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TransLink launches public consultation on $7B transit plan

Public can provide input online or at open houses until May 11
transit consultation
TransLink CEO Kevin Desmond speaks at the announcement of funding for phase two of the Mayor’s Council on Regional Transportation’s 10-year transit plan. TransLink Monday launched a two-week public consultation period on the $7.3 billion plan that includes the expansion of the Millennium Line along Broadway. Photo Dan Toulgoet

Residents throughout the Lower Mainland now have the chance to have their say on the plan for the future of public transportation in the region.

TransLink Monday launched two weeks of public engagement on phase two of the Mayor’s Council on Regional Transportation’s 10-year plan. The $7.3 billion plan includes the expansion of the Millennium Line west along Broadway to Arbutus Street, a light rail line in Surrey, planning and design for rapid transit between Surrey and Langley, as well as more buses, increased service on Expo, Millennium and Canada lines, increased HandyDart services and improvements to sidewalks, bikeways, multi-use paths and roadways.

The public can learn more and provide feedback online at tenyearvision.translink.ca until May 11. TransLink is also hosting a series of open houses between May 2 and 10. There is one scheduled for Thursday, May 3 from 5-8 p.m. during BMO Marathon registration at the Vancouver Convention Centre.

For all the open house dates and times visit tenyearvision.translink.ca/get-involved.

“We are ready to show Metro Vancouver how this ambitious phase of the 10-Year Vision will bring improvements that our region has been talking about for years,” TransLink CEO Kevin Desmond said in a press release. “The funding agreements are in place, and we are excited to be taking this next phase from planning into reality. If the Phase Two Plan is approved, people will see region-wide transit system improvements beginning in early 2019.”

Following the public consultation phase, TransLink will update the phase two plan based on feedback received through the process and a final plan will then be submitted to the mayor’s council and the TransLink board for approval.

In March, the mayor’s council and the province announced $7 billion in infrastructure funding to pay for phase two of the council’s 10-year plan.

The most expensive aspect of the plan is the Millennium Line expansion along Broadway. With an estimated cost of $2.83 billion, the expansion would extend the Millennium Line from VCC-Clark station west to Arbutus Street and include the construction of six new SkyTrain stations.

The current plan for the extension is to have about 800 metres above ground from VVC-Clark and then another five kilometres running beneath Broadway. Trains are expected to run every three to four minutes during peak times and every six to eight minutes during other times of the day.

According to TransLink, a trip from the Lafarge Lake-Douglas station in Coquitlam to Arbutus Street will take approximately 46 minutes with no need to change trains, and the extension will have the capacity to move about 7,100 people per hour in each direction, more than double the capacity of the current B-line service along Broadway.

The current project timeline has procurement starting this year and construction starting in 2020 with a target completion date in 2025.

@JessicaEKerr

jkerr@vancourier.com