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Vancouver Off-Topic / Current Events The off-topic forum for Vancouver, funnies, non-auto centered discussions, WORK SAFE. While the rules are more relaxed here, there are still rules. Please refer to sticky thread in this forum.

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Old 10-17-2012, 09:25 PM   #1
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Experts suggest charging Metro Vancouver drivers to cross city boundaries

Experts suggest charging Metro Vancouver drivers to cross city boundaries
Tolling all the region’s bridges might be a tough sell, but TransLink could consider charging drivers a “zonal” fee to cross municipal boundaries, a U.S. expert panel on transportation suggests.

The suggestion, offered to Metro Vancouver mayors Wednesday, was among several potential “road usage” fees — including charging drivers a few cents per kilometre — that could generate much-needed funds for transit in Metro Vancouver.

The panel, invited to speak with Metro Vancouver mayors who are leaning toward a form of road pricing to generate funds for transit projects across the region, maintains road pricing is seen as a viable and sustainable source of funding across the world, especially after declining revenues from fuel taxes, which are the main generator for transit funds.

“You’re shifting the burden and the tax process directly to the users,” said Ed Regan, a leader in tolling, pricing and transportation finance.

The debate comes ahead of a discussion by Metro mayors today on whether to allow TransLink to levy a two-year property tax increase, averaging about $23 per home, on Metro taxpayers.

The tax increase would generate $30 million annually for 2013 and 2014, and allow TransLink to go ahead with projects including a rapid bus along Highway 1 and the new Port Mann Bridge, and an express B-Line bus along Surrey’s King George Boulevard. But mayors are balking at the move, saying TransLink needs a more sustainable form of transit funding such as road pricing to pay for its projects.

Transportation expert Jack Opiola, who has worked on electronic tolling systems around the world, said Metro is similar to Stockholm because it has so many borders splitting up the region. But he said while Stockholm imposed congestion charging, Metro could follow the lead of Sienna, Italy, which instituted “zonal fees” that allow drivers to travel freely in their home communities, but pay to cross into neighbouring ones.

This means a Surrey driver, for instance, would be charged to go into New Westminster, just as drivers from North Vancouver would pay to go into downtown Vancouver.

“You could put that on bridges or zonal boundaries,” Opiola said. “But I don’t think you can put a toll on an existing bridge without doing major work to it.

“Any time you take a piece of infrastructure that’s been free and try to put a toll on it, you’ve got one hell of a fight from the public. They feel they’ve already paid for it. But if you’re going to improve it, they’ll go along with the idea.”

Regan agreed that taxing drivers for using the road makes more sense than taxing hairdressers, restaurants or homeowners to generate funds for transit. But in return, Metro — and TransLink — would have to offer a “value” to the public in exchange for the added cost, such as reducing taxes elsewhere.

This could possibly include fuel taxes, he said, since revenues are already on the decline and the tax is no longer viable as the primary source of funding for transit.

“It’s going to be a tough sell to say we’re going to keep taxing you on gas and charging you a toll,” Regan said.

In Dallas, Texas, he noted, plans are in the works to toll a portion of the freeway, but as part of the incentive, city officials are offering a guaranteed speed limit; if drivers fall below that limit, it will rebate the toll.

Regan noted the broader the policy, the more equitable it is for the region as a whole. He encouraged mayors to develop a vision for mobility to let the public know why they would be better off paying a fee for roads and bridges. Any new fee then should be considered a “substitute tax” by rolling back existing ones, while educating the public that the fee is a “consumption cost” similar to those imposed for water, sewer and utilities.

Opiola noted there’s a perception that driving should be free even though it costs money to maintain the roads and bridges. TransLink must define what those costs are so the public understands.

Mark Hallenbeck, of the Washington College of Engineering, agreed: “The problem is that comes from someone; it comes from the public and they’re not at all convinced they should be giving it to you.”

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Old 10-17-2012, 09:28 PM   #2
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Old 10-17-2012, 09:32 PM   #3
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This is the fucking stupidest thing I've ever heard.

What the fuck was the point of the audit that found $139 million in potential savings, use that, leave me alone.

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Old 10-17-2012, 09:32 PM   #4
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When are we going to riot against these fuckers?
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Old 10-17-2012, 09:33 PM   #5
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My reaction as I read the article...
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Old 10-17-2012, 09:35 PM   #6
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I wanna know how much city paid to invite this "U.S. expert panel"
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Old 10-17-2012, 09:39 PM   #7
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experts should be charged for making stupid suggestions - by the word.
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Old 10-17-2012, 09:39 PM   #8
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The experts can go fuck themselves,since they like the idea so much,they can go fucking pay for it.

It never fucking fails to amaze me just how fucking far and unrealistic this province will go to add bullshit taxes.They will come up with every and any excuse to do so,does not matter how ridiculous it is.
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Old 10-17-2012, 09:41 PM   #9
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Old 10-17-2012, 09:45 PM   #10
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I already get tolled every time I go to the mainland.
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Old 10-17-2012, 09:52 PM   #11
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Old 10-17-2012, 09:55 PM   #12
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Old 10-17-2012, 09:55 PM   #13
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TransLink needs to get scrapped
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Old 10-17-2012, 09:55 PM   #14
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I already get tolled every time I go to the mainland.
Couldn't agree more
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Old 10-17-2012, 09:57 PM   #15
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Did I not just post:

"I think Vancouver is very anti-car culture in general" the other day?!?!?!
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Old 10-17-2012, 10:00 PM   #16
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Want to charge by km? Go ahead; I'll simply disable the odometer. Or, if you're going to install a GPS device to track my movements? I'll simply put it into a project car that's parked for the majority of the year. Want to charge me to drive into Vancouver? I'll simply stop visiting. Want to charge me to travel to the next city over? Well, I've been eyeing some property up in the Interior anyway...
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Old 10-17-2012, 10:05 PM   #17
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How bout they just stop suggesting these expansion "projects" since they have no money...
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Old 10-17-2012, 10:05 PM   #18
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The problem is, the people who make all the decisions in government are too fucking old.
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Old 10-17-2012, 10:14 PM   #19
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How is it that the more power you have to make decisions, the less common fucking sense you have.

How detached from reality does one have to be to even BRING UP such a ridiculous suggestion.

Hey, Italy did it, so should we!

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Old 10-17-2012, 10:14 PM   #20
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Old 10-17-2012, 10:19 PM   #21
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Old 10-17-2012, 10:27 PM   #22
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best city on earth. haha
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Old 10-17-2012, 10:48 PM   #23
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lets make the people who dont use transit, pay to upgrade transit,

so the hipster and hobo's can get to their shoot up corners faster, and collect their welfare cheques even earlier.

this shits getting out of hand
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Old 10-17-2012, 10:50 PM   #24
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I already get trolled every time I go to the mainland.
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Old 10-17-2012, 10:54 PM   #25
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so you are telling me I don't get raped enough when I'm driving in C-lai town?

and who are these so-called experts? cock suckers?
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