Langley transit users continue to wait for rapid transit plan.

Trudeau’s transit announcement ‘doesn’t mean a whole heck of a lot’ for Langley: councillor

Coun. Nathan Pachal said he uses transit regularly and wants to see faster options in the future

For Langley’s transit users hoping for a faster connection to the rest of Metro Vancouver, the waiting game persists.

Langley City councillor Nathan Pachal is one of only a few elected officials in the region who use transit five days a week, he believes. And he is eager to know what the future of rapid transit will be.

He said that in the interim, while a final verdict between Light Rail Transit and a SkyTrain extension south of the Fraser River, he would like to see some kind of improvement along Fraser Highway, connecting the Langleys and Surrey.

“My preference is anything on the Fraser Highway corridor right now, including bus rapid transit,” he said.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau reaffirmed his government’s commitment to put up 50 per cent of funds needed for the Mayors’ Council 10-year plan at a press event in Burnaby on Thursday.

He pledged $616 million commitment to the plan for public transit.

Of that, $370 million comes from the feds and the remaining $246 million from the provincial government. TransLink is contributing another $125 million, bringing the capital funding to $740 million.

“For Langley, right now, it doesn’t mean a whole heck of a lot,” said Pachal.

Despite official sign-off on the federal half and the province’s one-third shares of the capital costs, Metro Vancouver mayors and the province have yet to iron out their differences over how the region should generate its 17 per cent share.

“The province basically wants the mayors to raise property taxes. I think it’s probably going be to province saying, ‘Hey, if you want more money, you’re going to have to raise property tax.'”

Mayors last month pressed the province to agree to either a new funding source, such as a vehicle levy, or dedicate $50 million a year from an existing one, such as the carbon tax.

They insist they want the remainder to be financed without subjecting the plan to the uncertainty of another referendum, like the one that defeated the proposed regional 0.5 per cent sales tax last summer and continued a years-long impasse over transit expansion.

While the mayors have previously resisted any voluntary increase in TransLink property taxes, they gave ground on that point when they tabled their funding proposal last month.

It would accelerate TransLink property tax increases to an automatic three per cent a year from the two per cent currently set in provincial legislation.

With files from Amy Reid and Jeff Nagel, Black Press

Just Posted

Mom delivers plastic mats to Langley’s homeless

Jenifer Kosman fashions sleeping mats from plastic grocery bags

Fraser Health asking taxpayers for millions more in health care capital funding

Health authority wants Fraser Valley taxpayers to triple annual contribution to $5.75 million

UPDATE: Man in mid-20s killed in targeted shooting in Abbotsford

Location of shooting the same as where innocent bystander Ping Shun Ao killed in 2015

Giants fall in six-round shootout

Visiting Victoria squad beats Vancouver 4-3 at Langley Events Centre

GALLERY: Giants host Royals in WHL action

Photos from the Vancouver Giants clash with the Victoria Royals at the Langley Events Centre

UPDATED: SUV fire at Langley mall (with video)

Firefighters respond to Fraser Highway incident

B.C. woman who forged husband’s will gets house arrest

Princeton Judge says Odelle Simmons did not benefit from her crime

Snow warning in effect for the Coquihalla

A snowfall warning is in effect from Hope to Merritt as slush and snow is expected on highways this weekend

Vancouver hoping free public Wi-Fi expansion will drive tourism dollars

Mayor Gregor Robertson says expansion bolsters its “leading Smart City” status

Women’s movement has come a long way since march on Washington: Activists

Vancouver one of several cities hosting event on anniversary of historic Women’s March on Washington

Liberals’ 2-year infrastructure plan set to take 5: documents

Government says 793 projects totalling $1.8 billion in federal funds have been granted extensions

Workers shouldn’t be used as ‘pawns’ in minimum wage fight: Wynne

Comments from Kathleen Wynne after demonstrators rallied outside Tim Hortons locations across Canada

John ‘Chick’ Webster, believed to be oldest living former NHL player, dies

Webster died Thursday at his home in Mattawa, Ont., where he had resided since 1969

World’s fastest log car made in B.C. sells for $350,000 US

Cedar Rocket auctioned off three times at Barrett-Jackson Co., netting $350,000 US for veterans

Most Read