Thursday, October 14, 2010

Regional Tolling

One of the challenges that must be addressed when implementing a user-pay road system is the issue or perceived issue of equality. The Vancouver Sun has a article that sums up that thought from Mayor Lois Jackson of Delta.

"It really is a conundrum because the jobs are downtown but they don't want any cars downtown, they want bicycles and that's not just possible for us," said Jackson.

"Pay as you go has always been in the back of my mind. However, if you think about people on low wages and fixed incomes and the only job they can get is in North Vancouver, should they have to pay a toll for the Massey Tunnel or Alex Fraser? Then you have to go over the Queensborough and Second Narrows (bridges), so when does that end?"

Now the irony is that Delta has really good bus service (their buses even have A/C [which they don't have in Surrey or Langley]) into downtown Vancouver and only 0.7% of trip go from Delta/Surrey/White Rock into North Vancouver. Of course the point is that our region is going to need rapid transit in the South of the Fraser for user-pay roads to be politically possible. Also, the taxpayer is certainly going to want every last penny from road pricing to go back into improving public transit and making sure that roads are in a good state of repair. But, I guess I'm getting ahead of myself as we still don't have funding for the Evergreen line...

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