SURREY — TransLink says SkyTrain wait times and crowding are expected to drop as phase one of the Mayors’ Council’s 10-year transportation plan rolls out.
While new SkyTrains have yet to arrive, TransLink says funding from the new plan provides funding for the operational costs to keep its fleet out longer.
“So we’ve extended the peak period in the morning, and will be keeping our fleet out longer in the morning and about an hour extra in the afternoon,” TransLink spokesman Chris Bryan told the Now.
“We’ve also increased the frequency in the off-peak times,” he added. “And we ordered 28 new SkyTrain cars in December so when those arrive we’ll be able to provide a more significant boost at the peak. Those will start arriving in late 2018 and be on the rails by 2019.”
HandyDART and bus service will also expand as part of phase one, as will SeaBus frequency, with a doubling of service on Sundays and holidays to sailings every 15 minutes from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Phase one of the 10-Year Vision for Metro Vancouver Transportation plan is funded through investments from federal and provincial governments, as well as regional revenues.
For the regional share, the mayors’ council raised property taxes and fares, both set to increase in July.
Later this month, planning for phase two will begin with public consultation on the Surrey-Newton-Guildford LRT projects.
Funding for phase two, which includes a Pattullo Bridge replacement and construction of the Surrey light rail and Broadway subway lines, is expected to be approved sometime this year.
Vancouver Mayor Gregor Robertson, who co-chairs the Mayors’ Council, says those are the “three big projects that we really need to see a firm commitment from provincial and federal governments on the capital so that we can keep the pace up, we don’t lose any time building out those major projects in the years ahead.”
-With a file from the Vancouver Sun