Double regional bus service, more rapid transit, more cycling
NEW WESTMINSTER, BC – TransLink and the Mayors’ Council on Regional Transportation today released Transport 2050: 10-Year Priorities, detailing priority investments to meet the increasing demand for transit and support the transportation needs of Metro Vancouver’s growing population.
The proposed 10-Year Priorities is the next step to implement the ambitious goals and targets set out in Transport 2050, Metro Vancouver’s recently approved 30-year Regional Transportation Strategy.
Proposed investments detailed in the 10-Year Priorities include:
- Doubling regional bus service levels
- Up to 170 kilometres of new rapid transit on up to 11 corridors, including:
- Up to nine Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) routes using new zero-emission buses on dedicated, traffic-separated lanes
- A rapid transit connection to the North Shore
- The Burnaby Mountain Gondola to SFU
- The Millennium Line SkyTrain extension from Arbutus to UBC
- Exploring other potential SkyTrain extensions, including Newton in Surrey and Port Coquitlam
- Building 450 kilometres of new traffic-separated cycling paths
The Transport 2050 Strategy concluded that there is an urgent and widespread need to address climate change, housing affordability, and traffic congestion by increasing and improving transit service as quickly and cost-effectively as possible.
With Transport 2050: 10-Year Priorities, TransLink is proposing an expansion of the SkyTrain network, an unprecedented increase in local bus service, and introducing high-capacity Bus Rapid Transit. This new zero-emissions bus-based rapid transit could be deployed along high-demand corridors throughout Metro Vancouver at a fraction of the cost and time compared to rail-based technology. See the Bus Rapid Transit backgrounder for more details.
In addition to Transport 2050: 10-Year Priorities, TransLink is also releasing the 2022 Investment Plan, which aims to stabilize funding over the next three years.
TransLink is accepting comments from the public on both the 2022 Investment Plan and Transport 2050: 10-Year Priorities starting today. Visit translink.ca/priorities to take the survey until May 4, 2022.
Transport 2050: 10-Year Priorities Facts:
Transport 2050: 10-Year Priorities is a blueprint that identifies our region’s top priorities, so we can get started right away on the first ten years of Transport 2050 investments, which will be funded through future Investment Plans. It is an update to the Mayors’ Council’s 2014 Vision for Metro Vancouver Transit and Transportation.
The proposal includes:
- The fast deployment of rapid transit: up to nine new traffic-separated Bus Rapid Transit lines
- More than doubling bus service over 2022 levels, bringing us one-third of the way to the service levels set out in Transport 2050
- Building the Burnaby Mountain Gondola to Simon Fraser University, joining a growing suite of urban public transit gondolas worldwide
- Immediately advance the required planning, engagement, and design work to confirm the best alignment, technology, grade separation, terminus locations and phasing for a rapid transit connection between Metrotown and Park Royal via the Second Narrows corridor to be implemented in the latter half of the plan, while delivering better bus service in the short term
- The Millennium Line SkyTrain extension from Arbutus Street to the University of British Columbia, pending the development of a new funding model with project partners
- Investing in active transport: completing 75 per cent of the 850-kilometre traffic-separated Major Bikeway Network and building bike networks in every Urban Centre and creating 200 new bike lockers and six new bike parkades
- A 60 per cent increase to HandyDART service to meet future ridership demand and provide 24-hour service
- Increasing SeaBus service start and end times to match Expo Line SkyTrain service span
Jonathan Coté, Chair, Mayors’ Council on Regional Transportation –
“Transport 2050: 10-Year Priorities is an ambitious and necessary plan that outlines more than double the investments from our previous Mayors’ Vision. I am confident that with a broadly supported set of priorities and a strong partnership with the Province of BC and the Government of Canada, we can deliver on these shared benefits.”
Kevin Quinn, CEO, TransLink –
“It’s critical that we lay the groundwork for achieving the region’s shared goals set out in Transport 2050. Our region needs to rapidly invest in transportation improvements to combat climate change, address the housing affordability crisis, and improve congestion in a growing region. Transport 2050: 10-Year Priorities will chart a fast and effective course to quality transportation choices for the people of Metro Vancouver.”
George Heyman, Minister of Environment and Climate Change Strategy –
“Expanding and strengthening our public transit is one of the smartest ways to address climate change, reduce time-wasting congestion and make transportation more affordable and convenient. The priorities in this plan are wide-ranging, ambitious, and achievable. They will support the shift in transportation initiatives that are a central part of both our CleanBC Climate Roadmap and TransLink’s own plans.”
