The CRD is embarking on a study of multi-modal transportation infrastructure for the southern Gulf Islands.
Transportation options in the SGI EA are limited and there are few alternative options to private automobiles. In 2018, the SGI Community Economic Sustainability Commission (“CESC”) requested that the CRD establish a new Transportation Commission for the SGI EA. Under the Regional District service model, a Commission can be established to advise on or administer a service. The CESC request for a Commission has thus been advanced as request for a transportation service to be established. Service establishment will require voter assent through a referendum process planned for the 2022 municipal election.
The CESC motion specified the new CRD SGI Transportation Commission should have representatives from Galiano Island, Mayne Island, Pender Islands, and Saturna Island with a mandate to oversee and coordinate the transportation initiatives relating to on-island and inter-island transportation, trails and bikeways.
The CRD Board has identified priorities for Transportation: “Work with government/community partners to plan for and deliver an effective, long-term multi-modal transportation system and to increase use of public transit, walking & cycling” (Priority 2(a) in the 2019-22 CRD Corporate Plan).
The CRD’s Regional Climate Action Strategy (“RCAS”) has identified on-road transportation as the region’s most significant source of greenhouse gas emissions (“GHGe”), and notes that the CRD needs to focus on mitigating impacts of transportation by “moving towards lower carbon emissions options such as walking, cycling, transit and electric vehicles” (RCAS, 2017). In 2019, the CRD has declared a climate emergency and committed to reducing GHGe 40% by 2030.
The project purpose is to design an integrated, multi-modal public transportation service or services for the SGI EA that can be delivered to the SGI communities in a cost effective manner.
The Transportation Service(s) will facilitate the movement of people and goods throughout the SGI region. An underlying objective of the service will be to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and dependency on fossil fuel vehicles. The Service(s) will advance community health and resilience, and support the local economy while minimizing environmental concerns related to single-occupancy vehicles.
The COVID-19 pandemic has affected ground and water transportation services in many ways. While some transportation services such as community buses have largely stopped, others—such as BC Ferries—have proved critical to the health and resiliency of SGI communities. The consultant’s work should assume the Transportation Service(s) are operating in a pre-COVID context and capacity, but modelling should include any contingencies and resiliencies in response to an ongoing pandemic that are certain at the time of writing.
Please see additional information on Regional District Service models in the resources section.
It is assumed the service model will be a hybrid approach, where some modes may operate under a contribution service model where the CRD provides operating funding to one or more third parties, while others, such as the Active Transportation function, will more direct and require CRD staff administration.
A regional transportation commission will be established to advise on the organization and conduct of transit and transportation services within the service area.