Generate other revenue sources for transit infrastructure

Toll bridges around Victoria could push more people to transit

There are other alternatives to revenue generation than the traditional property taxes and hiking the gas tax dedicated for improving transit. We do not need to rely just on traditional means of revenue generation towards funding the requisite transit infrastructure to serve Greater Victoria over the next 25 years.

At present, as reported, B.C. Transit is seeking approval of a $106-million budget for Greater Victoria bus service rather than imposing a property tax hike of anywhere up to 10 per cent.

Victoria Mayor Dean Fortin would like to see a three-per-cent gas tax increase to allow Victoria to gather a reserve fund to pay for transit infrastructure.

Meantime, Saanich Mayor Frank Leonard calls such a tax increase extremely premature.

The problem is this debate epitomizes the approach of  reliance on only traditional revenue sources.

We need to start thinking outside of the box.  For instance, in the Lower Mainland there are suggestions to tolling the George Massey Tunnel and other crossings to pay for requisite transit infrastructure. That possibility could be made reality if Metro Vancouver and the province support the suggestions in a recent TransLink report examining potential revenue streams, including tolling major bridges and the tunnel.

The report, “Evaluation of Revenue Sources to Support Transportation Improvements in Metro Vancouver,” looked at a wide range of new funding options, including tolls on existing crossings over the Fraser River, that would include the Alex Fraser Bridge and George Massey Tunnel. A special committee comprising the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure, TransLink, and the cities of Vancouver and Surrey, is also looking at such options.

We could apply this approach to the Greater Victoria area with tolls on two major bridge projects: the Blue Bridge replacement and the Craigflower Bridge. For both, this would encourage greater transit usage while creating a sustainable revenue source.

Avi Ickovich

Langford

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Loose pets in the car can cost $109 fine, says Saanich cop, plus ICBC points

Unsecured pets at risk of injury, can lead to hefty fines

Weather cancelled 0.22 per cent of scheduled BC Ferries sailings in 2019

2012 was the worst for weather-related cancellations with 0.5 per cent

Former Belmont principal turns 15 in leap years

Ray Miller among the 0.07% of the population to have Feb. 29 as a birthday

Oak Bay adding stop signs to nine uncontrolled intersections

Residents on sleepier roads seeing more traffic, District says

City frustrated as truck lodged under bridge one week after Victoria installs new signage

Dozens of trucks and buses have hit the E&N Rail bridge on Hereward Road

Clothing, jewelry, purses: RCMP ask court about disposal of evidence in Robert Pickton case

Pickton was sentenced to life with no chance of parole for 25 years for the murders of six women

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers wanted list for the week of Feb. 25

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

Ryan nets hat trick in return as Senators beat Canucks 5-2

Ottawa winger received assistance for admitted alcohol problem

Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs meet with provincial, federal ministers

Neither party speaking on the groundwork laid for tomorrow’s talks

MPs to examine privacy implications of facial-recognition technology used by RCMP

The MPs will look at how the technology affects the privacy, security and safety of children

Dates back to 2009: Calgary police lay charges in fraud involving semi-trucks

Three people from Calgary are facing charges that include fraud over $5,000

Comox 442 Squadron carries out two sea rescue missions north of Vancouver Island

Submitted by Lt. Alexandra Hejduk Special to Black Press 442 Transport and… Continue reading

Most Read