B.C. transportation and infrastructure minister Todd Stone has issued the following statement on the results of the Metro Vancouver transit plebiscite:
"We respect the decision of the voters and are proud that we fulfilled our commitment to give people in the region the final say on any new taxes proposed by the Mayors' Council.
"It's critically important to continue to see investment in transit and transportation in Metro Vancouver. Knowing that we are expecting a million additional people in Metro Vancouver over the next 30 years, congestion challenges and costs are going to continue to increase if there is not new investment. Doing nothing is not an option.
"The focus now needs to be on what TransLink can do in the short term to improve service for the travelling public where it's needed the most: dealing with the most congested bus routes, bus pass ups, and the need for more HandyDART service.
"With affordability in mind, and with the result of this plebiscite, the Mayors' Council needs to re-think its plan and funding sources.
"B.C. remains committed to investing in major new rapid transit and in a new Pattullo Bridge - the Province's 1/3 capital remains on the table. With clear and strong indications of similar support from the federal government, it remains for the region to determine how it will fund its 1/3. We will continue to engage with the Mayors' Council and look forward to hearing from them as to their next steps.
"We also understand and share the public's concerns about TransLink, particularly when it comes to accountability and transparency. TransLink must become more focused on the goals of delivering improved customer service and reliable service levels. They now have an excellent opportunity to take a big step in this direction as they recruit a new CEO.
"In the months ahead, we will give this more thought, and we will discuss this with the Mayors' Council, the TransLink board, other stakeholders and most importantly the public, to find other potential measures or strategies that could be implemented to achieve these goals for the travelling public."