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Next steps for Evergreen Line and more: an update on TransLink’s potential 2011 supplemental plan

Moving Forward, the plan recommended by our Board, includes the improvements on the map above. Click for a much larger version!

Here’s an update on TransLink’s proposed supplemental plan for 2011, which focuses on funding for the Evergreen Line, the North Fraser Perimeter Road, and several other key projects in our region.

So what’s new?

  • Our Board of Directors has reviewed and approved our two proposed 2011 supplemental plans, and is recommending that the Mayors’ Council approve the version of the plan called Moving Forward, which funds the Evergreen Line, North Fraser Perimeter Road, and a wealth of other transit improvements.
  • Owing to TransLink’s cost-cutting and efficiencies, there is room in the TransLink budget to cover funding for the first year of the Moving Forward plan. So the Board is recommending that TransLink covers this first year, giving the region and the province a year to develop a new revenue alternative to support the remainder of the plan and replenish our reserve funds.
  • However, if an alternative cannot be found, the Mayors’ Council must agree to approve a property tax increase for 2012 to cover the remaining costs. This has to be in place or else the supplemental plan will not be considered fully funded by the Regional Transportation Commissioner.
  • Also, here are some background documents that may be of interest:

What’s in the recommended 2011 supplemental plan?

In addition to the Evergreen Line and the North Fraser Perimeter Road projects, there are substantial improvements here for all major sub-regions of Metro Vancouver, including the Northeast Sector, South of Fraser, North Shore, Richmond, Vancouver, Burnaby and New Westminster.

The region-wide improvements and upgrades outlined will translate into:

  • A nine per cent or 425,000-hour annual bus service increase by 2013, with approximately half of those hours bound for South of Fraser
  • An eight per cent increase in total transit service hours by 2015 resulting from 138,000 of new annual rapid transit hours
  • An eight per cent increase in transit boardings by 2015, equal to 30 million rides per year
  • A drop in vehicle kilometres travelled per capita by 2015; a reversal of historic trends

You can find more information in this backgrounder, or take a look at the full details of the Moving Forward plan in this PDF.

Also: what’s a supplemental plan?

A slide highlighting TransLink's priorities, from the presentation given to councillors and mayors on Thursday, October 7, 2010.

A supplemental plan has to do with our long-term planning process. First, by law, we are required to come up with a base plan every year that states how we will operate for the next three years, plus an outlook on services for the next seven years. The first three years of this base plan must be fully funded by our current revenue streams.

If we want to spend beyond this base plan—to expand, for example—we are allowed by law to come up with supplemental plans, which then must be approved by our Board, reported on by the Regional Transportation Commissioner, and approved by the Mayors’ Council. But we have to explain exactly where we’ll get our funding for this supplemental plan, and we need to outline what we are going to spend it on. Which is why the topic of the property tax and such keep coming up.

So what’s next?

Now the Regional Transportation Commissioner must review and report on the 2011 supplemental plan, and then the Mayors’ Council will vote on it in their next meeting, slated for early- to mid-December 2010. I’ll have more info as it comes!

Remember, you can check out the 2011 Supplemental Plan site and this past Buzzer post on the 2011 planfor much more detail.

And here are some links to media coverage so far:


21 Comments

  • By reallyprofound, November 10, 2010 @ 3:40 pm

    Fantastic, deep article that leaves nothing to the imagination. Looking forward to the Evergreen line!

  • By Sewing, November 10, 2010 @ 3:45 pm

    Jhenifer:

    The article mentions “two proposed supplemental plans,” but only one is actually discussed. What is the other one, or am I missing something?

    Also, if the supplement is rejected, what happens to a project like the Evergreen Line, which already has funding commitments from the province and the feds?

  • By Sewing, November 10, 2010 @ 3:47 pm

    On my second question, what I mean is that because all these other long-awaited projects have been lumped in with the Evergreen Line, what happens if the whole kit and kaboodle is rejected?

