Mayor Disappointed in No Vote in Transit Referendum
CITY OF PITT MEADOWS
MAYOR DISAPPOINTED IN NO VOTE IN TRANSIT REFERENDUM
Pitt Meadows, BC – As transportation referendum results were announced today indicating a “no” to the addition of 0.5% added to provincial sales tax to fund transit improvements, Mayor John Becker expressed disappointment, if not surprise, with the results.
“In our community, nearly 85% of our residents commute. Today’s results set back improvements that would give Pitt Meadows residents ways to lessen the time that they are on the road and away from their families and their community,” he said.
“However, the voters have sent a clear message that there is more work to do. Doing nothing is not an option, given that Metro Vancouver is expected to grow by one million people over the next 25 years, so we will have to go back to the drawing board to come up with plans to increase transportation opportunities and find funding for those projects. It is important to remember that the Mayors’ Plan remains an excellent strategic planning document.”
61.68% of regional voters voted “no,” while 72.16% of Pitt Meadows voters were on the no side. Voter participation was relatively high across the Lower Mainland, with an average of 48.6% of registered voters participating, with Pitt Meadows only slightly higher at 49.2%.
The referendum vote was based on a transportation plan developed by the regional Mayors’ Council, and residents were asked to vote on whether to add 0.5% to the provincial sales tax to fund the plan.
Proposed improvements in the Pitt Meadows area included more frequent bus service on Lougheed Highway between Pitt Meadows and the Tri-Cities, more frequent SkyTrain service through the Evergreen Connection especially on weekends and evenings, and improved bus service on most lines, including HandyDART and NightBus.
“As Mayors, we’re as committed as ever to being partners in building new transit and securing service improvements across the region, but we’ll need the BC Government to start coming to the table with new funding sources to meet that need and to prevent major service cuts,” Becker said.
“In addition, the voters sent us a clear message that immediate changes to Translink governance are critical. These changes have to be made by the Province with proper consultation.”
The results of the transportation referendum can be found at www.elections.bc.ca, and information on the Mayors’ Council Transportation Plan at www.mayorscouncil.ca.