With a broad name like Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure, there are bound to be questions. Like small-talk at a cocktail party, those 13 syllables beg the question: “So, what do you do?”
Our Way is the Highway
When thinking about the ministry, the first thing that pops into your head is likely B.C. highways. That’s because about 80 per cent of what we do involves building, rehabilitating and maintaining provincial highways to keep you moving safely and goods flowing smoothly. With B.C.’s diverse and wild landscapes, looking after highways includes protecting drivers and wildlife as well as reducing the impact of natural forces.
Some past and present major transportation projects and strategies we have overseen, or continue to oversee, include:
- Kicking Horse Canyon Improvement Project (ongoing)
- Cariboo Connector Strategy (ongoing)
- South Fraser Perimeter Road Project (ongoing)
- Port Mann/Highway 1 Improvement Project (complete)
- Sea to Sky Highway Improvement Project (complete)
We also manage a number of highway related programs, such as:
From BC HighwayCams to up-to-the-minute road reports, we supply traveller information to commuters, road trippers, truckers and all other highway users through DriveBC (we’re mobile, too). In fact, we now have more than 300 webcam views throughout the province, with more to come. In a recent Tell TranBC survey, we asked you to help us figure out where future cams would be best placed to help you know before you go. Since then, a number of your requested locations have been equipped with webcams – Bombi Summit and Jackass Mountain Summit, for example.
DriveBC goes off-road, too, informing you on our 14-route fresh water inland ferry system overseen by our Marine Branch, which also oversees the Coastal Ferry Services Contract between the province and BC Ferries.
One of our most popular regulatory bodies is the Commercial Vehicle Safety and Enforcement (CVSE) branch. All you B.C. truckers and other commercial carriers get to know this crew pretty quick, as the CVSE enforces seasonal load restrictions and performs commercial vehicle safety inspections. Safety is a big priority, but we also want to ensure commercial drivers can move their goods efficiently. That’s why CVSE also runs programs such as Weigh2GoBC to cut down on stop times at highway weigh stations and keep the economy moving.
Partnering Up On Infrastructure
Our experience managing all sorts of transportation projects, from road resurfacing to seismic bridge retrofits, allows us to contribute to infrastructure on a larger scale in partnership with municipalities, the federal government and organizations.
Take the Evergreen Line, for example. The ministry is partnering with the federal government and Translink to build a new rapid transit line between Coquitlam and Vancouver via Port Moody and Burnaby. The ministry also works with the crown agency BC Transit, which is responsible for making sure municipal public transportation runs smoothly.
The Pacific Gateway strategy, which is focused on boosting international trade, is another great example of how the ministry is partnering with local communities and stakeholders. We work with these partners to improve transportation infrastructure, finding innovative ways to enhance the flow of imported and exported goods.
Meanwhile, our Infrastructure Development Branch assists local governments and community groups with a wide range of worthwhile projects such as local road and bridge upgrades, airport expansion and construction of libraries, recreation centres, and athletic fields.
Helping You Get Stuff Done
So, you want to plan a special event, film a movie, or even develop land near a controlled access highway? The ministry oversees permits, approvals and regulations to ensure activities on and around provincial highways are carried out smoothly and safely.
Caught a cab, lately? That taxi company went through the ministry’s Passenger Transportation Branch to become fully licenced to get you from “A” to “B.”
It takes teamwork with stakeholders and various levels of government to keep B.C. moving. We want to do our part the best we can. That includes understanding you, the public, and your needs. In what ways do you experience B.C. transportation and infrastructure? Feel free to leave a comment below. Now it’s your turn to let us know what you do.
Nice to meet you.