Soon, you’ll receive a mail-in ballot asking you to vote by May 29, 2015 on whether you support the Metro Vancouver Congestion Improvement Tax.
The referendum is for a 0.5% sales tax increase to raise $7.5 billion over 10 years for transportation and transit improvements. Already the province has committed to paying for $2.5 billion of this.
Here are six reasons to vote yes:
1. 35 cents a day is what it will cost. For this, we’ll get an improved quality of life in our neighbourhoods with 400 new buses, 25 express routes, 11 B-Lines, a new subway along the Broadway corridor, a new Pattullo Bridge, maintaining and upgrading the region’s major roads, new light rail routes in Surrey, safer walking and cycling routes, as well as increased service on SkyTrain, Canada Line, SeaBus, West Coast Express, HandyDART and NightBus.
2. Transit sets the direction for future development. It brings transit-oriented development – new, compact, denser, walkable neighbourhoods built with transit as their focus.
3. Transit helps drives affordable neighbourhoods. Denser, smaller units = more affordable homes.
4. Transit helps shape healthier neighbourhoods. Residents walk and cycle more. There is less pollution from
less road traffic, and improved road conditions for those who must drive.
5. Transit increases property values along transit. Buyers will pay a premium to live where they can walk to transit. One-third of Greater Vancouver buyers paid more for their homes to be closer or within walking distance to transit.
6. Transit helps our economy. Traffic congestion will cost our economy up to $1.2 billion each year in vehicle operating costs, lost productivity and pollution from emissions. Reduce congestion and economic performance improves. Improved economic performance results in higher income.
'In Vancouver the real estate phrase location, location, location is really transit, transit, transit.' Gordon Price, Director, Simon Fraser University, City Program Vote YES in the transit referendum The Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver is a member of the Better Transit and Transportation Coalition. More than 130 local organizations are also members.
Who else is voting YES? Real estate and business related organizations
BC Building Trades BC Chamber of Commerce
BC Hotel Association BC Ready Mix Concrete Association
Building Owners and Managers Association of BC Concert Properties
Delta Chamber of Commerce Downtown Vancouver Association
Downtown Vancouver Business Improvement Association Greater Vancouver Home Builders’ Association
Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows Chamber of Commerce NAIOP Vancouver Chapter
New Westminster Chamber of Commerce North Vancouver Chamber of Commerce
Port Coquitlam Business Improvement Association Port Metro Vancouver
Richmond Chamber of Commerce Surrey Board of Trade
Tourism Richmond Tourism Surrey
Tourism Vancouver Urban Development Institute, Pacific Region
Vancouver Board of Trade Vancouver Regional Construction Association
Vancouver AM Tourism Association West End Business Improvement Association