Metro Vancouver mayors call for country-wide annual funding for transit

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VANCOUVER — Mayors from across Metro Vancouver gathered at a busy rapid transit station in Vancouver to demand stable, secure transit funding for all municipalities in Canada.

Image courtesy TransLink

Members of the Mayor’s Council on Regional Transportation are launching the Cure Congestion campaign in advance of the upcoming federal election.

Council chairman, New Westminster Mayor Jonathan Cote, says a large part of the council’s 10-year transportation plan has federal backing for projects across the region, but those funds will expire in a few years.

Cote says the council wants to see a predictable, annual funding formula extended to all urban municipalities in Canada, saying it will ensure certainty for future development.

Cote says the time to promote the campaign is now, as political parties hammer out platforms for the Oct. 21 federal election.

Langley Township Mayor Jack Froese, the council’s vice-chairman, says federal, provincial and municipal partnerships have built on “collective momentum” over the last three years, and congestion will worsen if that isn’t maintained.

“We want this positive progress to continue,” Froese told the gathering on Tuesday.

“That’s why the Mayor’s Council is calling for permanent, sustained, federal funding that will enable TransLink to accelerate completion of the 10-year vision and start building new projects to be identified in the Regional Transportation Strategy now being developed,” he says.

Statistics show Metro Vancouver leads Canada and the United States in per capita transit ridership, which Cote says is incredibly impressive and the result of the investments made in transit.