Thursday, September 3, 2009

Transit and Money

Sometimes I can get pretty depressed when I read stories about TransLink. It seems like the organization has been ready to implode on itself since the NDP government of the day refused to implement a vehicle levy back when TransLink was formed. The Liberal government's restructuring of the organization with a professional board did not solve the funding issue. It actually seems that the new TransLink has been even more vocal about the lack of funding. I believe that the B.C.'s comptroller-general report, due out later this month, will not find any major saving to be had at TransLink. What the agency needs are stable funding sources. Also the organization needs to stop having over-pricing SkyTrain being pushed on it by higher levels of government.

Accord to a recent news article it would appear that transit expansion is now off the table.
Huge budget deficits for B.C. mean TransLink's ambitious push to pour $450 million a year into transit expansion will almost certainly be shelved for at least the short term, CEO Tom Prendergast says.

Prendergast also said there are legitimate fears that rapid transit extensions toward UBC in Vancouver and deeper into Surrey might face much longer delays if TransLink ends up with funding sources to build and operate the Evergreen Line but little else.
What I also find interesting are the comments from B.C. Trucking Association president Paul Landry. As you can image he doesn’t come across as a big fan of transit or road-user fees.
But Landry said road pricing amounts to another unreasonable tax to drivers on top of fuel and parking taxes, the carbon tax and the planned vehicle levy.

"It's a request for us to rent what we already own," Landry said.

He welcomes the new review of TransLink and wants the transportation authority to go back to the drawing board and prepare all-new plans, with new measures to better meet the needs of freight haulers.

He said that should include designating dedicated lanes and corridors for trucks and banning parking along key goods movement routes at peak hours.
Now I believe that goods-movement is important, I just wish the trucking association would see that getting more people into transit and pricing roads might actually be a good thing for trucking. Road pricing would have to be part of a larger plan to support goods-movement of course. I suggest you check out the following report called, “The truth, the myths, and the possible in freight road pricing in congested urban areas

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