More new buses on their way as part of phase 1 of TransLink plan. (THE NEWS/files)

New development charges move ahead to fund Metro Vancouver transit

The mayors' council has approved a plan to raise $20 million a year

  • Dec. 7, 2017 12:00 a.m.

The mayors’ council on regional transportation has approved a new development cost charge to help fund much-needed transit and transportation projects.

On Thursday, TransLink said the council has decided on residential rates between $1,200 and $2,100 per unit of new developments and non-residential rates between $0.50 and $1 per square foot.

“Without it, TransLink will have to find a new funding source or defer much needed improvements,” said Vancouver Mayor Gregor Robertson.

The council had already set out that development cost charge must not impair the viability of new development projects, nor slow the pace of them.

The mayors’ goal is to raise $20 million per year with this new rate to help fund projects as part of their 10-year transportation plan, including Expo and Millennium Line upgrades, more buses, and a new SeaBus.

The Metro Vancouver politicians have been hunting for ways to raise money in other ways, such as road pricing. They have long balked at the previous Liberal government’s suggestion of raising property taxes.

Any adjustments on the proposal will be made in 2018 through consultation.

The plan now goes before the TransLink board of directors. If then approved by the province, the charge could be in place by 2020.