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BRITISH COLUMBIA MEDIA NEWSWIRE » Coquitlam
     
   
     
 
 
 
         
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Coquitlam News and Events

Federal Budget to support Metro Vancouver transit expansion

Today’s federal budget is fantastic news for Metro Vancouver’s transit system, says TransLink Chair Dale Parker. Among the highlights in the budget tabled in the House of Commons by Finance Minister Jim Flaherty is the announcement that the federal government will make its current gas tax revenue sharing program permanent.This year, TransLink is on line to receive $49.1 million and, under the old program, we could purchase $49.1 million in new buses, SkyTrain Cars or SeaBuses. As an ongoing stream of revenue, even at this year’s rate, today’s budget means that TransLink could finance half a billion dollars in improvements, says Parker.

The federal budget indicates that funding will grow in the coming years, but details have yet to be released. Under the current revenue sharing program TransLink’s share of federal gas tax revenue would have grown to $122.8 million per year by 2010, but the program was due to expire by 2015.

Parker says that having the federal gas tax as a permanent stream of revenue will allow TransLink to develop long term plans for transit improvements in the region, which in turn will help Metro Vancouver create long term plans for its growth and development.

The federal funding will be for capital, which means TransLink will need to come up with the complementary funding to cover the additional operating costs, Parker says. TransLink has increased the funding for transit operations by 93 per cent over the last seven years, adding $54 million more this year alone.

The federal budget has also included funding for the Evergreen Rapid Transit Line. Finance Minister Flaherty announced that Ottawa would dedicate $500 million for public transit infrastructure and named the Evergreen Line as one of the projects to be funded. The share of the funding allocated to the rapid transit link to Coquitlam has not been confirmed.

We need to recognize the effort that James Moore (Member of Parliament, Port Moody,  Coquitlam - Port Coquitlam) and Premier Campbell have made to make the Evergreen Line a priority for federal funding. Today’s budget announcement is a signal that we are closer to a go for this important piece of Metro Vancouver’s rapid transit network. TransLink is poised to move forward once we have the results of the current public consultation, Parker says.

February 26th, 2008

Background: Metro Vancouver Transit Fares

 translink.jpeg

There are ongoing claims being made that transit fares in Metro Vancouver? are the highest in the country? This is incorrect.

Fare Comparisons:

One Zone Cash Fare ?
Ottawa: $3.00
Toronto: $2.75
Montreal: $2.75
Metro Vancouver: $2.50

Fare for a return trip on transit totalling 80 km ?

Aurora to downtown Toronto & return: $13.50

Repentigny to downtown Montreal & return: $19.00

Langley City to downtown Vancouver & return:

  • Cash $10.00
  • DayPass $ 9.00
  • FareSavers $ 7.60
  • Monthly Pass $ 6.20

2008 Fare Facts:

The fare increase is expected to generate $18 million per year more than the fares in effect in 2007. This amount can fund:

  • 160,000 hours of bus service per year, or
  • $180 million in transit capital funding

Transit vehicles currently on order for delivery in 2008 and 2009

  • 254 buses (2008) plus 148 (2009)
  • 34 SkyTrain cars (2009) with an option to purchase 14 more
  • A third SeaBus (2009)

Because most transit customers have switched to monthly passes or FareSaver tickets, the average fare per trip has increased only 43 cents from 2001 to 2007 ($1.48 in 2001 — $1.91 in 2007).

From 2001 to 2008, TransLink has increased funding for transit by 93% ($345 million in 2001 — $667 million in 2008). The increase from 2007 to 2008 is $54 million.

February 22nd, 2008

Metro Vancouver’s Spring 2008 Program Guide Now Available

It’s almost spring — and time to explore outdoor fun in regional parks and green spaces. Discover more in Check it Out, Metro Vancouver’s spring 2008 program guide.
From Heritage Week and Earth Day celebrations to a special Leap Year Night Stroll — there is something for everyone!

Check it at www.metrovancouver.org

February 8th, 2008

Joint Program Plans to Return Sockeye Salmon to Coquitlam Lake Reservoir

After an absence of nearly 100 years, sockeye salmon returned to the Coquitlam River in 2007. This follows the establishment of a program in 2003 to assess the feasibility of restoring sockeye above the dam. While there are still questions to be answered before a full-scale run can be re-established, work to address these is well underway. The return witnessed in 2007 has resulted in a renewed commitment among interested parties to re-establish Coquitlam sockeye.

Water quality protection is a critical consideration in the overall feasibility analysis, and Metro Vancouver and Kwikwetlem First Nation will be conducting a three-year study of lake ecology and potential water quality impacts of returning sockeye.

“We share the Kwikwetlem people’s commitment to a return of sockeye to those waters,” said Mayor Ralph Drew, a member of the Metro Vancouver Board of Directors and the designated Board liaison to the Kwikwetlem First Nation. “All parties have agreed to spend the next three years carefully monitoring the ecology of the lake just to be sure there is no impact on drinking water quality.”

Metro Vancouver’s Water Commissioner, Johnny Carline, commented: “We are very optimistic about the success of this project. Considerable scientific work has already been done, and the joint monitoring program is designed to ensure that the re-introduction of sockeye salmon into Coquitlam Lake will be compatible with Metro Vancouver’s objective of absolutely safe, good quality, drinking water.”

“Kwikwetlem means red fish up the river,” said Kwikwetlem First Nation Councillor George Chaffee.

“Our community is committed to a return of the sockeye. It is very meaningful to us, historically and culturally,” added Kwikwetlem Fisheries Resource Manager Glen Joe.
The water quality study has the full support of the Kwikwetlem Salmon Restoration Program Committee; a multi-stakeholder Consultative Committee initiated in 2003 by BC Hydro to determine the scientific feasibility of returning sockeye salmon above the dam. This Committee has also been addressing other issues related to the sockeye’s return. To date the Coquitlam watershed feasibility studies have been funded by the BC Hydro Bridge Coastal Restoration Program, which funds projects to restore fish and wildlife populations and habitat in the coastal region impacted by Hydro’s generating facilities. Membership on the committee includes: Metro Vancouver, Kwikwetlem First Nation, BC Hydro, Fisheries and Oceans Canada, BC’s Ministry of Environment, Cities of Coquitlam and Port Coquitlam, and environmental groups, including Watershed Watch Salmon Society, North Fraser Salmon Assistance Program and the Maple Creek Streamkeepers.

February 4th, 2008



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