ARCHIVED - Canada, BC and Translink Invest in Transit Security Improvements

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Vancouver, British Columbia, April 9, 2009 – The security of BC commuters will be enhanced thanks to a $100 million priority project that the governments of Canada, British Columbia and TransLink have identified today. This project involves implementing controlled access gates (Faregates) and electronic fare cards (Smartcards) on the Lower Mainland's transit system, Premier Gordon Campbell, Russ Hiebert, MP for South Surrey-White Rock-Cloverdale and TransLink CEO Tom Prendergast announced today. Construction of the Faregates-Smartcards Project is expected to begin in the spring of 2010.

"We are working in partnership with the federal government and Translink to improve safety and security of Skytrain passengers on and throughout the Lower Mainland's transit system," said Premier Campbell. "Everyone who chooses to use transit has the right to feel safe and secure. Faregates and Smartcards will help to create a safer environment for transit users and will be an efficient and effective way to reduce fare evasion."

"By providing real benefits to residents of this province through infrastructure projects such as this, our Government is further enhancing our already strong partnership with British Columbia," said MP Hiebert. "Not only is the Government of Canada investing in security improvements but we are also helping to create jobs and boost our economy."

"Smartcards will make things work better for transit customers with a simpler and more convenient way to access the system," said TransLink CEO Tom Prendergast. "Faregates will complement the Smartcard system, and will significantly improve the public's perception of safety and security on transit, and their confidence that fare evasion issues are being addressed."

In addition to contributing to the security of passengers, smartcards will generate ridership information that will give TransLink a significant advantage in future service planning, plus the ability in the longer term to structure fares to match the service being provided.

Previous security measures for transit in the Lower Mainland include the creation of the Transit Police Service, Canada's first dedicated transit police force with full police powers.

For more information, please contact:

Bridgitte Anderson
Press Secretary
Office of the Premier
604 307-7177

Ken Hardie
Director of Communications
TransLink
604 453-4606

Media Relations
Transport Canada
Ottawa
613-991-0700

Jeff Knight
Public Affairs Bureau
Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure
250 356-7707

Backgrounder
Expansion of Lower Mainland Transit

The Government of Canada, the Province of British Columbia and TransLink have identified improvements to transit security on the Advanced Light Rail Transit (ALRT) Network as a priority for infrastructure funding consideration.

Federal funding is subject to the projects meeting all federal eligibility requirements of the Building Canada Fund and the signing of a contribution agreement with the Province of British Columbia.

Beyond this funding announcement, the Government of Canada is taking important steps to support economic growth. Canada's Economic Action Plan, announced in Budget 2009, is a balanced stimulus plan that includes massive investments in infrastructure, tax relief and transfers. This plan will provide close to $12 billion in new infrastructure stimulus funding over two years which will address needs in communities across Canada, as well as contributing to long-term economic growth through investments in public infrastructure, such as roads, water treatment, green energy and transit.

Transit Security: ALRT Network

This project will convert the current payment system on the Advanced Light Rail Transit (ALRT) Network to a system that uses gates to control access to station platforms. The project will also introduce electronic smart cards as the mode of payment. These improvements will not only enhance security for passengers but will also ensure that all users pay the fare to use the ALRT Network.

There are 49 stations to be upgraded including the implementation of an electronic smart card payment system throughout Metro Vancouver's transit service area.

Funding for the Faregates-Smartcards Project is a joint partnership between the Government of Canada, British Columbia and Translink. The Province is investing up to $40 million and the Government of Canada has committed up to $30 million to a maximum of one-third of eligible costs in this project.

The total cost of the improvements to transit security on the ALRT Network is $100 million.

April 2009

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