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TransLink in the media: Ideas for funding

As many of you know, TransLink is going through some challenging times financially as we illustrated in our 2013 Base Plan series. News junkies have already read the handful of articles regarding ideas that the Mayors’ Council on Regional Transportation has for funding TransLink’s operations.

There are five ideas in total that came out of an open letter to Transportation Minister Mary Polak. They include: a vehicle registration fee, a regional sales tax for transit, a regional carbon tax, land-value capture and road pricing.

To be clear, this is a Mayors’ Council announcement not a TransLink announcement, so we’re unable to answer questions about this issue (here’s a link to our governance model). However, in our effort to try to cover transit matters that matter to our riders, here’s a list of some of the coverage:

Vancouver Sun

The Huffington Post


Globe and Mail

North Delta Leader


Edit, Feb 7: Frances Bula has the full mayors letter up over at her blog.

If you have any thoughts or ideas about these latest articles about TransLink or funding of transit in Metro Vancouver in general, please post them in the comments section!


  • By Sheba, February 6, 2013 @ 5:38 pm

    What each of them means (copied from the Vancouver Sun article linked):

    The mayors’ council suggests an annual vehicle registration fee, based on vehicle emissions or engine size, could reap $50 million.

    At the same time, a regional sales tax of 0.5 per cent, collected within Metro Vancouver, could yield about $250 million annually, while a $5-pertonne regional carbon tax could potentially generate $90 million a year for the region.

    The technical analysis also suggests land capture – leveraging the value of lands around SkyTrain station development – would generate about $30 million annually.

    As far as road pricing, which is a longer-term measure, the mayors’ council argues it “has the greatest potential to achieve our shared vision for the region.” The letter notes this involves direct pay-by-use charges for roads, similar to how riders pay for the transit system.

  • By Gordon, February 7, 2013 @ 8:48 am

    I would hope that what ever tool or tools the Mayor’s Council are allowed to use will include a decrease in the amount of GAs Tax Revenue required for funding.

  • By Miguel, February 7, 2013 @ 4:52 pm

    First, TransLink, on a year-to-year basis, doesn’t need more money. Audits have shown it wastes one out of every ten dollars it already gets and has not maximized its efficiency.

    At some point, people need to quit trying to find TransLink more money, and start pushing them to be more efficient with what they have. Quit wasting what we send you before you ask us for more.

  • By Jhenifer Pabillano - Buzzer Editor, February 8, 2013 @ 8:43 am

    Hi Miguel – just curious, where are you getting this information from? The provincial audit doesn’t make reference to waste of one out of every ten dollars received. The executive summary indicates that more efficiencies can be found internally, but generally in the order of an extra $41 million or so. In comparison, projects like the Canada Line generally cost $1 billion+.

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