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Transit Referendum Question set by Mayors' Council

transit

December 11, 2014

The Mayors’ Council on Regional Transportation today agreed on a referendum question and a regional funding proposal on their Transportation and Transit Plan to cut congestion by improving major roads and existing transit service, and creating new bus and rapid transit services throughout the region.

 

The mayors have recommended a referendum question to the provincial government that asks residents to support a 0.5% increase to the Provincial Sales Tax (PST) in Metro Vancouver to fund the region’s share of this $7.5 billion plan.

 

“The funding option chosen by the Mayors today is the most affordable and fair of the choices before us,” said Mayor Linda Hepner. “A successful result in the upcoming referendum will not only help bring rapid transit and improved transportation options to the City, but it will also ensure that the people and businesses in Surrey keep moving and not grind to a halt through gridlock.”

The provincial government is expected to approve the question before the end of the year, and the referendum launch would follow quickly.

 

The proposed ballot question is: Do you support a 0.5% increase to the provincial sales tax in Metro Vancouver, dedicated to these transportation and transit improvements, with independent audits and

a public review of spending? Yes or No. 

 

The proposed small regional increase to the PST will cost the average household  an estimated extra $125 per year to the average household and will raise approximately $250 million in funds annually which will go to the initiatives and projects set out in the comprehensive Transportation and Transit Plan for the Metro Vancouver region.

 

Here are highlights of the plan for Surrey and for the communities South of the Fraser: 

LIGHT RAIL TRANSIT (LRT) – PROVIDING REAL TRANSPORTATION ALTERNATIVES FOR DRIVERS 
• The "L" Line which will service King George Boulevard and 104 Avenue between Guildford, Surrey City Centre and Newton, and the Fraser Highway Line which will run between Surrey City Centre and Langley Centre

PATTULLO BRIDGE – REPLACING INFRASTRUCTURE TO IMPROVE SAFETY, RELIABILITY AND TO MEET FUTURE DEMAND 
• A new four-lane bridge, designed to keep the possibility of future expansion to six lanes, will replace the existing Pattullo Bridge 
• The new bridge will include modern lane widths that meet safety standards, a centre barrier separating northbound and southbound traffic, and effective cycling and pedestrian facilities

B-LINE – INTRODUCING MORE THAN THREE TIMES AS MANY B-LINES 
• New B-Line: Surrey City Centre to Langley via Fraser Highway until LRT is introduced 
• Extend 96 B-Line to White Rock Centre via King George Boulevard and 152nd Street 
• New B-Line: Scott Road Station to Newton Exchange via Scott Road and 72nd Avenue

BUS – INCREASE IN SERVICE FOR MORE RELIABLE, MORE FREQUENT AND EXTENDED SERVICE
• Improve and expand frequent all-day service: service that runs at least every 15 minutes in both directions throughout the day and into the evening, every day of the week, e.g., 88th Avenue in Surrey/Langley, 200th Street in Langley 
• Improve and expand frequent peak service: service that runs at least every 15 minutes, e.g., 112th Street, 152nd Street in Surrey and Highway 17 in Delta 

ROAD INVESTMENT 

• An additional $36 million per year will go towards maintaining and upgrading the Major Road Network (MRN), in a cost-share with municipalities around the region.

 

The Plan assumes both the provincial and federal governments will match the contributions of the region’s taxpayers to this $7.5 billion Transportation and Transit Plan.

 

More information about the Mayors' Council on Regional Transportation can be found here.

 

For transportation information:              

Jamie Boan                                         

Manager, Transportation                     

Engineering                                          

City of Surrey                                     

604.591.4514

 

For media inquiries:

Oliver Lum

Communications Manager

Mayor's Office

City of Surrey

604.591.4519