Update on 10-Year Regional Transportation Plan

At Metro Vancouver’s Council of Councils meeting on April 12, Mayor Greg Moore provided a high-level update on the work being done to develop a 10-year regional transportation plan. Mayor Moore chairs a subcommittee of the Mayors’ Council on Regional Transportation tasked with developing a plan for consideration and approval by the Mayors’ Council.

Mayor Moore’s slide presentation is available here.

The presentation does not identify the projects that are being considered for inclusion in the plan. It does, however, give preliminary cost estimates for year 10. To maintain the present level of service in line with population growth and to maintain the system in a state of good repair is estimated to cost $140 million. The expansion projects under consideration would add another $300 to $450 million, producing a total cost to the region in year 10 of approximately $450 to $600 million. To put these numbers in perspective, TransLink  forecasts revenues from current sources of $1.4 billion this year and $1.8 billion in 2023.

The mayors’ preferred sources for the additional revenue are shown as being a vehicle registration fee, a regional sales tax, a regional carbon tax and road pricing. The presentation notes that it will be necessary to rely on two or more of these, and that the mix may change over time. Land value capture is stated to have potential as a supporting source.

The presentation includes an interesting chart showing the rate increases for existing revenue sources and the rates for “the big four” new funding sources required to generate various amounts of annual funding.

I should add a few words about Council of Council meetings. These are meetings put on by Metro Vancouver to which mayors and councillors of all member municipalities (as well as representatives of the two non-municipal members) are invited. Metro Vancouver uses the meetings to report on major projects and on developments of interest to its members. The agenda for the April 12 meeting and all slide presentations are available from the above link.

2 thoughts on “Update on 10-Year Regional Transportation Plan

  1. Thomas Beyer

    $500M is PEANUTS. With 2M soon 2.5M people that is $200-$250/person per year or $20 a month !

    Let’s find that money somewhere and get moving.

    For example, car use is far FAR too chap in MetroVancouver. Road use is free. Why ? parking is free in almost all residential neighborhoods. Why ? Land is a publicly owned good and needs to be monetized for the owners. House owners with 2 cars pay the same tax as house owners with only one or no car. Why is that ?

    With more and more hybrid cars, fuel efficient cars and soon e-cars a gasoline tax is not the proper way to price road use. It has to be done per km, or on choke points, say Granville bridge, Knight Street bridge, Marine Drive at points X, Y and Z, along Hwy 1 every so often, etc !

    Why is parking for a small SmartCar as expensive as a big SUV ? WHy not charge parking by the foot ?

    Why not install a GPS transponder into every car that tracks mileage. Technology for that is cheap and exists today ! Let’s move BC and MetroVan into the 21st century and not get stuck in 1950’s road design and pricing principles !

  2. Thomas Beyer

    No one doubts the needs for improved transit and additional investment.

    The question is: where is the money coming from ? Even higher taxes to inefficiently run quasi-public institutions like TransLink or cities which have excessive staffing with excessive wages and benefits, or are there perhaps other ways to fund this ?

    Clearly the high-spend and overpaying cities in MetroVan are on a collision course here with a no-debt, tax-reduction, small-government-is-better provincial leadership !

    MetroVan needs to come clean on its high union wages, staff levels and benefits packages before they ask for more money from overtaxed citizens.

    A higher sales tax make no sens whatsoever to me.

    What does make sense is higher car registration fees and road tolling, but only in conjunction with wage constraints in the many city halls across this region, coupled with a reduction in the number of city halls, btw, too ! 25+ municipalities in MetroVan: give me a break ! Much room for savings here !


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