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Improve transit for industrial areas, business parks, says Delta

City says some workers and businesses don’t have equitable access to public transit
TransLink and the cities of Surrey and Delta are constructing the new RapidBus lanes on the Scott Road corridor, which expected to be in service by early 2024. Delta would like to also see a focus on improving transit for the region’s industrial and business parks. Sandor Gyarmati photo

The provincial government needs to develop a comprehensive public transit service plan for industrial lands and business parks to ensure better commuting options are available for workers to underserved areas.

That’s one of the motions the City of Delta is putting forward at the upcoming annual Union of BC Municipalities convention this September, asking other communities to support a call for the province to help provide better transit options for skilled trades, technical workers and businesses located within industrial areas and business parks.

A Delta staff report on the motion notes that regional growth strategies are increasingly focused on the concept of “complete communities” where higher-density trip-generating development is being directed to urban centres and areas where most trips can be taken by transit, walking or biking.

However, public transit solutions are not planned or focused on industrial areas or business parks, as those are lower-density areas and are, by design, located further away from residential neighbourhoods, resulting in longer commutes with fewer stops, and therefore lower use.

“This makes them less financially viable options for regular bus service. As a result, the workers and businesses that operate on industrial lands do not have equitable access to reliable and timely public transit as do workers and businesses operating in sectors within urban centres,” the report states.

“Due to the lack of ridership density within these spaces, traditional public transit service or infrastructure investment options may not be financially or logistically feasible within the short term,” the report adds.

The city’s position is that comprehensive public transit service plans, developed in partnership with all levels of government and industry, can help provide better commuting options to suit the needs of businesses and workers in industrial areas and business parks, while also providing opportunities to participate in programs and activities of reducing greenhouse gas emissions and improving efficiency of regional transportation systems.