  • By Jhenifer Pabillano - Buzzer Editor, November 10, 2010 @ 4:50 pm

    Sewing: Sorry for the confusion! The last bullet of the “What’s New” section has a link to the second proposed plan, which is called “Delivering Evergreen Line and North Fraser Perimeter Road.” This plan basically delivers only the Evergreen Line and NFPR, with none of the other improvements. And heck, I’ll paste the link here:
    http://buzzer.translink.ca/wp-content/uploads/2010/11/Delivering-EGL+NFPR-FINAL.pdf

    If the supplement is rejected, TransLink reverts to its base plan, which is basically keep the system as it is, no money for additional expansion. Yes, this presents a challenge for the Evergreen Line and North Fraser Perimeter Road projects, as the federal money committed has a time limit, which is sometime next year. At that point it basically rests with the province and the municipalities to decide what to do next, if we want to keep this funding.

    For the additional projects lumped in with the Evergreen Line, it doesn’t mean they will never happen if the supplement is rejected—it just means we won’t have the money to start doing them in 2011. As they are known priorities, the projects will probably just keep being raised through the yearly planning processes, until finally funding is available and they can go through. They are priorities after all!

  • By Amy, November 10, 2010 @ 5:26 pm

    I didn’t see any mention of the regularly discussed 135 (SFU-Burrard Stn) upgrade to a B-Line route. It would relieve some of the pressure on the 145 route between Production Way and SFU.

    Who would I lobby for this upgrade?

    Thanks!

  • By Jhenifer Pabillano - Buzzer Editor, November 10, 2010 @ 5:34 pm

    Amy: Hmm… as far as I can tell, the only thing that comes close to it is in the Moving Forward PDF, which says this in its plans section: “Vancouver – Improved service on key corridors, such as 4th, 41st and 49th Avenues and possibly others.” Burnaby has a similar note with a “possibly others” item. Nonetheless, I will pass on your suggestion to the 10-Year Plan project team :) You can also feel free to put your comments into our Customer Feedback Form, where it will be aggregated with similar requests and passed on to the planners in charge.

  • By Sewing, November 10, 2010 @ 6:29 pm

    Thanks, Jhenifer.

  • By Eugene T.S. Wong, November 12, 2010 @ 8:17 am

    Overall this seems like good news. Thanks for sharing, Jhenifer.

  • By Dan, November 12, 2010 @ 12:46 pm

    the 135 service is actually quite fast (only 35 – 40min each way). limited service in Burnaby along Hastings would tick many people off and not meat up with transfers. I don’t think people would be too happy to transfer to another bus just to get to downtown. Leave it the way it is just add some extra coaches to increase service and that’s only during rush hour.) The only improvement i would like to see on Sunday to every 10min service and in the evenings keep it up to every 8 -10min service. Other than that don’t change the 135 service.

  • By Jacob, November 12, 2010 @ 10:58 pm

    What’s with no limited stop on fraser highway?

  • By Andrew, November 14, 2010 @ 10:26 pm

    How can we support the Evergreen Line without supporting phase I of the NFPR? It seems that the only reason why the NFPR is being considered is because there is some federal money on the table. NFPR rates very low on the scale of usefulness to work towards our 2040 transportation goals. In fact I expect it works against many of our transportation goals as it will simply encourage commuters to drive instead of using the Evergreen Line. (was it possible for aspects of projects to count negatively when determining the project’s overall value relative to other projects?)

    A similar situation existed 7-8 years ago when the Province offered to fund the United-Braid connector. However it was dropped at that time when it was realized that the connector would make traffic worse in New Westminster and do little to help move goods in the region. What has changed to make this project any more palatable?

    We should not be spending money on projects just because some bureaucrat in Ottawa thinks its a good idea. There are better and more important projects to spend our money on.

  • By Robert, November 16, 2010 @ 1:51 pm

    FYI, the date of the upcoming Mayors’ Council meeting is Dec. 9th.

