31 stakeholders from around Metro Vancouver have added their name to an open letter calling on Premier Clark and the Mayors Council to get moving on the transportation plan for the region.
This just as a new report is out today saying that a lack of transportation infrastructure threatens Greater Vancouver’s economic viability.
The letter asks that the Mayor’s Council and the Premier to “… show leadership by putting history and political differences aside to work together and ensure we are ready to take full advantage of federal support and start improving transit and transportation.”
Feds willing to foot half the bill
The federal support is the new Liberal government’s commitment to pay 50% of all capital transit costs, as well as $370 million down payment towards realizing the 10 year Metro Vancouver Transit and Transportation Plan.
The Downtown Vancouver Business Improvement Association is one of the signatories. President and CEO Charles Gauthier says the population is continuing to grow and he’s already hearing stories from local businesses that congestion is costing them. ,
“Certainly from the food and beverage sector – primarily the night time economy – we know that the options for people to get back to their home community after they spend a night at the bars and restaurants if its late into the evening, that’s having an impact right then and there.”
He says the limited night bus service and the SkyTrain only operating until 1:30 am impacts people’s choices, and without alternatives, people will stay away.
Seven per cent short of a deal?
To date, the Mayor’s Council has agreed to pay as much as 10 per cent of the cost of the transportation plan, while the provincial government has committed to 33 per cent. Including the 50 per cent that the federal government has put on the table, that leaves a shortfall of seven per cent.