Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Township of Langley TransLink/Property Taxes Task Force

The Township of Langley has various volunteers Council Advisory Committees. These committees are made up of Councillors, Township staff, and citizens. Committees in the Township normally develop works plans of what they would like to accomplish in a year. The end results of the work plans are usually recommended actions for Council to take. Of course, as these are advisory committees, Township Council is under no obligation to move forward with any recommendations that come out of these committees.

One of the work plans that caught my attention is from the Township's Economic Development Advisory Committee. They have started a “TransLink/Property Tax Task Force.” According to the EDAC minutes:

Purpose: To investigate current public transit service levels to the Gloucester Industrial Area and report out on why increased service levels are: a) beneficial to local businesses; and b) merited given the property taxes paid versus services received during the last 10 years.

Scope of Work: Public Transit to/within Gloucester Industrial Area; a four to five page report with relevant appendices.

Goal/Objective: To build upon, and ultimately improve, the business case for increased public transit service levels to the Gloucester Industrial Area, taking into consideration the need to support local business growth and to investigate and estimate any perceived inequity for Gloucester businesses with respect to property taxes paid to TransLink and public transit services received in return.

Red outline is Gloucester Industrial Estates in the Township of Langley. Select map to enlarge.

One of the challenges with Gloucester Industrial Estates is that it is a low-density business park surrounded by farmland. The nearest major residential area is Aldergrove, about eight kilometres away. Walnut Grove is about 18 kilometres away.

Gloucester has never had transit service which has been a source of controversy in the community. Unfortunately, Gloucester is also the text book example of how not to design a transit-friendly business park.

As I posted earlier, Langley Township is already getting more service from TransLink then it is paying for. If there is a Yes outcome in the upcoming transit plebiscite, there is a chance that Gloucester might see some form of transit service. A No outcome means that there will be no chance of transit service in Gloucester.

While I think that Gloucester should see some level of transit service as a matter of equality, TransLink has been optimizing the transit network to run it more efficiently. This means they have been shifting service away from routes with lower ridership, and moving service to routes where there is over-crowding and high demand.

I look forward to seeing the report from the EDAC task force and the recommendations.

No comments: