A 10 per cent increase in bus service in Metro Vancouver is promised as part of a first phase transit expansion plan

Public’s chance on TransLink’s transit expansion plan

Small hikes in property tax, fares proposed, creation of new development charge if Metro Vancouver mayors vote in favour

TransLink’s plan to expand transit service – funded by an increase in TransLink property taxes and fares as well as the creation of a new development cost charge – has now gone out for public comment.

Metro Vancouver mayors will vote on the plan in November.

It would provide for a near-immediate expansion of transit service, including more frequent SkyTrain, buses and SeaBuses early in 2017, and new B-line express bus routes in future years along with increased West Coast Express capacity.

The first phase of the 10-year vision would also advance the design of future new rapid transit lines in Surrey and along the Broadway corridor in Vancouver.

Open houses on the plan (all from 4 to 8 p.m.) are set for Oct. 18 in Maple Ridge (ACT Art Centre lobby), Oct. 19 in Vancouver (Collingwood Neighbourhood House multipurpose room), Oct. 20 in Surrey (Chuck Bailey Rec Centre), and Oct. 24 in Richmond (Kwantlen Polytechnic University – Melville Centre for Dialogue room A).

For more details on the plan, including benefits for each sub-region, and a feedback questionnaire see tenyearvision.translink.ca. Oct. 31 is the deadline to comment.

An average home assessed at $678,000 would pay $190 a year in dedicated property taxes to TransLink next year (an increase of $3 over and above the automatic annual increase for TransLink of about $2) and that would increase a further $3 a year thereafter.

For a $1 million property that translates to $285 in TransLink property tax in 2017 with $4 annual increases.

The most discomfort with the plan and its property tax increases so far have come from mayors of cities with high land values, such as West Vancouver.

Under the plan, the average business assessed at $2.6 million would pay $3,021 next year and see the TransLink property tax rise a further $45 each year.

The proposed fare increases would require riders who now pay $2.10 for one zone of travel with stored value on a Compass card to pay $2.20 in 2017 and $2.40 by 2019. One zone monthly passes would climb from $91 to $98 over the same period.

Details of the planned development cost charge are still to be determined, but TransLink has suggested it would aim to raise up to $20 million a year by charging $700 to $2,000 extra on new housing units and $0.50 per square foot on new commercial buildings.

The TransLink plan suggests developers would aim to pay less for land in response, and not simply add simply increase their prices for new homes.

“There would be no negative impact on housing affordability” at the rates contemplated, it says, adding fees could be reduced or eliminated for certain types of affordable housing.

The new plan for transit expansion follows the defeat of a referendum last year on a 0.5 per cent regional sales tax to fund what was then a one-third regional share requirement.

Since then, the federal government has pledged to cover half of capital costs, reducing the regional share to 17 per cent.

Phase One 10-Year Vision Public Consultation Display Boards by Jeff Nagel on Scribd

Just Posted

South Surrey church members ‘praying for accused mother… for the whole process’

Lisa Batstone’s second-degree murder trial continues this week in B.C. Supreme Court

City will ask Fraser Health to remove pay parking at SMH, Surrey councillor says

Surrey’s new council has already made parking free on neighbouring city streets

Health and Technology District breaks ground on new building

City Centre 3 is the third of eight planned buildings: Lark Group

Spawning salmon returning to North Delta’s Cougar Creek

It’s early in the season, but the streamkeepers are hopeful it could be a good year for returns

Former Surrey gymnast shining on rugby pitch for Bayside

An injury forced Brady Reeleder to switch sports, and now he’s thriving at his new endeavour

Winter weather hits parts of Canada

As some parts of the country brace for cold, parts of B.C. remain warmer than 10 C

B.C. teacher’s Amazing Race takes students on Canada-wide adventure

Agassiz high school students say they had the experience of a life time

Don’t sign USMCA until LGBTQ language excised, U.S. lawmakers urge Trump

The trade agreement, forged after 13 months of tense negotiations between Canada and the U.S. is scheduled for Nov. 30

US official: US intel says prince ordered Khashoggi killing

Vice-President Mike Pence told reporters that ‘the murder of Jamal Khashoggi was an atrocity.’

Giants serve up major defeat to Pats at Langley Events Centre

On the ice, Vancouver G-Men wrap up home stand with a 10-4 win over Regina Friday night.

Canada’s health system commendable overall but barriers to care remain: UN

The United Nations says Canada’s health care system is “commendable” overall but vulnerable groups still face barriers to quality care.

Unique technology gives children with special needs more independent play

UVic’s CanAssist refined seven prototypes aided by $1.5M government contribution

Kelly Ellard’s boyfriend has statutory release revoked

Darwin Duane Dorozan had several parole infractions that found him ‘unmanageable’

Most Read