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'Frustrating': Coquitlam mayor on North Shore rapid transit announcement

Last Updated May 15, 2019 at 8:13 am PDT

File Photo. (Lasia Kretzel, NEWS 1130 Photo)

Not everyone is thrilled with news the province is looking at a rapid transit line between Vancouver and the North Shore

Chair of the Regional Transportation Planning Committee says he was shocked to hear the news

Richard Stewart says the project was not part of the council's transportation plan

NORTH SHORE (NEWS 1130) – People who commute between the North Shore and Vancouver may have been happy with Tuesday’s news of a potential rapid transit line across the Burrard Inlet, but Coquitlam’s mayor doesn’t share their enthusiasm.

Chair of the Regional Transportation Planning Committee Richard Stewart says there are several projects that need to be prioritized that remain unfunded, noting he would like to see provincial money for them first.

“It came as a bit of a surprise to me,” adds Stewart. “We really don’t have that in the TransLink Mayors’ Council plan. Obviously, the province had put the region in charge of regional transportation, that was 21 years ago. Now we’re left with the reality that most of the major decisions seem to always get made by the provincial government so it can be frustrating.”

RELATED: Province looking at rapid transit to connect Vancouver and North Shore

He says there’s a reason the Mayors’ Council exists and doesn’t know why the province would make its own play like this for a north shoreline.

He says the government’s decision bypasses a number of previously prioritized projects, which he adds have taken years to study and compile.

“There really are a lot of projects across the region that we’ve got in line that they are on our priority list and they’re not funded yet. So from my perspective, it’s important if the region is in charge of setting the priorities for regional transportation, that the region be the driver of that process and I will leave it at that.”

WATCH: SkyTrain to the North Shore?

The issue will be discussed at the committee meeting Wednesday afternoon, Stewart adds.

“This is not something we’ve discussed,” he says. “We will be bringing it up there because this really hasn’t been something that we’ve discussed yet so it’s, as I say, it comes as a bit of a shock.”

The province will be looking at all rapid transportation options including SkyTrain, light rail train, gondola, or maybe expanding the SeaBus.