transportation should resign. A bored tunnel to Arbutus will not help with congestion for the new dense construction expect at Jericho land, for example, on 4th and Broadway.
        Build infrastructure first, then new condo towers not the other way around.

  4. The entire plan could have been implemented over 5 years ago but the Mayors’ Council wanted to get their foot in the door to a new tax, so they gambled on a sales tax – and boy did they loose. The provincial money was always there, even though not to the same percentage. The difference this time is that the clock is ticking on the federal money (which was always there too) and there’s a deadline. Use it or lose it.
    The north shore residents will not be pleased. Stuck with an ancient freeway, with no shoulder for incidents to be moved off to, and a growing population, the residents will look at this without any excitement or interest. Their traffic will only get worse and their patience will wear thin. The next municipal elections will be interesting.

    1. @Alan, the North Shore voted against improvements to transportation. I have no sympathy for those who voted no. They can stew in the misery that is travel on the North Shore. Those who voted yes are more likely to shake things up.
      The region had to raise it’s share of funds or all the money was gone. It was Clark who caused the problem – not the mayor’s council. They were unanimous in their funding strategy.

      1. Derek Corrigan did not support the mayor’s council when the referendum vote was called before. It was not unanimous.
        Neither did the north shore residents vote against improvements to transportation. All results showed that the no voters were against the plan, as well as the disastrous management of TransLink.

        1. Voters only voted against a region wide increase in the sales tax. The Canadian Tax Federation was somewhat successful in twisting this into a vote against TransLink which , by the way, is one of the best transportation authorities in North America. They certainly did not do us any favours.

        2. The referendum proposed merely a 1/2% PST increase. It was the wrong tax. Better is a combination of levies on new construction, road tolls, higher parking fees, higher transit use fees and far higher property taxes.
          Of course missing is a debate on government efficiencies ie salaries and benefits aligned with private sector realities.
          As stated above, levies on new construction are far FAR too low as in-migrants are the main cause of congestion. As such those levies ought to be the #1 source of funding. The proposed 300-600 per dwelling is a joke and ought to be 30-50 fold as high.
          Secondly from congestion fees ie per km fees of cars plus fees on choke points ( ie bridges, major roads, tunnels ) plus time-of-day fees ie rush hour surcharges. We shall see what transpires here. The drop of PM bridge toll to 0 doesn’t set the right message. All bridges ought to be $5/crossing minimum, far higher in rush hour, for any measurable effect on car use. Is this likely?
          Thirdly higher property taxes ( as opposed to income taxes ) as they far too low.
          Drop provincial income taxes, say to 0 for salaries below $100,000, like booming US states WA or TX. That holistic tax debate is missing in B.C. right now amid unprecedented and continuing in-migration. As such, the congestion will likely continue, or more likely even get far worse, as timid politicians nibble at the margins like these baby steps celebrated as a huge victory.

      2. The region had to raise it’s share of funds or all the money was gone. It was Clark who caused the problem – not the mayor’s council. They were unanimous in their funding strategy.
        yes the mayors were unanimous in their opposition to increase property taxes which could have spared us a referendum:
        suddenly, after a government change, the very same mayors celebrate a property tax increase… (by the way the referendum legislation on translink new source of funding is still in force…)
        In fact the good outcome comes from the federal: It has increased its share from 33% to 40%, The province always matched the feds money (that has happened in early 2017).
        the other “good outcome” for the local politicians, is that the funding issue gone, uncomfortable discussion on mobility pricing can be postponed:

        1. Mobility pricing will be VERY controversial. It will pit car users, especially those from outer regions against folks biking, using transit or walking, most of whom live in inner, denser parts of MetroVan.
          As such, any fees, if any, will be very very tepid and will do little, if anything, to reduce congestion. A $2 toll on a bridge or a tiny per km charge will not persuade enough folks to stop from driving. The congestion is guaranteed, despite all the lip service to study Stockholm, London or Singapore. The region will become more and more unlivable. The white flight to Vancouver Island, Sunshine Coast or Okanagan will continue unabated.

        2. The Port Mann toll was just over $3.. Removing it reportedly cause traffic to jump by up to 38%, depending on the day of the week.
          Why not use data instead of just making stuff up?

        3. Why does mobility pricing have to pit users of different modes against each other? If we can separate raising money for Translink from managing demand, mobility pricing can be about a road use charge vs a fuel tax. It will capture those buying fuel outside Metro (thus avoiding fuel taxes) and drivers of electric vehicles, while being low enough to cause shifts in demand without being onerous. We know from the Port Man data that small charges can drive big behaviour changes.

        4. True in a rational world, Jeff. But the world is irrational and politicians like to benefit from people’s real or perceived misery. Vote for me, and I will fix your plight !
          It will be ugly. Very ugly.
          PM bridge toll demand shift was an aberration as other bridges are still free. Imagine if all are $3. Then what will happen ? Who has the guts to raise them to $6 in rush hour to really reduce demand ? Or $12 on Lionsgate with its constant congestion ? Where is the third crossing or rail line to north shore ?

        5. Thomas Beyer: You must know that mobility pricing as conceived by the mayors’ council is not designed to reduce congestion. It never was. It is designed to get drivers to pay for transit, sidewalks and cycle infrastructure. Removing increasing numbers of parking spaces and increasing parking costs are also mechanisms designed to discourage driving.
          Whenever there is someone that says they avoid Vancouver because of the congestion, or they say that the bridges are congested, this is considered by some as good news. They can then say look, traffic is down, we must not expand any roadway because people don’t use it anymore.
          The trouble is, to get around the ‘region’ requires vehicles and roads.
          Vancouver will increasingly become congested because of the geography. A ring-road cannot be built unless one is built across lots of water.
          People from West Vancouver, Squamish and on are unlikely to drive over the congested 2nd Narrows Bridge and Burnaby if they need to get to the airport in Richmond. Vancouver will keep getting more crowded with vehicles.
          If regressive congestion pricing in introduced the regional mayors will pay at the ballot box, as will the provincial government, even if they try to blame it on Metro.

      3. Thank you Roy.
        Any remaining NDP supporters living on the north shore will be glad to know their votes are no longer needed.

        1. Ah… it becomes clear that Alan J is none other than the troll formerly known as Eric.
          On the other hand, Ron (always known as Ron) still has no sympathy for those who voted no.

        1. I do have little sympathy for those who voted no. These are probably the same people who complain loudly about motor vehicle congestion. Everyone wants an improved transportation system but few are willing to pay for it.

        2. I agree. Much of North America is based on once abundant resources and people got a skewed idea of what things really cost. Vancouver in particular once was a wealthy place shared by a few. Those few people got a wrong idea of what they could expect for a certain cost. Now things are becoming more normal and they’re outraged.

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