Rendering of a planned Surrey light rail train. (City of Surrey)

New federal deal unlocks $2.2B in TransLink cash

Money will help pay for Ottawa’s share of projects like Surrey light rail, Millennium Line expansion

A $4.1-billion funding agreement between Ottawa and B.C. has unlocked the $2.2 billion in federal money that TransLink needs to complete the next phase of its 10-year vision to improve transit and transportation in Metro Vancouver.

The 10-year agreement was announced Monday by federal Infrastructure and Communities Minister Amarjeet Sohi and B.C. Transportation Minister Claire Trevena in Vancouver.

It comes from a pool of $33 billion already set aside by Ottawa for provincial funding agreements.

Ottawa had previously promised to cover 40 per cent of project costs for phase two of the vision, which includes the construction of Surrey light rail, upgrades to the Millennium and Expo SkyTrain lines and an additional 420,000 hours of bus service. B.C. had pledged to cover another 40 per cent, while TransLink and the region’s mayors would come up with 20 per cent.

Surrey light rail was originally scheduled to be up and running by 2024 but following the federal announcement, Surrey Mayor Linda Hepner bumped up the operating date of the City Centre-Newton and Guildford lines to 2021 in a Tuesday morning message to Black Press Media.

TransLink CEO Kevin Desmond called the announcement “another milestone on the path toward a fully funded phase two” of the 10-year-vision.

“Transit ridership in Metro Vancouver has never been higher and with over one million more people coming to the region over the next three decades, we need to be prepared,” Desmond said in a statement.

The plan had previously included a new Pattullo Bridge, but in February, the provincial government announced that it would solely fund the $1.4-billion new crossing.

The agreement finally being signed means a major step forward in the transportation plan. Last month, Metro Vancouver mayors announced they would fill their $70-billion gap with increases to parking, transit fares and property taxes.

The feds’ remaining $1.9 billion announced Monday will be split between BC Transit ($464 million), greenhouse gas emission-reducing infrastructure ($1.1 billion), projects to improve the quality of life in northern communities ($166 million), and culture and recreation projects ($157 million).

The funding will pay for up to 40 per cent of new builds and 50 per cent of repair and rehabilitation projects.

Rural and northern communities will get 50 per cent of all costs covered, while communities under 5,000 people will get 60 per cent.


@katslepian

katya.slepian@bpdigital.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

PHOTOS: Charity Langley car show starts tradition of caring for people with cancer

Ken Johnson wanted an event that to feature his late friend’s vehicle, and it grew into a car show.

UPDATED: Langley’s downtown business entity given 10-year extension

Langley City’s businesses can strategize future after new BIA bylaw was approved, president says.

Cloverdale horse barn goes up in flames

Fire crews work for hours to extinguish blaze on 184th Street

Self-guided Langley mural walk first of many new tourism experiences

Brochures are available for visitors and residents who want to check out some Langley City wall art.

VIDEO: Geocaching attracted adventure seekers to new Langley City event

Dozens of teams came out to discover a mix of art and nature during a new treasure hunt.

VIDEO: Annual Langley City Legendary Water Fight a fun way to beat the heat

Fire department crews bring water-filled trucks and hoses to the pool to douse patrons.

5 to start your day

Heat warning issued, man climbs a crane, a dog-sprinting event, and more

Non-union construction industry fears exclusion in B.C.

Premier John Horgan imposes ‘project labour agreements’ for public works

Climber with broken leg rescued after fall into ravine near Hope

The 26-year-old had a flare to show rescuers where he was.

Trump, Putin sit down a bit late for closely watched summit

Trump and Putin arrived Monday at Helsinki’s presidential palace for a long-awaited summit.

In TV interview, Trump claims queen called Brexit ‘complex’

Asked the queen’s view on Brexit, Trump said: “She said it’s a very complex problem.”

Exotic corpse flower begins to emit its putrid scent at Vancouver conservatory

A unique and exotic tropical plant, acclaimed for its size and abhorred for its smell, is blooming at a Vancouver conservatory.

CREA reports June home sales down 10.7% from year ago, but up from May

The Canadian Real Estate Association says home sales in June were down 10.7 per cent compared with a year ago.

Tens of thousands give heroes’ welcome to Croatia team

Euphoria gave way to a mixture of disappointment and pride for Croatia fans after their national team lost to France in its first ever World Cup final.

Most Read