In a vote sure to place Sound Transit officials on edge, voters in Vancouver B.C. just rejected a proposed subway and light rail expansion project by a whopping 62% of the vote. The Washington Policy Center,
“The rejected $7.5 billion ($CAN) transportation plan would have been for expanding light rail, more bus service, an extension of the subway, and new Bus Rapid Transit lines.
“The public debate centered on TransLink, the transit/road management agency in Metro Vancouver. Armed with close to $6 million ($CAN), the “Yes” side was unable to convince voters to trust TransLink with a 0.5% increase in the regressive Provincial Sales Tax. The “No” side, with only $40,000 ($CAN), prevailed. When the winning side was outspent 150-to-1 there’s no doubt about the message: Vancouver voters clearly meant what they said.”
Interestingly enough, TransLink’s “Yes” campaign was very similar to the messaging Sound Transit is using to promote its latest $15 billion package, ST3. Via the Washington Policy Center,
Vancouver “Yes” campaign: “But our region faces challenges, including 1 million more Metro Vancouver residents expected over the next 30 years.”
Sound Transit officials: “By 2040 the area’s population is set to grow by one million people, equivalent to the current populations of Seattle, Everett and Tacoma combined.”
On the economy and livability:
Vancouver “Yes” campaign: “These investments [spending], to be completed over the coming 10 years, are essential to protecting our environment, strengthening our economy, and improving our health and quality of life.” [Emphasis theirs]
Sound Transit officials: “The livability and economic vitality of our communities depend on adding high-capacity transportation infrastructure.”
Sound Transit officials: “The great economic success we’ve worked so hard to achieve and the state’s future prosperity rest on continuing mass-transit investments that voters overwhelmingly support.”
On the supposed costs of inaction:
Vancouver “Yes” Campaign: “Imagine the impact on congestion, on economic capacity and on environmental quality if we fail to meet that new demand with adequate new service and infrastructure.”
Sound Transit officials: “What we know is that inaction and delay will result in worse congestion, worse air quality and a reduced quality of life.”
The claims made by TransLink failed to make an impression on Vancouver B.C. voters. Carrying the weight of broken promises on top of similar ridiculous claims, Sound Transit official have every reason to be concerned over what just happened in Vancouver B.C.