EDITORIAL: Transit’s funding enigma

Politician should ask for a public referendum on whether people are willing to pay more

The Victoria Regional Transit Commission’s request to add two cents per litre more to local fuel prices this year, to help cover transit service expansion, has been turned down by the province.

Transportation Minister Todd Stone let the commission know the request will be reconsidered for 2016, but it brings up a question: who should be paying more to help transit expand in this region; bus riders, gasoline buyers, or just plain everyone?

While two cents a litre isn’t a major hardship for drivers, the gas tax is a hammer-on-the-head strategy penalizing drivers who may or may not choose to use transit in future.

Raising transit fares again to raise the needed revenue, rather than taxing drivers more, is a tactic the commission has little appetite for.

For years, B.C. Transit has done its best to get more people riding the bus. In the big picture it’s the right thing to do: reduce gridlock and do less harm to the environment.

Over time, our dependence on our vehicles has led to regular traffic logjams on both major arteries into downtown.

When the option to take transit is there, drivers still don’t leave their vehicles at home. It’s a sign the people in charge of the bus system still haven’t done a good enough job selling people on why taking the bus is a better choice.

It’s kind of a Catch-22: many people won’t use the system until it’s better, but more people need to use the system to allow and pay for expanded service.

The local politicians who make up the transit commission should ask for a public referendum on whether people are willing to pay more, either through taxes or fares, for expanded service.

 

Just Posted

Sooke councillor’s flip-flop fails to scuttle fourth pot location

Majority of council favours a market-driven approach

Purple Day 2019: Victoria marks epilepsy awareness day

1 in 100 Canadians live with epilepsy, a neurological disorder with many symptoms

Famous Floyd’s to open in Royal Oak

Building in Saanich turns iconic pink of local breakfast chain

VicPD seek witnesses to the assault of a youth

On March 24 three men with a white van accosted a youth walking on Dallas Road

Team Canada athletes training at CFB Esquimalt for 2019 Warrior Games

Games enhance the recovery of ill and injured soldiers

VIDEO: RCMP reveal five kids hit in deadly B.C. crash

The children range in age from six to 17.

POLL: Do you still have a landline telephone?

With smart phones becoming an indispensable part of modern-day life, more and… Continue reading

Greater Victoria Wanted List for the week of March 26

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

Study: Why Canadian police should have a dedicated animal cruelty unit

People view fighting animal cruelty as a public responsibility

Convicted pedophile from B.C. raises fears after move to Ontario

Police have issued a warning about Madilyn Harks in Brampton

Mystery plane wakes up B.C. residents

An aircraft circled Langley City over the weekend after midnight for about an hour

Stranger climbs onto B.C. family’s second-floor balcony, lights fire in barbecue

Incident in Abbotsford terrifies family with two-year-old boy

Island Health announces funding for 52 projects on Island

$750,000 will go to fund these projects

UPDATED: IHIT investigating fatal crash in Surrey

Three people dead, investigators expected to be at scene ‘for significant amount of time’

Most Read