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Transportation 2040 Plan: A transportation vision for the City of Vancouver

Dunsmuir bike lane, © Paul Krueger

Transportation 2040 is a long-term strategic vision for the city that will help guide transportation and land use decisions and public investments for the years ahead.

It provides a blueprint for us to move forward, build upon our past successes, and rise to meet new and emerging challenges.

The plan sets long-term targets and includes both high-level policies and specific actions to achieve this vision.

Transportation 2040 is a part of the City's larger strategy to ensure an inclusive, healthy, prosperous, and liveable future for Vancouver.

Goals of the Transportation 2040 Plan

The plan supports goals that address the many challenges we face, and seeks to meet Vancouver's economic, environmental, and social needs.

  • Economy - We envision a smart and efficient transportation system that supports a thriving economy while increasing affordability
  • People - We envision healthy citizens in a safe, accessible, and vibrant city
  • Environment - We envision a city that enhances its natural environment, ensuring a healthy future for its people and the planet

Many of the actions we will take to achieve these goals will require more detailed study and/or consultation. Given limited resources and practical constraints, achieving our goals requires us to prioritize our efforts and explore innovative funding and design solutions.

Related projects

Read about this initiative in depth

Survey: Understanding your travel habits

1 December 2013 - A key implementation principle from Transportation 2040 is to monitor progress, learn from our experiences, and adapt our policies accordingly. The City of Vancouver is currently undertaking a travel survey to help better understand the travel characteristics of our residents. You may be contacted by Mustel Group to undertake a one day travel diary which will be undertaken on an annual basis. This will help us measure progress towards our goals and plan future transportation investments.

Transportation 2040 plan approved by Council

31 October 2012 - After two years of extensive consultation with the engagement of over 18,000 citizens, Vancouver City Council voted today to approve the new Transportation 2040 plan, an ambitious and balanced framework for Vancouver’s transportation future.

Transportation 2040 draft plan presented

30 October 2012 - Staff presented the plan at the regular City Council meeting at 9:30am, followed by a meeting of the Standing Committee on City Finance and Services at 1:30pm.

Phase 2 consultation summary

7 August 2012 - During the Transportation 2040 Phase 2 consultations in June and July 2012, over 10,000 people participated through public events, community and stakeholder meetings, an online questionnaire, social media, and email. In general, there was strong support for the City of Vancouver's draft transportation policies and actions.

Presentation to City Council

29 May 2012 - The transportation plan team gave an update to Vancouver City Council on 29 May 2012.

Public consultation documents

Council presentation documents

View the "Transportation Plan Update" slideshow that was presented to Council on 29 May 2012. The 38-slide presentation includes:

  • Timeline
  • Goals and context
  • Trends and targets
  • Policy themes and highlights

Transportation 2040 Plan direction

This plan includes high-level policies and specific actions grouped into the transportation-related categories listed below. Each category includes a short vision statement to help summarize the overall intent.

  • Land use - Use land use to support shorter trips and sustainable transportation choices
  • Walking - Make walking safe, convenient, comfortable, and delightful. Ensure streets and sidewalks support a vibrant public life and encourage a walking culture, healthy lifestyles, and social connectedness
  • Cycling - Make cycling safe, convenient, comfortable, and fun for people of all ages and abilities
  • Transit - Support transit improvements to increase capacity and ensure service that is fast, frequent, reliable, fully accessible, and comfortable
  • Motor vehicles - Manage the road network efficiently to improve safety and support a gradual reduction in car dependence. Make it easier to drive less. Accelerate the shift to low-carbon vehicles
  • Goods, services, and emergency response - Support a thriving economy and Vancouver’s role as a major port and Asia-Pacific gateway while managing related environmental and neighbourhood impacts. Maintain effective emergency response times for police, fire, and ambulance
  • Education, encouragement, and enforcement - Encourage sustainable transportation choices and educate all road users to promote safe and respectful behaviour. Support legislation and enforcement practices that target dangerous conduct.

How we will implement the plan

Many of the actions outlined in this plan will require more detailed study and/or consultation. Given limited resources and practical constraints, achieving our goals requires us to prioritize our efforts and explore innovative funding and design solutions.

