VANCOUVER — Today's transit-funding announcement by the federal and B.C. governments and Metro Vancouver mayors is a positive step on the road to securing long-term investment in transit. Although the Phase 1 funds only ensure funding for the first three years of the 10-year plan developed by the region's mayors, they are enough to guarantee that key infrastructure projects can begin to move forward.
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"We are pleased to learn that the province, mayors and federal government have reached an agreement for the first phase of funding for transit in Metro Vancouver," said David Suzuki Foundation science and policy director Ian Bruce. "It's good to see a deal for this first phase of transit investment, but we need a long-term commitment and increased investment."
Recent research by the Foundation shows investment in transit is desperately needed to relieve traffic congestion in Metro Vancouver and to address years of underfunding. Our recent report, "Breaking gridlock: B.C.'s transit investment deficit and what can be done to fix it", shows the B.C. government identified in 2008 that the province needed to invest $4.75 billion in transit funding, but only 23 per cent of these funds have materialized.
"We commend the federal government for catalyzing this deal to improve and expand Metro Vancouver's transit network with its commitment to 50 per cent funding," Bruce said. "We hope this day marks the end of requiring plebiscites to approve transit funding."
To download the full report visit: http://www.davidsuzuki.org/publications/reports/2016/breaking-gridlock-bc-transit-investment-deficit-and-what-can-be-done-to-fix-i/
For more information:
David Suzuki Foundation — Steve Kux, 604-374-4102
David Suzuki Foundation — Ian Bruce, 604-306-5095