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:
- Letter from Board Chair Dale Parker to Mayors’ Council Chair Peter Fassbender
- An overview backgrounder on the two proposed 2011 supplemental plans
- More detail on the Moving Forward plan: Moving Forward: Improving Metro Vancouver’s Transportation Network
- More detail on the other proposed 2011 plan: Delivering Evergreen Line and North Fraser Perimeter Road
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 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!
And here are some links to media coverage so far: