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TransLink's board and the Vancouver-area Mayors' Council last week approved a 2 billion Canadian dollar plan for transit and road improvements in the Vancouver region in British Columbia.The improvements will be implemented as the first phase of a 10-year plan for the area's transit and transportation, according to a TransLink press release.The first phase will include a 20 percent increase in rail service following the delivery of new rail cars for the SkyTrain and West Coast Express systems. In addition, the initial phase will provide funding for pre-construction and consultation on the Broadway subway and Surrey-Langley light-rail route.Heralded as the region's biggest transit expansion in nearly 10 years, the first phase will be funded by a CA$370 million contribution from the Canadian government and CA$246 million from the provincial government. The remaining CA$1.3 billion in capital and operating costs will be covered by TransLink's existing sources, as well as property tax and fare increases.TransLink will begin implementing the plan in January 2017. Also in 2017, the agency and the Mayors' Council will develop the plan's second phase.The council is composed of representatives from each of the 21 municipalities within TransLink's service region."TransLink is ready to deliver the services and investments in the Phase One Plan," said Kevin Desmond, chief executive officer of TransLink. "Our team has put in months of detailed planning and preparation. Now we are looking forward to putting this preparation into action, and delivering the positive change we heard our customers demand during the public consultation last month."
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