- Project Engagement Webpage
- 2022 Investment Plan and 10-Year Priorities Discussion Guide
- Transport 2050 Webpage
TransLink Media Relations
Backgrounder: 2022 Investment Plan
Like all transit providers across North America, TransLink faced unprecedented financial challenges during the COVID-19 pandemic, with significant impact on transit ridership and fare revenue. Planning for beyond the pandemic, TransLink must ensure that it has a strong foundation to build upon by stabilizing funding. The 2022 Investment Plan aims to stabilize funding over the next three years by maintaining transit services, advancing strategic projects, and replacing lost revenue streams.
TransLink updates its Investment Plan at least every three years, as required by legislation, and to account for new investment priorities.
Highlights of the 2022 Investment Plan:
- Maintaining 2022 bus service levels through 2024
- Fulfilling the regional funding share to complete the Surrey Langley SkyTrain project in 2028, including a new operations and maintenance centre
- Bus fleet electrification which includes putting over 462 battery-electric buses in service by 2030
- Bus speed and reliability improvements, which will invest $21.6 million and result in net savings of almost $32 million in operating costs
- Implementation of the R6 Scott Road RapidBus and bus priority infrastructure for the R7 Richmond to Expo Line RapidBus line
- Increasing HandyDART service by 3% over pre-COVID levels in 2023
- Making streets safer through investments in walking, biking, rolling, and roads
- Providing washrooms at six locations across the transit network to improve accessibility and the customer experience of taking transit
- Upgrading the Compass system technology to enable new features and products to improve the customer experience
Backgrounder: Bus Rapid Transit (BRT)
What is Bus Rapid Transit (BRT)?
BRT is fully traffic separated rapid transit that provides high-frequency, high-capacity service on high-demand corridors. It can be built at a fraction of the cost of rail-based technology and can be built in a fraction of the time.
A Bus Rapid Transit system has three defining characteristics:
Traffic separation and signal priority: vehicles are separated (often physically) from general traffic in their own lanes, keeping them speedy and reliable. At intersections, BRT vehicles have signal priority over general traffic.
Fast and convenient boarding: to keep the system fast, customers prepay and board through multiple doors, minimizing the amount of time a vehicle needs to remain stopped. Stations are modern, high quality, and built at street level, making them easy to access.
Specialized vehicles: to enable high passenger capacities, buses are articulated and have spacious interiors, which in combination with amenities help put the customer experience at the forefront. Vehicles would be electric or produce zero-emissions with advanced driver assistance controls, ensuring a smooth ride.
What we’re proposing:
We’re matching service to projected future demand, to ensure we have the right technology in the right place to handle the transportation demands of a growing region.
We’re proposing implementing BRT on the following corridors:
- Hastings St (upgrade from R5)
- King George Blvd (Surrey to White Rock)
- Langley – Haney Place (200 St - Golden Ears - Lougheed Hwy)
- Lougheed Hwy (upgrade from R3)
- Lynn Valley – Downtown/Lonsdale (Lions Gate)
- Metrotown – Park Royal (Second Narrows)
- Marine Dr Station – 22nd St Station (Marine Way)
- Richmond Centre – Metrotown (Knight-Victoria-49th Ave)
- Scott Road (upgrade from R6)
BRT is economical to deploy — approximately 25 times less expensive per kilometre than SkyTrain (including stations) — because it can be implemented at street level and doesn’t require tunneling or the construction of elevated guideways.
|Construction costs per kilometre|
Quick to deploy
Before any procurement and construction begins, all rapid transit systems must undergo significant study and engagement. Including business case development, this process can take anywhere from 1 to 3 years. However, one of the main advantages of BRT is that it can be rapidly deployed.
|Construction time per line|
More people with access to rapid transit
Based on the nine proposed corridors within the Transport 2050: 10-Year Priorities, people in the region would see an immediate benefit with fast, frequent, and reliable transit options, particularly suited for long-distance trips in the region.
|Expanding access to rapid transit (by 2035)|
BRT and SkyTrain Combined
- TransLink has committed to net-zero greenhouse gas emissions through its Climate Action Strategy, and is targeting a zero-emission bus fleet by 2040.
- We envision that the introduction of BRT in the region would be supported by zero-emissions vehicles, such as through as through hydrogen, overhead-electric, or battery-electric buses.
- The rapid deployment of BRT would provide rapid transit access to hundreds of thousands of Metro Vancouverites, facilitating quick and zero-emission travel across the region in time to make meaningful contributions to the region’s ambitious 2030 GHG reduction targets from the transportation sector.
Partnering with municipalities
- The BRT priority corridors identified in the 10-Year Priorities can only be implemented quickly if championed by municipal partners.
- Once Transport 2050: 10-Year Priorities is approved, TransLink will move quickly to develop a detailed municipal partnership framework, to support and engage local communities on future BRT planning decisions.