Plebiscite. Referendum. Transit tax. These words have been on everyone’s lips for the last few weeks, months even. Because Metro Vancouver registered voters are being asked to cast their ballots from March 16th until May 29th of this year to decide if they support the 0.5% Metro Vancouver Congestion Improvement Tax. The tax would be collected with the provincial sales tax.
Why is this happening, you ask? Well, with one million new residents arriving in Metro Vancouver over the next 30 years, we need to get our transportation system ready for growth — and lots of it! The region’s mayors have developed a transportation and transit plan to meet this growth.
Take a look at what this would mean:
- A 25% increase in bus service, including 11 new B-Line rapid bus routes across the region
- Increased service on SkyTrain, Canada Line, SeaBus and West Coast Express
- Maintaining and upgrading the region’s major roads
- A new Pattullo Bridge
- Light rail transit connecting Surrey Centre, Guildford, Newton and Langley
- An extension of the Millennium Line, tunneled below Broadway in Vancouver, from VCC-Clark station to Arbutus Street
- Investments to improve safety and access for cyclists and pedestrians
You can see more on the Mayors’ Council website.
All registered Metro Vancouver voters will vote by mail-in ballot between March 16 and May 29, 2015. To register, or update your information, contact Elections BC at or call 1-800-661-8683.
Author: Adrienne Coling