Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Be Part of the Plan Report

As you a probably well aware, TransLink did a series of consultation called Be Part of the Plan. The consultation went hand-in-hand will the transit plans that TransLink put together for the mayors to approve (or not.) The options include drastic service cuts with $0 new funding, maintaining current levels of service for $260 million extra a year, or for $450 million extra actually improve transit in our region. The $260 million would come from increasing all funding sources available to TransLink including introducing a new vehicle levy. To really make transit an option for people, TransLink would need to have the provincial government approve new funding sourcing like road pricing. Anyway, I wanted to highlight some of the information contained in the consultation report.

First, I wanted to highlight rapid transit in the South of Fraser. While other sub-regions talked about SkyTrain expansion, people in the SoF talked about “the types of technology being considered, especially light-rail transit and inter-urban rail.”

Also not surprising were people’s view of transit service in the SoF:
There was a lot of discussion about the lack of service currently available south of the Fraser and the need for more buses.
Also, interesting to note was that people wanted more transit service, but they didn’t want to pay for it.
It should be noted that many of the people that said “no” to current funding sources still supported moderate or significant investment levels.

There is strong support for funding sources that influence behavioural change for example, kms travelled, fuel tax, tolls, efficiency of vehicles, etc.

Participants consistently indicated that carbon pricing and road user fees should be considered as the top two options. These were preferred because people understood the relationship between the impact on the environment and the transportation network and the need to pay for sustainable alternatives. In some cases people referred to the “Polluter Pays” principle. However it was also apparent that many people did not understand the current Provincial carbon pricing policy or its objectives. One suggestion - businesses pay for bus passes for their employees and they get a tax break that is paid for by the carbon tax.
Have a look at the report on TransLink’s website.

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