Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Guiding Principles for Funding of Regional Transportation

I received the following manifesto from the TransLink's Mayors Council and thought I would share it.
1. System expansion should not occur at the expense of maintaining existing or future system performance and the ongoing state of good repair of infrastructure.
2. Transportation projects will undergo a rigorous alternatives review including full life cycle cost analysis prior to approval.
3. Capital projects expanding or improving the network will be evaluated on impact to the overall network’s ability to move goods and people and support land use objectives.
4. Revenue sources should provide pricing signals to link desired user behaviour to overall transportation objectives.
5. Funding should be generated from the goods movement sector to offset costs attributed to the transportation of goods through Metro Vancouver, recognizing its role as a gateway to the Province and the Nation.
6. Collectively, funding sources should be reliable and predictable, but adjustable against each other as revenue levels change over time.
7. Funding options should be economically efficient in their administration and collection.
8. Transit fare rates should be sensitive to public affordability.
9. Historically, property taxes have been a foundational funding source that reflect the broad benefits of the transportation system but should not increase.
10. As newer, more effective revenue sources are introduced, reductions should be considered for funding sources that make the funding mix inconsistent with the principles stated herein.
11. As the Metro Vancouver Region is a key conduit within the provincial and national goods movement strategy, senior levels of government should provide continuing funding to support the transportation needs of the region and the country.
12. Collaboration should exist between TransLink, the Province, and Metro Vancouver to ensure alignment with the Regional Growth Strategy and the stated outcomes of regional transportation funding and investment.
13. Funding sources chosen should support sound environmental policy, including legislated reduction of greenhouse gases, and manage demand efficiently.

Approved by Mayors’ Council on May 3rd, 2011.
This is probably one of the most progressive and sustainable guides for transportation that I've ever seen. When the US build their transportation system, they put expansion ahead of maintenance and look at the trouble they are in today. Another important part of this manifesto is the recognition that there needs to be a shift from 100% tax-funded to a mix of tax and user-fees for all transportation systems if we want to best manage a costly and limited resource. 

I have to wonder what our transportation system would look like if the Province also used this guide to plan their transportation projects. I wonder what the Gateway Program would have looked like

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