Our guiding principles

The following principles are intended to help set priorities and guide implementation of the plan:

  • Invest wisely - We will prioritize investments where the greatest benefits can be achieved
  • Think 'big picture' - We will prioritize projects that achieve multiple transportation benefits, such as improved mobility and safety, or have added value beyond transportation
  • Be opportunistic -We will minimize costs and disruption by coordinating transportation improvements with other work projects
  • Innovate - We will use low-cost pilot projects to test new ideas and approaches. We will embrace new transportation and information technologies that help achieve our goals and improve efficiency
  • Monitor, learn, and adapt - We will monitor results, learn from our experiences, and adapt policies and approaches as necessary
  • Work together - We will collaborate with partners on projects that span municipal boundaries or have regional significance, or provide benefits that cross sectors. Research and funding partnerships will be pursued wherever possible
  • Involve and empower citizens and local businesses - We will engage with nearby residents, businesses, and other stakeholders when developing and implementing projects. Concerns and aspirations will be understood and duly considered, and engagement approaches will foster constructive dialogue, unleash creativity, and inspire positive action.

How we will track our progress

Monitoring and evaluation are essential to help us understand whether we are making progress towards our goals and generally headed in the right direction.

By asking the right questions and collecting the right information, we can understand trends, respond to changing circumstances, and better predict the relative impacts of various investments.

We can learn from our experiences and adjust our actions accordingly. Through recent initiatives, we have already started more rigourous monitoring of infrastructure performance. This ensures accountability and responsiveness in a changing world, helping us make sound decisions that support our long-term goals.

A living plan

Transportation 2040 is a living plan. We will work with partners to measure progress and adapt policy and actions as necessary.

To assist in performance evaluation and decision making, we will measure project impacts by collecting information before and after implementation, set interim targets, and report out on key indicators. As much as possible, we will share results in an open format to maximize transparency and support third-party analysis and tool development.

Working leading up to this plan

The City and our partners have been working together on transportation issues through a number of related plans.

Regional and provincial governments

TransLink sets regional priorities for transportation and Metro Vancouver for land use planning. In 2008, the provincial government outlined its support for regional transit investment, including the UBC Line.

  • Metro Vancouver: Regional Growth Strategy (2011)
  • TransLink: Transport 2040 (2008) and Transport 2045 (in development)
  • British Columbia: Provincial Transit Plan (2008) and Climate Action Plan (2008)

Neighbouring municipalities

Vancouver’s neighbours have transportation plans that speak to increasing travel by foot, bicycle, and transit, though they vary in focus, approach, and scale. Vancouver’s transportation network connects to the north and south via five road bridges (managed by various agencies) and dedicated rail and ferry links. Numerous streets connect to the east and west.

  • District of North Vancouver: Transportation Plan (2012)
  • District of West Vancouver: Strategic Transportation Plan (2010)
  • City of North Vancouver: Long-Term Transportation Plan (2008)
  • University Endowment Lands: Official Community Plan (2005)
  • Burnaby: Transportation Plan (2004)
  • Richmond: Official Community Plan – Transportation (1999, update in 2012)

Institutional partners

Both Port Metro Vancouver and the Vancouver International Airport are planning to increase their freight and passenger capacity. The University of British Columbia’s Point Grey Campus relies on direct and reliable transit connections.

  • Port Metro Vancouver: Port 2050 (2010)
  • Vancouver International Airport: Your Airport 2027 (2007)
  • University of British Columbia: Strategic Transportation Plan (2005, renewal ongoing)

Previous City of Vancouver transportation plans

Transportation 2040 succeeds Vancouver’s 1997 Transportation Plan, which recognized that the city’s future did not lay in road expansion. Other transportation related plans supplement this work.

  • Downtown Transportation Plan (2002)
  • Bicycle Plan (1999)
  • Transportation Plan (1997)
  • Greenways Plan (1995)

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Get the Transportation 2040 Plan

Transportation 2040 Plan

Download the complete Transportation 2040 Plan, and learn how Vancouver is building a smart and efficient transporation system that supports people, the environment, and our economy.

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Transportation 2040 plan overview


Last modified: Mon, 28 Oct 2013 16:10:56