An agreement is still needed in order to take advantage of the federal government’s offer to pay for half of the 10-year regional transportation plan.

Bargaining again for TransLink funding

Provincial government announces $246 million over three years for TransLink.

Metro Vancouver mayors have come up with their plan to scrape together dollars so they can get some of the dollars being dangled by the federal government, but the bargaining with the B.C. government will continue.

The Mayors Council on Regional Transportation says TransLink can pay its share of the $7.5 billion 10-year regional transportation plan by raising fares by two per cent, selling surplus TransLink properties, charging a new regional development fee, and raising property taxes throughout Metro Vancouver by about $3 per home.

The mayors also propose two more controversial funding sources – charging motorists based on trip lengths, as well as siphoning off some of the money from gasoline taxes.

The offers came the same morning that the provincial government announced it would chip in $246 million over three years for TransLink.

That money builds upon the federal government’s commitment of $370 million to transit improvements, representing 50 per cent of the cost of the plan, said a release from Community, Sport and Cultural Development Minister Peter Fassbender.

Fassbender, though, said talks will go on with the Mayor’s Council to agree on other ways that TransLink can pay its share.

But he hinted that he supports an extra fee for developers who build near transit, and thus profit from the public infrastructure.

“We believe public transit investment leads to increased property values near stations and that the public should share in the rise in property values through increased support for transit and affordable housing options,” said Fassbender.

“This is an idea worth supporting and we will work closely with regional leaders and others on how we can develop better transit and better housing options right across Metro Vancouver.”

TransLink, though, is asking for more from the provincial government, such as the return of $50 million from the provincial carbon tax subsidy that goes to homes outside Metro Vancouver.

It also wants support for the regional mobility pricing and for the mayors to be restored their authority to run TransLink.

“Regional mayors have embraced this approach and it’s time to hear if the province is ready to work with us to secure these time-limited federal dollars for the 10-year plan,” said Surrey Mayor Linda Hepner in a release.

The Mayor’s Council 10-year regional transportation plan calls for a subway along Broadway, 27 kilometres of light rail in Surrey and more Express bus service, along with a 27 per cent increase in West Coast Express service.

A referendum last year defeated a proposed half-per-cent hike in the provincial sales tax that would have paid for the plan.

An agreement is needed in order to take advantage of the federal government’s offer to pay for half of the 10-year regional transportation plan, leaving the provincial government to cover 33 per cent and TransLink, the remaining 17 per cent.


Just Posted

Ridge search team finds lost children

Brother, sister were stranded overnight on Burke Mountain

LETTERS: ‘New route to 240th St. not so apparent’

Thornhill is ‘old urban reserve’

Maple Ridge downtown association hands out favourite business awards

Maple Ridge-Pitt Meadows News wins in trades and services category.

Ridge golfers help UBC win NAIA title

Cecile Kwon and Esther Lee are both Maple Ridge secondary graduates.

Rescuers finally persuade Eiffel Tower climber to come down

The official said the man was ‘under control and out of danger’ on Monday night

Federal government funds millions to help B.C. police spot drugged driving

Many police departments have expressed wariness about using the only government-approved roadside test

Judge: Mississippi 6-week abortion ban ‘smacks of defiance’

The new law would prohibit most abortions once a fetal heartbeat can be detected

On-duty Vancouver cop facing dangerous driving charges after cyclist hit

The woman was taken to hospital with minor injuries

Oil companies, 24-cent gap between B.C., Alberta to be focus of gas price probe

Premier John Horgan called the spike in gas prices ‘alarming’

Growing coffee, tea, lemons and papayas in the Fraser Valley

‘Anything that is grown anywhere on the planet we can grow’

Motorcycle deaths spike 50% since 2017

Riders were most likely fatally crash on the weekends compared with the rest of the week

Mother of accused charged in death of Surrey teen girl found in torched SUV

Manjit Kaur Deo charged with ‘accessory after the fact’ in 2017 death of Surrey teen

5 to start your day

Corgis put on a show at the Cloverdale Rodeo, family of B.C. pilot killed in Honduras remembers him and more

Most Read