YVR is more than just an airport. It is a connecting hub that provides economic and social benefit to the people of British Columbia. We develop first-of-its kind innovative technological solutions to speed up travel processes, we partner to construct a Designer Outlet Centre on airport land (opening Spring 2015) and we are a proud community-based organization.
But at the end of the day, we are in the business of transportation, and transportation is one of the most topical issues in Metro Vancouver currently. An efficient transportation network is vital to Metro Vancouver and to British Columbia. Good transportation encourages sustainable choices; more people can leave their cars at home, goods and products can get from point A to point B efficiently and it creates opportunities to strengthen our economy.
A key example of people adopting transit is the introduction of the Canada Line at YVR. Before the Canada Line, only four percent of travellers used transit to get to YVR. Now 15 per cent of travellers use transit to get to the airport. We’ve also seen an increase in employee ridership which is good for all the employers on Sea Island. These numbers speak for themselves. I use Canada Line all the time and see how it has helped make YVR a more sustainable airport, providing great service to passengers and employees alike. But with the population of Metro Vancouver increasing, we will need to enhance many transit options in order to provide quality sustainable transportation options for British Columbians.
Transportation isn’t just our business – it’s integral to our entire community.
YVR is undertaking its own future planning this year as we begin to create a new Master Plan that will help guide how we plan our land-use on Sea Island. Forecasting and technical studies are already underway to help us better understand what the future of people, cargo, climate change, transportation modes and more might look like. In a few months, we are going to share some of our thoughts with you and gather your input. We’re excited to engage our community to help create a new plan for B.C.’s airport of the future.
Another planning initiative we are working on is a study of our cold supply chain between YVR and Shanghai Pudong International Airport. I was recently in Shanghai to formalize this agreement with Shanghai Pudong International Airport Cargo Terminal Co. The partnership will study the benefits of developing closer linkages and improved efficiencies to the cold supply chain between Vancouver and Shanghai and world supply chains and will benefit both our economies. We hope this will be the beginning of a fruitful partnership – that includes bringing more of our B.C. cherries to China.
Although I’ve shared a few of our longer-term future plans, we also have a number of exciting initiatives happening this spring and summer. I’ll share more about these next month.