BC to buy land to boost housing and services around transportation hubs

VICTORIA — The British Columbia government is making changes that would allow for the purchase of land along transportation hubs for housing, schools, commercial services and other mixed-use development.

Changes to the Transportation Act were introduced Tuesday, which the government says would allow the province to shape growth around transit, increase housing density and build connected communities.

Currently, the BC Transportation Financing Authority is only able to buy land for transportation projects.

Rob Fleming, the minister of transportation and infrastructure, says the government aims to increase the level of affordable housing that’s integrated into investments in transit.

The province says in a news release that the goal is to promote compact communities, making it easy for pedestrians, cyclists or those who use mobility aids to access the nearest transit hub.

It says building housing near transit hubs is proven to increase transit use, pointing to a 35 per cent boost in ridership at the Marine Drive Canada Line after more residential buildings went up around the station.