Vancouver's Transit Options, With Pricetag

Mayors in metropolitan Vancouver are facing two options for expanding transit service in the region -- and a hard decision about how to generate the funding to make it happen.
November 11, 2010, 12pm PST | Nate Berg
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One option would be to increase property taxes by $60 per household.

"The spending side of the proposal is obvious and straightforward: Act now or lose the $500 million promised by Ottawa to build the new Evergreen SkyTrain line to Coquitlam and the first phase of the North Fraser Perimeter Road through New Westminster to the Trans-Canada Highway. And, if the mayors agree with TransLink's board and the many they consulted in their planning process, toss in some substantial bus service improvements for pretty well every part of the Metro region.

But acting now requires a plan to pay for it. The problem is that the provincial government, which created the TransLink board and gave it its authority, has sorely limited the revenue-raising options it can impose on its own. It can charge a vehicle levy - which TransLink chair Dale Parker says might be workable, but can't be properly designed and implemented in time to comply with the rules. Or it can raise property taxes."

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Published on Tuesday, November 9, 2010 in The Vancouver Sun
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