Canada's Minister of Infrastructure Underscores Importance of Transit-Oriented Development

On the heels of a billion-dollar federal contribution to Vancouver's SkyTrain, the minister emphasized the need for policies that encourage affordable housing near transit.

July 30, 2021, 5:00 AM PDT

By Diana Ionescu @aworkoffiction


TransLink SkyTrain

meunierd / Shutterstock

Canada's federal minister of infrastructure and communities recently announced a "$1.3-billion contribution to the Surrey-Langley SkyTrain extension of the Expo Line" in Vancouver, writes Kenneth Chan. After the announcement, the minister touted the importance of transit-oriented development and the crucial link between public transit and housing.

"The basic principle of transit-oriented development growth is that more people living and working next to public transit are more likely to use the service if it is of high quality, with the attributes of high frequencies, a sufficient-to-high capacity, and a competitive travel time against driving." Living in one of the world's costliest cities, Vancouverites need efficient transit like the SkyTrain to reach work and downtown amenities. "McKenna says the inclusion of policies that catalyze affordable housing, not just any transit-oriented housing, is a top priority for the federal government’s public transit strategy."

According to the agreement, "[t]he City will seek TransLink and the Province’s input as early as possible in the planning process on applications for developments in close proximity to Surrey-Langley SkyTrain stations to achieve the best possible land use, housing, transportation and design outcomes. The precise geographic limit will be agreed upon by the City and TransLink based on planning considerations such as transit passenger movements, other transportation mode needs and government owned lands."

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