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Metro Vancouver mayors say they want federal billions to grow transit

Lower Mainland leaders say they need a more reliable funding model

Metro Vancouver mayors say they need billions of dollars over the next few years and a more reliable funding model from the federal government in order to improve transit.

Port Coquitlam MayorBrad West, chair of TansLink’s Mayors’ Council, says they have agreed on a plan to expand transit services to accommodate for population growth and put affordable housing within reach of transit.

The mayors have submitted a multibillion-dollar wish list to the federal government before the spring budget that includes $375 million to expand the bus fleet, $1.4 billion for additional bus depot capacity, up to $300 million for rapid transit and millions more in other improvements.

West says to reduce overcrowding and allow for substantial service expansion, they need both federal and provincial funding commitments no later than mid-2024.

The council says in a statement that TransLink is facing financial challenges, with services “essentially frozen” at 2019 levels, while the region’s population has grown by almost 200,000 since then.

The council is also calling on the federal minister of finance to join with them and the province in developing a new funding model for TransLink, which would include an annual cost bump of at least five per cent to the permanent transit fund.

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