  • By Tessa, November 21, 2010 @ 5:17 pm

    Jhennifer, why must the Evergreen Line funding be contingent upon approving funding for the North Fraser Perimeter Road? There’s a lot of people who would love to see and support funding for transit but don’t want to see expansion of the road system and the Gateway program. Why can’t each project be voted on separately? It seems from comments above and on other websites that I’m not the only one thinking about this.

  • By Robert, November 22, 2010 @ 11:35 am

    Also begs the question that if both major projects are voted down and Translink does has some money available for 2011, would they be able to proceed with one-time projects that don’t add operational costs, e.g. station upgrades?

  • By Jhenifer Pabillano - Buzzer Editor, November 25, 2010 @ 3:59 pm

    Andrew, Tessa, Robert: Sorry for the delay! I’ve passed your questions on for replies… stay tuned!

  • By Jhenifer Pabillano - Buzzer Editor, December 1, 2010 @ 5:27 pm

    Andrew, Tessa, Robert: Sorry for the delay again, but here is what I have for you so far from our planning team.

    Once the plans are approved by the TransLink Board and submitted to the Commissioner and the Mayors’ Council they can’t be edited to add/remove a project or element. The Mayors’ Council can vote them up or down. If they vote them down (or don’t vote on them at all) then the Base Plan prevails.

    We use the consultation period to determine what projects should be included in the final versions of the plans. The Evergreen Line isn’t contingent on the North Fraser Perimeter Road, but it is true that we didn’t put forward any plan options that includes one but not the other.

    It is our perspective that the NFPR is consistent with our Transport 2040 goals, in particular Goal 5 “Economic growth and efficient goods movement are facilitated through effective management of the transportation network” and also our Goal 1 to reduce GHGs – the analysis shows that GHGs will be reduced because this is an important goods movement corridor and will reduce congestion, idling, and longer trips as vehicles take circuitous routes to avoid this bottleneck.

    Finally, on the money question – TransLink can “bridge” a year only if we have the certainty that we will have increased revenues beginning in 2012.

    Andrew: I have passed your specific question about United Boulevard on to that project’s planning team… will hopefully have an answer shortly.

  • By Jhenifer Pabillano - Buzzer Editor, December 9, 2010 @ 11:21 am

    Andrew: so sorry for the delayed follow up. I missed putting up this answer last week when it came in. The question I sent along was your comment: “A similar situation existed 7-8 years ago when the Province offered to fund the United-Braid connector. However it was dropped at that time when it was realized that the connector would make traffic worse in New Westminster and do little to help move goods in the region. What has changed to make this project any more palatable?”

    Here is the response from Sany Zein, our Director of Roads.

    There is a long history to the NFPR that predates even TransLink’s existence.

    But it has always been important for New Westminster that this project not result in increased regional traffic on Braid Street north of Brunette, and other non-regional roads. Therefore, the designs being currently considered for the United Boulevard Extension encourage traffic to stay on the United / Brunette corridor, and away from Braid Street / 8th Avenue. The project as currently proposed would close off the current south leg at the intersection of Braid and Brunette, and channel traffic from United to Brunette south of Braid. The Braid / 8th corridor would benefit from the reduction in regional traffic and the proposed restrictions on trucks.

    By removing the bottlenecks at the bridge and the rail tracks, trucks traveling between United and Brunette will definitely benefit – today they are regularly caught up in long line ups. Trucks making deliveries to and from the Braid Industrial Park will also benefit.

Other Links to this Post

  1. Tweets that mention Next steps for Evergreen Line and more: an update on TransLink’s potential 2011 supplemental plan -- Topsy.com — November 10, 2010 @ 3:36 pm

  2. The Buzzer blog » United Boulevard Extension open houses, Nov 18 and 25 — November 16, 2010 @ 11:45 am

  3. The Buzzer blog » Moving on Evergreen Line and more: an update on TransLink’s 2011 supplemental plans — November 26, 2010 @ 4:41 pm

  4. The Buzzer blog » Moving Forward public meetings — August 26, 2011 @ 12:26 pm

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