Rendering of a planned Surrey light rail train. (City of Surrey)

New federal deal unlocks $2.2B in TransLink cash

Money will help pay for Ottawa’s share of projects like Surrey light rail, Millennium Line expansion

A $4.1-billion funding agreement between Ottawa and B.C. has unlocked the $2.2 billion in federal money that TransLink needs to complete the next phase of its 10-year vision to improve transit and transportation in Metro Vancouver.

The 10-year agreement was announced Monday by federal Infrastructure and Communities Minister Amarjeet Sohi and B.C. Transportation Minister Claire Trevena in Vancouver.

It comes from a pool of $33 billion already set aside by Ottawa for provincial funding agreements.

Ottawa had previously promised to cover 40 per cent of project costs for phase two of the vision, which includes the construction of Surrey light rail, upgrades to the Millennium and Expo SkyTrain lines and an additional 420,000 hours of bus service. B.C. had pledged to cover another 40 per cent, while TransLink and the region’s mayors would come up with 20 per cent.

Surrey light rail was originally scheduled to be up and running by 2024 but following the federal announcement, Surrey Mayor Linda Hepner bumped up the operating date of the City Centre-Newton and Guildford lines to 2021 in a Tuesday morning message to Black Press Media.

TransLink CEO Kevin Desmond called the announcement “another milestone on the path toward a fully funded phase two” of the 10-year-vision.

“Transit ridership in Metro Vancouver has never been higher and with over one million more people coming to the region over the next three decades, we need to be prepared,” Desmond said in a statement.

The plan had previously included a new Pattullo Bridge, but in February, the provincial government announced that it would solely fund the $1.4-billion new crossing.

The agreement finally being signed means a major step forward in the transportation plan. Last month, Metro Vancouver mayors announced they would fill their $70-billion gap with increases to parking, transit fares and property taxes.

The feds’ remaining $1.9 billion announced Monday will be split between BC Transit ($464 million), greenhouse gas emission-reducing infrastructure ($1.1 billion), projects to improve the quality of life in northern communities ($166 million), and culture and recreation projects ($157 million).

The funding will pay for up to 40 per cent of new builds and 50 per cent of repair and rehabilitation projects.

Rural and northern communities will get 50 per cent of all costs covered, while communities under 5,000 people will get 60 per cent.


@katslepian

katya.slepian@bpdigital.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Sources, City of White Rock launch Thanksgiving Food Drive

Volunteers, donations sought for annual food-bank initiative

Surrey man charged with series of break-ins in Surrey, Langley

David Sinh Liu is facing 10 charges related to seven recent break-ins

COVID-19 exposures at Surrey schools: An updated list

Fraser Health has created a new webpage listing COVID-19 cases in schools

Future of Massey Tunnel replacement in the air after snap election called

On Friday the ministry said it was identifying property ‘necessary for future infrastructure improvements’

COVID-19: 4 more deaths, 366 new cases in B.C. since Friday

A total of 8,208 people in B.C. have tested positive for COVID-19 since January

Group wants Parliament, courts to hold social media to same standard as publishers

Daniel Bernhard made the comments shortly after Friends of Canadian Broadcasting released a research paper

COVID-19 testing lineup wraps around block in Chilliwack

Testing lineup includes seniors, children and their parents as demand seems to surge

B.C.’s Chase Claypool catches first NFL touchdown pass

Abbotsford grad establishes new record for longest scrimmage TD by a Canadian

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

B.C. has highest number of active COVID-19 cases per capita, federal data shows

B.C. currently has 1,803 active cases after weeks of COVID-19 spikes in the province

181 days gone: Family continues to look for man last seen in RCMP custody 6 months ago

Brandon Sakebow’s last known location was leaving Mission RCMP cell, police say; family has doubts

Most Read