Posted on Apr 27, 2021
Traffic congestion has been an ongoing challenge for businesses and residents in Delta over many years. Businesses are struggling with the realities of unreliable travel times and are reluctant to develop to meet full potential. The best case scenario for replacement of the George Massey Tunnel is 7 to 8 years, but only once the provincial government finally has made a decision. The Delta Chamber of Commerce sees the need to engage with industry, government, and other stakeholders, particularly Translink and BC Transit, to help develop a comprehensive public transit service plan for Industrial Lands and Business Parks. The Chamber has developed a new Transportation Policy, which Chair of the Delta Chamber of Commerce, Rotarian Yvonne Anderson, presented to Ladner Rotary on April 27, 2021.
Yvonne Anderson is the founder and CEO of Delta-based Santevia Water Systems Inc. Santevia manufactures and distributes home water filtration products in Canada, the USA and Europe. The company is located in Tilbury Industrial park and many of the team live, work and play in Delta. Yvonne is an active volunteer in Delta, serving on:
♦ Delta Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors;
♦ City of Delta's Mayor's Community Investment Committee;
♦ Rotary Club of Tsawwassen's Board of Directors;
♦ Tsawwassen Toastmasters' Board of Directors.

► employees commute to/from Delta through the
tunnel = barrier when it comes to potential to business
► beyond the typical 7:00am to 6:00pm transit window public transit options are limited in number and frequency of bus trips, only within those peak hours
► this gap in transportation service is experienced by businesses in industrial parks throughout Metro Vancouver and across BC because it is based on intentional planning design

► community planners developing the framework for planning policy in Metro Vancouver, across North America and beyond plan for “complete communities”
► plans look to keep residents close to the everyday things they do, like shopping, schools, libraries, office buildings, parks, etc. 
► then they plan for public transit between these areas in order to make it easier for those residents to access the resources they need on a daily basis without needing to rely on single occupant vehicles

► the challenge of this approach to planning is that it doesn’t reflect the needs of communities like Delta, where our residential areas are spread out (Tsawwassen, Ladner, North Delta now TFN housing) 
► there is a limited variety of housing stock to support the variety of people who would be employed by businesses here in our community
► with high cost of housing, workers often need to live outside the community and commute into Delta
► commuting via public transit is not a feasible option for them, so they end up driving or choosing not to work here in Delta at all

► Metro Vancouver policy on transportation planning focuses residential and employment growth on urban centres, within Frequent Transit Development Areas
► then to connect those areas by transit through the Frequent Transit Network when there is no plan to focus residential and employment growth in an area
► there is, therefore, no plan to increase transit service to that area

► the only Frequent Transit Network in Delta is along Scott Road in North Delta, and on the route that passes through Delta along Highway 99 to South Surrey
and White Rock
► in Delta we are not going to be changing the overarching planning methodology of Metro Vancouver or Translink for the business community any time soon
► with still the same problem we need to look at alternative solutions in order to address that need

► the Transportation Demand Management approach looks to alternative options for commuters other than single occupant vehicles
► Translink (and BC Transit outside Metro Vancouver) has TDM teams to provide services to communities and/or businesses where they cannot provide typical regular bus services, but where there is demand 
► for example, coordinating shuttle buses (instead of regular buses) when there is a known group of workers commuting to a particular location at set times
► or organizing vanpools or car share programs between a number of employers within a business park
► plus cycling, with more people doing it and with e-bikes becoming more affordable, it’s becoming a more viable alternative for commuters
► City of Delta is working on its Cycling Master Plan
► Delta Chamber is advocating to ensure that this plan includes safe, reliable access for commuting cyclists to both Tilbury and Annacis Island Industrial Parks from our residential communities as part of this plan

► Translink Transportation Demand Management team working in the Gloucester Business Park just north of Hwy 1 in Aldergrove
► businesses are located away from residential areas where employees live, and have minimal bus service.
►  the constant, daily backlog of traffic on Hwy 1 is challenging for businesses in managing their workforce
► Translink survey of businesses in the park: 40% of employees were interested in a vanpool program
► the TDM team identified the hotspots where most workers lived and were able to create about 21 vanpool groups for 100 commuters

► Delta Chamber has submitted a policy resolution to the BC Chamber AGM this year, with the support of various other chambers and boards of trade
► could become official policy of the BC Chamber and support advocacy work with the provincial government
► policy resolution calls on BC government to engage with industry, government, other stakeholders - particularly Translink, BC Transit - to develop a public transit service plan for industrial lands, business parks
► proposes Translink/BCTransit include Transportation Demand Management services for their constituents as part of their mandate letters again, and work with regional districts and municipal governments to implement and promote active transportation options and investment in related infrastructure