The arrival of the rapid transit system is fast approaching the Tri-Cities. With only two years until the Evergreen Line is inservice, the Tri-Cities Chamber of Commerce wanted to spread the news of the all the opportunities that will arise from the growth that the Evergreen Line will provide. On May 27th at Douglas College David Lam Campus, the Tri-Cities Chamber brought the Evergreen Line Project Manager, Translink Vice President of Real Estate, Transit Police Officer and more in to speak about the opportunities the Skytrain will provide for the community and for local businesses. From this forum we took away three major ideas:

1. The Evergreen Line is going to change how communities interact and creates large opportunity for businesses to grow.

2. We learn from other cities’ experiences that collaboration between businesses, residents and the government are essential to creating a prosperous community.

3. Finally, with direct access from the Skytrain to a fast growing community and come new safety and security concerns. With an increasing population, growth issues occur.

To be a more successful community and reach full potential it is more important than ever to work together. Collaboration is the key to maintaining a successful society. The opportunity for businesses to thrive is beginning with the rising population and expansion. The Skytrain will only help, as the Tri-Cities will be more accessible to each other as both a cheaper and an environmental alternative to driving. Not only connecting to the Tri-Cities but also having a direct route from Surrey as well as Vancouver creates an even larger network of opportunities. That being said, with a higher population comes greater security risks. Looking at crime trends from the past we can see that due to the population increasing it is expected that there will be more incidences.  However, the ratio of incidences compared to the number of people is less, creating a safer community.

It is clear to see that the Evergreen line is going to change the way we live, work and play. With a growing population there will be a lower ratio of crime rates, which, builds a safe environment where businesses and residents can flourish. By connecting the Tri-Cites together with the rest of Metro-Vancouver and Vancouver creates unlimited opportunities for the cities and all of our neighbours to prosper.

By Stephanie Rennie
Summer Intern, Tri-Cities Chamber