#WhatsTheLink: How transit has shaped Metro Vancouver

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#WhatsTheLink is a series about all that TransLink, Metro Vancouver’s transportation authority, is responsible for in the region. Learn more at translink.com/wtl and join the conversation on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, the Buzzer blog and here of course!

Did you know that transit plays a huge role in where you live, work and play in the region? Even if you aren’t a transit user, there’s a good chance that where you spend your days is directly related to where transit is located in the region.

How? Watch TransLink’s Guy Atkester of their real estate division provide a snapshot of the how transit has guided growth in our region since the 1940s.

More than ever, transit is helping to determine where we build in Metro Vancouver. Statements like, “Anything transit-oriented—anything close to a station—is going to be a highly coveted opportunity” from James Lang, the market intelligence manager for Colliers International Realty, show that developers see proximity to transit as valuable.

What about buyers and renters? Well, as real estate maven Bob Rennie says in reference to Marine Gateway built above the Canada Line’s Marine Drive Station, “…The consumer has spoken. They want to live on transit, and they’ll buy without parking.”

Transit-Oriented Developments

Transit-Oriented Developments or TODs are communities that focus on making transit accessible to everyone. These communities promote more walking and cycling than communities without good access to transit, resulting in lower levels of automobile use and greenhouse gas emissions.

TODs are communities that connect to the Frequent Transit Network (FTN). The FTN provides transit every fifteen minutes in the morning until 9 p.m. seven days a week. Combine the FTN with the fact that nearly 90% of all residents in the region live within walking distance of bus service, and more people benefit from transit.

A good example of a TOD connected to rapid transit in Metro Vancouver is Plaza 88 at New Westminster Station. Integrated with the SkyTrain, residents of the four residential towers have easy access to businesses and shopping as well as walking and cycling.

Future TODs include the new communities sprouting up around Brentwood Town Centre, Oakridge-41st Avenue and Marine Drive Stations.

Together with TransLink’s Major Road Network, five bridges, and cycling options, frequent and accessible transit is just one way TransLink is helping to shape a livable region.

Robert Willis is a Communications Advisor for TransLink. He looks after digital communications, including social media for the organization. He’s also the editor of the Buzzer blog and newsletter.

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