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Vancouver 2013: A Center of Transportation Innovation

By: 
Bill Cramer

Innovation is at the core of everything tolling agencies do, and everything the industry is trying to accomplish. IBTTA’s 81st Annual Meeting and Exhibition in Vancouver, Canada, September 22-25 will give you a first-hand look at one of the world’s most innovative transportation hubs.

Everyone knows that Vancouver is a spectacular destination. But it’s also one of the best places in the world to learn about smart, multimodal transportation systems, and the policies and practices that make them work.

Geography is Destiny

There’s a good reason that Vancouver is a leader in tolling, transit, and public-private partnerships: Nestled between soaring mountains and the glistening Pacific Ocean, the city has no choice but to make use of every strip of land. The result is an efficient, increasingly integrated transportation system that stands as a model for other communities.

  • The Port Mann Bridge, the second-longest cable-stayed bridge in North America and the widest bridge in the world, opened as a tolled facility on December 1, 2012.
  • The Canada Line, Vancouver’s third rapid transit line, opened in August 2009 and connects the downtown core with Vancouver Airport and the suburban city of Richmond. (The transit line is a two-minute walk from the airport and about 300 metres/325 yards from the Fairmont Waterfront Hotel. So unless you have multiple bags, you won’t even need a cab to get downtown.)
  • The Province of British Columbia’s Gateway Program is an integrated effort to reduce congestion and auto emissions, boost safety and reliability, and move people, goods, and transit more efficiently through the Metro Vancouver region.
  • Reliable, efficient transportation is a centerpiece of Vancouver’s effort to position itself as the world’s most sustainable city by 2020.

A Prime Learning Opportunity

If you have attended an IBTTA annual conference, you know that it’s an opportunity for wall-to-wall learning. State-of-the-art panel sessions will give you a year of ideas and insights. And you’ll get to connect with international colleagues, old and new, who understand the issues your organization is facing. If you haven’t registered yet for IBTTA’s 81st Annual Meeting and Exhibition, don’t delay! If you want to keep your organization at the forefront of tolling innovation, there’s nowhere else to be September 22-25.

(Photo by Matt Boulton)