Leap Ahead: A parting gift to our readers
Would you pay $0.35 a day if you got:
- UBC SkyTrain
- Two Light Rail lines in Surrey
- 7 new B-Lines
- Burnaby Mountain Gondola
- Doubled capacity on the Expo Line
That’s the gist of Leap Ahead, a transit funding proposal that was released today. Based on over a year’s worth of research by myself and Nathan Pachal, the proposal pitches a 0.5% regional sales tax to cover the region’s share of the $6.5 billion cost of the infrastructure package. If approved, Leap Ahead would unlock $15 billion in economic returns and support 230,000 jobs, 4 times the number of jobs from the proposed Enbridge Northern Gateway pipeline.
Leap Ahead is a vision of a possible future. We all know what we need to build, the question was always ‘how’. Our research determined that a regional sales tax was the fairest, most affordable, and most realistic option for this region to move forward.
You can read the whole report, with a ton more stats and a plethora of maps, at leapaheadyvr.com
Consider Leap Ahead a parting gift to my readers and to fellow transit advocates across the region. I have been hired as a planner for the Province of Saskatchewan and will be shutting down Metro604 with this post. I will keep the site online as there is a valuable archive of over 500 posts spanning 5 years but there will not be any new articles forthcoming.
As I leave my home in Metro Vancouver, one year before a pivotal referendum on transit, it is my hope that Leap Ahead provides advocates with a viable pitch to win this battle. The referendum will determine the livability of this region for a generation. It is up to those of you who I leave behind to use the best parts of Leap Ahead, form coalitions with broader interest groups, and broker a deal that is winnable. Good luck.