Friday, September 24, 2010

Stable Funding for TransLink?

Yesterday the Provincial government and Mayors’ Council for TransLink signed a UN style accord on moving forward with providing a stable funding formula for TransLink. You can read the full agreement from the press release, but I wanted to cut through the fluffy and look the question of funding.
a. Funding sources included in current and future legislative authority.

b. Reallocation of existing revenue sources.

c. Potential new and innovative revenue sources that will shape transportation choices in favour of transit, cycling and walking, as well as greenhouse gas emission reductions.

d. A means of capturing some of the increase in land value created by the provision of rapid transit along the region’s strategic corridors.

e. Other revenue generating activities that take advantage of the market created by transit users.

f. Efficient and effective use of “Smart Card” technology to increase ridership beyond peak periods, improve efficiencies (reduce operating costs and increase the productivity of the transit fleets), reduce fare evasion and in general, generate greater fare revenue (user pay).
From the following statements, it looks like this agreement is the first step in many coming agreements on stable funding. It also looks like the Province and the Mayors’ Council will be looking at any and all funding sources for transit. It is interesting to read point "c" that will "shape transportation choices." Does that mean that tolling or road pricing of some form is in the future? Also point "f" is interesting, but sounds like they are talking about variable pricing on transit that would go beyond the weekday/weekend pricing structure we currently have now.

It will be interesting to see how the transit funding question is addressed as the Mayors’ Council agreed to have funding in place for at least the Evergreen Line by the end of the year.

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