Downtown Vancouver SkyTrain station. (Black Press)

Downtown Vancouver SkyTrain station. (Black Press)

Metro mayors to get new transit funding tool

B.C. giving TransLink board authority for development charges

TransLink is getting the authority it needs to levy development charges on new developments to finance expansion of transit services in Metro Vancouver.

Municipal Affairs Minister Selina Robinson tabled legislation Monday to give the TransLink Mayors’ Council the authority it needs to impose new development cost charges. The mayors plan to raise $20 million a year to cover costs of their 10-year service plan, which includes upgrades to Millennium and Expo SkyTrain lines, additional buses and a new SeaBus.

In late 2017, TransLink’s directors proposed residential rates of between $1,200 and $2,100 per unit, and 50 cents to $1 per square foot for non-residential developments. Development cost charges are a one-time fee on new developments to handle growth-related infrastructure costs.

RELATED: TransLink sets new development fees

The legislation gives TransLink the option to provide reductions or waivers to the new charges for lower-cost rental housing in the region. It also requires TransLink to report publicly on its development charges annually.

The B.C. government has committed to cover 40 per cent of the TransLink 10-year plan, but the regional share of funding has been a contentious issue for many years.

BC legislatureTransLink