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Consultation sought for new transit plan
A week after announcing route changes and even cuts to bus routes in Coquitlam, TransLink is seeking public input on a transit plan for the region.
A new public advisory committee is being formed to provide TransLink with a community perspective on transit, according to Bob Paddon, executive vice president, Strategic Planning and Public Affairs.
TransLink is looking for people who live, work or study in the north east region defined as Coquitlam, Port Coquitlam, Port Moody, Belcarra and Anmore to apply for a spot on the Public Advisory Committee.
"We want to hear from people in the Northeast Sector about what works and what can work better when it comes to transit,” stated Paddon in a press release.
The committee will meet every one to two months for about two hours to provide input and feedback for the development of TransLink's Northeast Sector Area Transit Plan. It will take about 18 months to develop the plan, which will also include public consultation events and online surveys.
“It’s important that we have lots of input from members of the Public Advisory Committee, stakeholders and the public so that we make better informed decisions and end up with a plan people embrace and support,” Paddon further stated.
Those interested in joining the Public Advisory Committee can get more information and an application form at translink.ca/nesatp. Applications, submitted online or through the mail, are due March 18.
The first meeting is likely to be in April.
Last week TransLink announced a bus service "optimization" plan, that included reductions in some areas of service in Coquitlam with enhanced transit in growing areas, such as Burke Mountain.
According to TransLink, service optimization helps the transportation authority provide more rides while maintaining costs. Recently, it was revealed that by reining in transit costs, TransLink was able to reduce a projected $30 million shortfall. Now mayors and TransLink officials are hoping a tax hike won't be needed for 2013.
However, more money for the long term is needed to build new rapid transit lines in Surrey and Vancouver and generally expand transit service.
Meanwhile, pre-construction work is well underway in Port Moody and Coquitlam for the building of the $1.4 billion Evergreen Line slated to open in 2016. Last week, officials announced changes to traffic patterns in the Seaview area to allow for the boring of a tunnel under Clarke Road hill.