Over the past few weeks I’ve written a series of posts that describe the important role that transit investments play in helping us achieve our collective vision for a livable region now and in the future. Here’s a review of the key issues to keep in mind when thinking about our region’s growth and the inextricable links between transportation, land use, and quality of life.
- Metro Vancouver is expected to have 1 million more people by 2040. Accommodating this growth and achieving our collective vision is only possible if Metro Vancouver, TransLink, municipalities and others all work together to put that growth in the right places and link it to sustainable transportation.
- We are planning and investing for the next generation, a generation that tends to prefer transportation that is not auto-oriented. It is important that our infrastructure investments take advantage of the multiple benefits associated with this direction and invest accordingly.
- We can choose how we grow. We can be a livable region creating compact, complete communities with sustainable transportation options, or we can end up with more disperse, less affordable growth. The decisions we make today will influence the kind of communities we have tomorrow.
- In recent decades we’ve made substantial investments in road infrastructure to support goods movement. We now have an opportunity to focus on transportation and transit infrastructure that will help people move around the region safely, efficiently, and affordably.
- Investing in a sustainable transportation system and planning complete communities around that system is fundamental to reducing our carbon footprint – more than half of regional GHG emissions come from buildings and on-road transportation, both of which are linked to settlement patterns and transit networks.
- Transportation has a big impact on household costs. Region-wide, the combined cost of housing and transportation for homeowners is 40% of gross household income; and for renters, it is almost 50%. Access to an efficient transit system can help to lower the cost burden of housing and transportation.
Land use and transportation planning go hand-in-hand, as the diagram below illustrates. Metro 2040, the regional growth strategy, sets out the collective vision for a livable and sustainable region even in the face of substantial growth. TransLink’s Regional Transportation Strategy Strategic Framework provides a concept of a transportation system that supports our collective vision.
Metro Vancouver, TransLink, and all of the municipalities have worked together to establish a shared vision for the future, and have developed and committed to plans to make it happen. The Mayors’ Council Transportation and Transit Plan is an important component of the realization of this vision.
This is the final post in a series highlighting the connection between investing in transit and achieving the goals of our regional growth strategy. These stories demonstrate the long-term benefits of planning for growth and investing in transit for communities across our region.
Chair – Metro Vancouver