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Get Moving BC Press Release

Get Moving BC

For Immediate Release

March 19, 2008

 

GET MOVING BC APPLAUDS TRANSLINK REAL ESTATE PLAN

 

“Stop going back to the taxpayer” message heard loud and clear – TransLink plan

responds to previous call by Get Moving BC to adopt Hong Kong’s successful real estate

funding model to help pay for $2.75 billion unfunded share of transit plan and ongoing operational costs

 

Vancouver, B.C. – Get Moving BC is today applauding TransLink’s plan to adopt an innovative funding model used by Hong Kong to successfully expand and fund its transit system – one of the few profitable public transportation systems in the world.

 

“We’re thrilled by this news today,” says Get Moving BC spokesperson Sheri Wiens. “This is exactly what our group called on TransLink to do over a month ago in a February 11th press release.”

 

Wiens says she has nothing but praise for TransLink’s newly-appointed professional board for “thinking outside the box” and embracing good old fashioned entrepreneurial spirit and common sense ingenuity to help build one of the best transit systems in the world “without having to reach into the pockets of B.C. taxpayers.”

 

Get Moving BC Advisory Board member, Ian MacPherson, fully agrees with Wiens and says he’s confident that TransLink’s currently unfunded $2.75 billion share of the $14 billion transit plan can be paid for – in whole or in part – by linking development of the transit system to real estate development the way they’ve done it in Hong Kong.

 

MacPherson points to the Tsing Yi station built by Hong Kong’s Mass Transit Railway Corporation which is located next to the 4-story Maritime Square shopping centre the corporation also developed. Hong Kong’s Mass Transit Railway Corporation also developed the adjacent Tierra Verde housing complex.

 

“In Hong Kong, TransLink’s counterpart has successfully leveraged commercial and residential real estate development to help pay for the expansion and operation of their transit system, and I’m pleased that TransLink is now going to be doing the same,” says MacPherson. “We have to stop this mentality of always going back to the taxpayer to fund and operate big transit projects.”

 

Get Moving BC’s Sheri Wiens agrees with MacPherson and says B.C. taxpayers should be able to benefit from the real estate development potential of properties located near public transit: “We can build the kind of transit system we need without increasing property taxes or hiking the gas tax,” Wiens says, “by letting the development potential along rapid transit routes and around transit stations provide the funding needed to expand and run the system.”

 

“The big question for most taxpayers,” Wiens says, “is how do we catch up and build a transit system that is the envy of the world without bankrupting B.C. taxpayers? By adopting Hong Kong’s approach the new TransLink board has found the answer.”

 

A key goal of the recently announced transit plan is to increase the market share of public transit in Metro Vancouver from its current 12 per cent share to 17 per cent by 2020 and 22 per cent by 2030.

 

 

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Get Moving BC is dedicated to holding governments accountable for a balanced transportation system and was formed to provide a voice for the majority of Greater Vancouver residents who support improving our roads, bridges and transit systems. 

 

For more information please contact Get Moving BC's media desk at 604-678-5567 or by email at info@getmovingbc.com  
 
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