I Love Transit 2018: Metro Vancouver’s growing and we’ve got a plan for it

I Love Transit 2018: Metro Vancouver’s growing and we’ve got a plan for it

Metro Vancouver’s growing and we’ve got a plan for it!

It’s I Love Transit Week! A week where we celebrate our riders, transit enthusiasts and all the things we love about transit. Keeping the momentum of last year, this year’s theme is Connections—the future of transportation in Metro Vancouver.

Over the next two decades and beyond, one million more people are set to call Metro Vancouver home and the economy’s set to add more than 500,000 jobs.

How do we meet the transportation needs of the growing population, ensuring they are connected to where they live, work, and play, while maintaining the quality of life we’ve come to expect?

Incoming — the Regional Transportation Strategy! It set the framework for the 10-Year Vision and the Investment Plans helping to pay for all the new transportation infrastructure and services across the region. Now, TransLink is working on the  update to the strategy to set us up for success over the next 30 years.

We turn to Caitlin Cooper, TransLink’s project manager for the Regional Transportation Strategy, to set the stage for us and share how we all can get involved in shaping the region’s future.

By Caitlin Cooper

With the recent investments secured for new SkyTrain cars, more buses and projects like the Broadway Extension, we’re on our way to making great improvements to our transportation network over the next several years. While we work on those projects, we’re also turning our attention even further into the future — 30 years from now.

At TransLink, part of our role is to create a long-range transportation plan for the region. It’s essentially a 30-year look ahead at what transportation in Metro Vancouver could be like.

How do we create the plan?

We put our expert planners to work looking at what is working now, what needs improvement, and what might happen over the next 30 years (think climate change and autonomous vehicles to name just a few); we partner with all levels of government and experts in their fields to draw on their knowledge; and we ask you, the public, what you value and what you want out of your transportation system. From that, we create our Regional Transportation Strategy (RTS).

You might not think a transportation strategy is the most exciting thing to read (unless you’re a planner or super into transit and transportation networks), but it outlines the vision, goals, and strategies to help guide our decisions over a 30-year period, which is really important. As an example, we know that people value clean air, so we’re working towards a zero emission transit fleet.

Where are we now?

We’re required to update the RTS every five years and that time is now. The last RTS was adopted in 2013 after two years of research and analysis. Then, we worked with the Mayors’ Council to identify the priority policies and investments for the first 10 years, outlined in the Mayors’ 10-Year Vision. The last step was to secure the funding needed to put the plan into action.

For the past 25 years, we’ve been building out the vision that was created in 1993 through the Transport 2021 plan. When the 10-Year Vision is fully implemented (expected in 2023), we will have delivered all of the investments planned in that strategy (e.g. the Millennium Line, Canada Line, and Broadway Extension). This is our chance to create a new blueprint for the future!

Strategies and plans matter—they shape our region’s future.

What’s next?

Aside from the technical work we’re doing, we want to have a conversation with everyone in the region about what is important to you, how you want to live, and what big ideas you have for the future of transportation in Metro Vancouver. Your input will help us make the right choices and investments now to get us to our desired future, so you’ll be hearing from us again. In the meantime, sign up to receive our newsletter today. We’ll let you know what’s happening on the project and when we’ll be looking to you for input. Help us shape the region’s future!