National News

Metro mayors approve $7.5B transportation plan

By The Canadian Press

VANCOUVER - Mayors from around the Vancouver area have approved a $7.5-billion public transportation plan to ease gridlock, though where the money will come from remains to be seen.

The vision includes major projects such as a tolled, four-lane Pattullo Bridge between Surrey and New Westminster, light rail transit lines in Surrey, and an underground rapid transit line to the Arbutus area in Vancouver, as well as improvements to SkyTrain's Expo and Canada Lines.

Eleven new express bus routes over the next 30 years are part of the plan, along with a 50-per cent increase in service for the SeaBus between Vancouver and North Vancouver.

The mayors are proposing that the plan — which must be approved by the province — be funded partly through B.C.'s carbon tax, region-wide tolls and so-called mobility pricing, which would charge motorists based on the distance they drive.

Vancouver Mayor Gregor Robertson says investments in transit would cut congestion, grow the economy and meet the needs of the region's increasing population.

He says more than one million people are expected to move to Metro Vancouver in the next 30 years. (News1130, The Canadian Press)

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