Thursday, March 13, 2008

Development will fund transit

Get Moving BC Advisory Board member Ian MacPherson had a great letter published in yesterday’s Vancouver Province.

Development will fund transit

Published: Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Funding an effective public transit system for a fast-growing area doesn't have to be done by burdening the taxpayer.

The group I belong to, GetMovingBC, recently asked TransLink's newly-appointed board to consider linking development of the transit system to real-estate development, as is the practice in Hong Kong.

B.C. taxpayers could benefit from the development potential of properties near transit systems, because it would provide the funding needed to build out our transit without raising taxes.

Ian MacPherson, Surrey

3 Comments:

At March 14, 2008 9:23 AM , Blogger Chris said...

So, you suggest building transit first, and then developing the area around it second?

That seems to contradict the current governments policy of only building rapid transit into neighborhoods with the density to support it - this is a big issue with Surrey.

 
At March 14, 2008 2:33 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

If you don't promote transit-friendly development then instead of efficient and less polluting light rail, you can have diesel buses everywhere spewing out their exhausts or NO transit at all in some areas. You have many areas of Surrey like this today.

Translink is divorced from the development process and we are suffering for it!

 
At March 28, 2008 7:22 PM , Anonymous Ian MacPherson said...

Chris, what we favor is a win-win-win situation for taxpayers, transit riders and folks looking for affordable housing close to the transit which will take them to and from work.

In other cities, when transit and real-estate developments are planned together, the housing actually gets built before the new or expanded transit system is completed, because developers, and home buyers and renters, choose the new location in anticipation of the future transit system.

This is actually taking place in Richmond along the Canada Line (which will open soon) and in the Mount Pleasant area of Vancouver, where the Canada Line will soon be a quick and cheap means of getting downtown.

We are so pleased that TransLink has set up a real-estate division to profit from the synergy between transit and housing/commercial development, and we are confident that their involvement in these developments will mean that taxpayers like you and me will have our taxes go to health care and education, and the profits to fund transit.

And you make an excellent point: real-estate development close to new and upgraded transit systems will increase population density in those locations, which makes new transit investments more feasible.

And of course, the more riders we attract on a transit system, the lower the fares that will be required to run transit in the future.

Ian MacPherson

 

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