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B.C. launches 10-year transportation plan

By Contributor
March 17th, 2015

The B.C. government announced Tuesday B.C. on the Move, a 10-year transportation plan that outlines critical investments and improvements throughout the province that will improve the daily lives of British Columbians.

This $2.5-billion plan will grow the economy, improve safety, maintain and replace aging infrastructure and support trade for B.C.’s expanding resource sectors through Canada’s Asia-Pacific Gateway.

“The best possible transportation network is vital to the daily lives of every single British Columbian and is one of the most important foundations of a strong economy, said Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure Todd Stone.

“B.C. on the Move is the roadmap for the next 10 years on how we will expand and improve our transportation network to ultimately improve the quality of life for us all.”

The plan included input from an extensive engagement process in fall 2014 that included meetings with key stakeholders throughout B.C., including First Nations, local governments, chambers of commerce and port and airport authorities. Government also conducted a public survey with almost 13,000 responses.

British Columbians made it clear they want their highways, roads, bridges and side roads kept in good condition, which is why the plan includes more than $800 million over the next three years dedicated to existing infrastructure and almost $1 billion toward expansion of major highways and the network.

B.C. on the Move includes a new Provincial Trucking Strategy that will involve industry working together on how best to improve the safety, efficiency and economics of trucking in B.C.

Other highlights of B.C. on the Move:

  • Partnering with First Nations on projects that support economic activity.
  • Improving accessibility for persons with limited mobility by upgrading rest areas.
  • New investments in bike lanes and trails through partnerships with local communities.

Summary of twelve priorities for B.C. on the Move

  1. Rehabilitating Highways, Bridges and Side Roads
    95% of B.C. on the Move survey respondents agreed that keeping existing highways, bridges and side roads in good condition was important. The Province will resurface 1,000 kilometres of provincial highway annually, increase its investment in bridge rehabilitation funding by 50% over previous years, and deliver up to 30 projects each year that will improve over 500 kilometres of side roads annually.

  2. Improving Highway Safety
    Safety on B.C.’s highways and side roads is the ministry’s number one priority and B.C. on the Move contains a number of initiatives aimed at improving safety. These include the launch of a new Road Safety Improvement Program and improvements to intersections in communities.

  3. Improving Highway Capacity and Reliability
    Government has budgeted almost $1 billion over the next three years to ensure our transportation network has the capacity and reliability to meet the transport and trade needs of the province. Where possible, the Province will work with Canada to secure federal funding for highway expansion priorities.

  4. Delivering a Provincial Trucking Strategy
    Trucking supports our economy and helps to maintain a high quality of life for all British Columbians. Government is delivering a Provincial Trucking Strategy that will increase the economic efficiency and safety of the commercial trucking industry.

  5. Investing in Cycling
    72% of B.C. on the Move survey respondents agreed that enhancing cycling infrastructure and improving transportation choices was important. Priorities for action include allocating a budget of $18 million over the next three years to partner with communities to build new bike lanes and trails across B.C. Government will also widen shoulders, double the frequency of sweeping and implement safety improvements on provincial highways in areas with a high volume of cyclists.

  6. Supporting Transit
    Public transit is an essential component of B.C.’s integrated transportation network, and 90% of British Columbians have access to transit. Government will maintain the highest level of operating support for transit in Canada by targeting $312 million in operating contributions to BC Transit over the next three years. On the Lower Mainland, B.C. is reaffirming its commitment to fund 1/3 of the cost of new rapid transit projects, and the Pattullo Bridge, provided they can be accommodated within the provincial fiscal plan and the investments are supported by a business case.

  7. Investing in Airports
    Aviation is critical to growing the B.C. economy. B.C. plans to invest $24 million over the next three years in a new B.C. Air Access Program, so that community airports can access funding to improve infrastructure like runways, terminals and lighting.

  8. Enabling Efficient Ports and Rail
    Provincial investments which leverage private sector commitments to port and rail infrastructure improvements are key to expanding trade relationships through Canada’s Asia-Pacific Gateway, as identified in the Pacific Gateway Strategy 2012-2020. Priorities for action through B.C. on the Move include determining potential infrastructure upgrades needed to support Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) facilities, and investing in infrastructure that enhances access to ports and increases port bulk, break bulk and container capacity.

  9. Sustaining and Renewing Ferries
    Government will continue to pursue strategies to achieve its vision of an affordable, sustainable, and efficient coastal ferry service. This includes supporting BC Ferries’ move to LNG, alternative technologies such as the new cable ferry to Denman Island, and its new reservation system. Government will also continue to renew inland ferry assets.

  10. Building Partnerships with First Nations
    The Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure builds positive relationships with First Nations by working together to identify ways for First Nations to benefit from related economic and employment opportunities, and to resolve issues and impacts from projects.

  11. Improving Accessibility
    B.C. on the Move contains priorities for action that support Accessibility 2024, a 10-year plan and shared commitment between government, businesses and communities to make B.C. the most progressive place in Canada for people with disabilities. A key goal of this plan is for B.C. communities to have the most accessible transportation options in Canada by 2024.

  12. Protecting the Environment
    B.C. is committed to taking action on environmental protection in the transportation sector. Safeguarding the environment and taking measures to reduce environmental impacts are key priorities in all the projects and programs delivered to improve transportation.

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