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BRITISH COLUMBIA MEDIA NEWSWIRE » Vancouver
     
   
     
 
 
 
         
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Vancouver 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

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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

Speak Up 2008: My Virtual World

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From February 19 to March 11, the Vancouver Public Library will host a lively exchange of ideas and discussion at Speak Up 2008: My Virtual World, where participants will explore the role of technology in our lives.

During this intriguing four-part series, expert panelists representing a broad range of perspectives on technology in the virtual and real worlds will address four key aspects of e-activity: Online Privacy, Gaming, Information Online and the Social Impacts of Our Virtual World. Participants are invited to share their thoughts about the role of technology in our world and how the rapidly advancing virtual world is increasingly intersecting with our daily lives.

From university professors to the director of BC’s Information and Privacy Office, a police inspector and journalists, panelists will provide a range of perspectives and opinions to engage participants.

Now in its third year, Speak Up is a forum that draws participants from the community, bringing together many voices, perspectives and experiences. It is an opportunity for people to share their point of view, listen to others and develop solutions to community concerns.

Online Privacy: Is There Any?
Tue. February 19, 7 p.m. – Central Library (350 W. Georgia St.)
Wed. February 20, 7 p.m.– Firehall Branch (1455 W10th Ave.)

Gaming: Distraction or a New Way of Learning?
Tue. February 26, 7 p.m. – Central Library (350 W. Georgia St.)
Wed. February 27, 7 p.m. – Oakridge Branch (#191-650 W. 41st Ave.)

Information Online: What’s Out There?
Tue. March 4, 7 p.m. – Central Library (350 W. Georgia St.)
Thu. March 6, 7 p.m. – Renfrew Branch (2969 East 22nd Ave.)

Social Impacts of Our Virtual World
Tue. March 11, 7 p.m. – Central Library (350 W. Georgia St.)

The events are free and all are welcome. Seating is limited. Please arrive early.

To help generate discussion, resource lists are available in the 2008 Speak Up program guide are available at all library branches or at www.vpl.ca

Founded in 1869, the Vancouver Public Library is one of Canada’s largest library systems, dedicated to meeting the lifelong learning, reading, recreation and information needs of the people of Vancouver. Each year, the Library’s 22 branches serve over 370,000 patrons, offer over 2.5 million items and countless online resources to the public, and answer more than one million reference questions. In 2006, a record 10 million items were circulated.

Add comment February 12th, 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



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