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The Mayors’ Council announce transit referendum question

The Mayors’ Council have voted this morning to ask the public to vote yes or no to a .5% increase in the Provincial sales tax in order to expand the regional transit and transportation system in Metro Vancouver. If approved by the Provincial Government of BC, the proposed yes or no referendum could start as soon as March of 2015.

The Mayors’ Council website has been updated with the above video and accompanying information including the press release with the proposed referendum question. For answers to referendum and Mayors’ Council questions, you’ll want to follow @CutCongestion on Twitter and the CutCongestion Facebook page. You’ll also want to sign up for updates.


6 Comments

  • By Reva, December 11, 2014 @ 2:18 pm

    This doesn’t seem too unfair to me. Between 2002 and 2006 the PST was 7.5%, and that was when the GST was up at 7%. Let’s face it, pretty much anything they could suggest is going to be unpopular, but at least this is tied to income and spending habits so won’t punish any particular group e.g. car owners, home owners, transit riders, etc. Punish everyone fairly across the board! Lol. ;)

  • By Jordan, December 11, 2014 @ 2:37 pm

    Seems like a great plan! I like how no one can say it unfairly punishes one group. My only hope is that we can get a strong coalition of business groups, NGO’s, municipalities and other supporter to get out a strong, coherent message. Hopefully people will take time to read the plan instead of just voting down another tax.

  • By Sue, December 11, 2014 @ 6:39 pm

    While this sounds like a good deal for Vancouver and Surrey, it does nothing to increase transit or decrease traffic in Maple Ridge. We will not only have to continue to pay a very exorbitant bridge toll but now we will have to shell out more money for other communities to get sky train, more buses etc. The traffic is so bad in Maple Ridge it is stop and go with all the vehicles on the road. The bus service is pathetic so I stopped taking it, Buses don’t show up and they have had to reduce service so much due to cutbacks. We have buses on our route that are 30 years old. Yes WCE runs but it is extremely expensive. Perhaps we could look at those communities that have the most transit pay more. This would make it more fair however not sure if it’s possible to please all.

  • By Sheba, December 11, 2014 @ 10:44 pm

    I was hoping the sales tax increase was an option that they’d use for funding. I can’t say that I agree with everything they want to do but adding more buses will go a long way to improving transit outside of the city of Vancouver. The new B Lines are also good news.

    Finally they’re spending money on cycling – that’s long overdue and been pushed to the backburner for aeons. There are areas where it’s faster to ride than to drive, assuming you can find somewhere remotely safe to ride.

    “Maintain and upgrade the region’s major roads” really needs to be emphasized. Many car drivers still think ‘TransLink = buses’ and will vote no to this unless it’s pointed out that they’ll benefit too.

  • By Jordan, December 12, 2014 @ 10:53 am

    @Sue, You should really look at the overall transit vision, the improvements are really spread all over the region. There are 2 B-lines planned through Maple Ridge (1 over Pitt River bridge to Coquitlam and 1 over Golden Ears bridge to Surrey). And I don’t think improved WCE service is something to scoff at! The fact you can get to Downtown faster than someone in Southeast Vancouver to Kits Beach is something I’m jealous of.
    http://mayorscouncil.ca/wp-content/uploads/2014/12/Mayors-Council_Plan-Overview_December-11-2014.pdf

    Also Maple Ridge has gotten a big improvement in recent years: the Golden Ear’s bridge. Still the rest of the region is on the hook for the costs (debt repayment and maintenance) as tolls aren’t able to cover the whole thing.

    And I wouldn’t say Vancouver isn’t paying it’s fair share. Most busses are packed and don’t need a subsidy to run, which isn’t the case for most of metro Vancouver.

    And as a general note, as more people move to transit, drivers will benefit immensely from the decrease in congestion.

  • By Ian S, December 17, 2014 @ 1:57 am

    @Sue. The buses used in Maple Ridge are from Port Coquitlam garage. The oldest buses based there were built in 2000. That’s just 14 years old, not 30.

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