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Message from the Minister and Accountability Statement

This service plan lays out the Ministry of Transportation’s goals for the next three years as we continue to expand, improve and strengthen our transportation system. As transportation accounts for approximately 40 per cent of greenhouse gas emissions, the Ministry of Transportation is also seeking to find alternatives to the way we move people.

Our new $14-billion Provincial Transit Plan signals a major improvement in transit for British Columbia. With investments in new rapid transit lines, RapidBus networks and expanded bus service the Plan aims to double ridership across B.C. The Plan will produce 200 million new transit trips and eliminate 160 million car trips annually by 2020 — equivalent to parking all the cars and light trucks in the Lower Mainland for one year.

The ability to cycle or walk to one’s destination will be another way to move beyond cars as the only transportation option. We will make cycling an easier choice through the implementation of new intersections, bike lanes and trails, expanded shoulders, and by leveraging our investment with partnering communities. This will include cycling infrastructure to allow bikes to cross the future new Port Mann Bridge.

Safe, efficient, and effective movement of people and goods on our highways will also remain part of the transportation solution, and cars will continue to be one of a widening range of choices to the public. A rapidly growing population, combined with our efforts to ensure B.C.’s role as the Pacific Gateway to the booming economies of Asia will mean more people and goods travelling on our highways. The $3 billion Gateway program in the Lower Mainland is designed to support this by reducing congestion and eliminating the Port Mann bottleneck. A new Port Mann Bridge and significant Highway 1 improvements will ensure rapid buses, cyclists and pedestrians can all move more easily through the corridor. In addition, the South Fraser Perimeter Road is well along in the development process, while construction continues on the new seven-lane Pitt River Bridge, part of the North Fraser Perimeter Road. Improvements to the Sea-to-Sky Highway remain on schedule.

Throughout B.C. we are improving our highway system. Major upgrades in the Kicking Horse Canyon, including the newly completed Park Bridge, will address long-standing reliability issues for truckers and travellers. The William R. Bennett Bridge in the Okanagan will open this summer, relieving one of the province’s worst congestion sites. The expanded facilities at Roberts Bank, the new world-class container terminal at the Port of Prince Rupert and other upgrades connecting road and rail facilities are helping to secure B.C. as the Pacific Gateway. The use of innovative Public-Private Partnership agreements has resulted in on-schedule delivery and cost savings for all the major projects delivered through the P3 structure. We also continue to work effectively with our federal partners on projects of national consequence.

Our successes and our ambitious plans would not be possible without the exceptional team of dedicated individuals within the Ministry.

The Ministry of Transportation 2008/09 – 2010/11 Service Plan was prepared under my direction, in accordance with the Budget Transparency and Accountability Act. I am accountable for the basis on which the plan has been prepared. All material fiscal assumptions and policy decisions as of February 13, 2008, have been considered in preparing the plan and I am accountable for achieving the specific objectives in the plan.

Honourable Kevin Falcon
Minister of Transportation

February 13, 2008

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