Frances Bula header image 2

Gas tax may disappear in future transit funding model, mayors say

March 8th, 2012 · 49 Comments

The region’s mayors continue to struggle to find the formula for paying for transit and roads in the region long-term.

Reporters tackled them yesterday at the end of their three-hour meeting, which Transportation Minister Blair Lekstrom attended part of,  and we all tried to pull something out of them about what’s coming up next.

Weirdly, many people focused on asking Lekstrom whether the province would ever allow a plan to put tolls on all the roads and bridges “as mayors have requested.” Of course, he said no. Duh. But the strange thing was, mayors have never requested this. That was one item on a long, long list of options compiled by staff of all the different ways that cities around the world have come up with to pay for their transit/road systems.

Unless I’m living in an alternative universe, mayors never said that was the option they would be pushing. In fact, TransLink chair Richard Walton (District of North Van) and Port Coquitlam Mayor Greg Moore (also chair of the Metro Van board) said that there would have to be a mix of strategies in any long-term funding plan and that, whatever mix it was, it had to be fair for everyone in the region. In other words, no plan that would penalize someone just because they happen to cross a bridge on their route.

What I found interesting from my talk with Walton and mayors’ council vice-chair Peter Fassbender (City of Langley) after the meeting was the news that they have zeroed in on one source of revenue they want to put in place for next year, but they aren’t saying what it is yet.

And, when they look at the long-term funding formula they want to put in place, some of the existing revenue sources, like the gas tax, may drop off.

My story here gives more details.

Categories: Uncategorized