Vancouver going back to the future to finance transit lines

Canada Line under construction at Vancouver International Airport

The newly reconstituted transit authority in Vancouver is looking to transit-oriented development to play a large role in paying its bills going forward. According to a report by Randy Shore of the Vancouver Sun, the authority will seek to control and manage the land around future stations for financial gain:

"Before this year, TransLink was legally empowered only to buy the land necessary for SkyTrain operations. Under new legislation, TransLink can now buy land around stations and along the right of way. 'It will take a lot of discussion with the municipalities, but the signals that we are getting from the mayors is that they know a lot of density is going to come with the line,' [Dale] Parker [TransLink chair] explained."

Interestingly, the model cited in the article is Hong Kong, where the transit authority is among the city's most powerful and profitable corporations -- entirely on the strength of its development business.


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