Underfunded transit puts affordable housing targets at risk, says TransLink Mayors’ Council

Metro Vancouver may not be able to meet its affordable housing targets if the federal and provincial governments don’t step in to deal with overcrowding on the region’s transit systems, according to the TransLink Mayors’ Council.

TransLink vice chair Mike Hurley says access to transit will impact how easily city councils and builders can work to get affordable housing developments built.

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“We have seen parts of a region transformed into vibrant transit-oriented communities where housing services, schools, recreation, and jobs are within easy reach,” Hurley said.

“We want to see more of this type of development across the region and it’s going to take investments in both housing and public transit.”

TransLink says overcrowding on its system is worsening rapidly, with record population growth pushing service levels in places like Surrey and Langley to about 120 per cent of what they were pre-pandemic.

“By 2024, almost four in ten rush-hour bus trips will be severely overcrowded, leaving tens of thousands of commuters every day watching full buses pass them,” the council said. “Metro Vancouver leads all major North American cities in post-pandemic rapid transit ridership recovery.”

The Mayor’s Council says Metro Vancouver is seeing a population growth of about 50,000 people a year and says Ottawa needs to follow through on infrastructure support in order to meet its immigration targets.

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