Transit plan calls for rail to Langley

 

Metro Vancouver mayors want an ambitions transit expansion plan that will cost billions, bring light rail to Langley, add hundreds of buses, and put a price on using roads.

The TransLink Mayors Council released its vision of transit funding on Thursday.

The projects included would involve $7.5 billion in additional capital spending, and would increase TransLink’s annual operating budget from $1.4 billion to $2.2 billion.

Major infrastructure components of the plan would include the replacement of the Patullo Bridge, and new light rail lines in Surrey. The longest of those would head down the Fraser Highway to Langley City.

Also of note would be a new B-line style bus that would run regularly from Langley City, up 200th Street and across the Golden Ears Bridge, and down the Lougheed Highway to Coquitlam Centre.

A general increase in bus service would see more regular service on 15-minute intervals in a number of areas.

Willoughby and Brookswood in Langley are specifically mentioned in the documents as areas that need an upgrade in basic transit coverage.

There would also be upgrades to major bus loops and transit exchanges, including the Langley and Willowbrook exchanges.

The plan also calls for adding 2,700 km of bike lanes, including 300 km of fully separated lanes, bike parking at transit hubs, and better pedestrian access.

The mayors proposed to pay for this through several means, but one of those has already been rejected outright by Transit Minister Todd Stone.

The mayors wanted to use BC Carbon Tax revenues collected in Metro Vancouver, about $250 million, at least in the near term.

That would go along with provincial and federal contributions to new infrastructure, $500 million of new revenues from increased ridership, a Patullo Bridge toll, and in the long term, road pricing.

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