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Christy Clark announces plans to replace George Massey Tunnel


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#181 inane

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Posted 23 October 2012 - 09:47 AM

If they were to widen highway 99 and expand the crossing at the Massey tunnel, you can bet there would be a toll on it.

The Putello is getting replaced. You can bet there's a toll on it.

The toll revenue from either (and from the Port Mann) will easily cover not just the cost of the bridge but all the highway widening that's part of the project. In fact expect it to make a profit.

Even at existing traffic volumes the proposed 3 dollar tolls could fund multi billions of infrastructure. I am sure you could do the math if you want......


Ron, you keep ignoring the inconvinient fact that there ii the brand new SFPR without tolls, the sea to sky, highway 10 widening, highway 15 widening, the roberts bank overpasses, etc.... And with reduced tolls, how can you possibly expect them to cover not only the bridge but also all the widening from Vancouver to Langley?

And need I repeat that again, tolls do not cover social, health & environmental costs.
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#182 ronthecivil

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Posted 23 October 2012 - 10:38 AM

Ron, you keep ignoring the inconvinient fact that there ii the brand new SFPR without tolls, the sea to sky, highway 10 widening, highway 15 widening, the roberts bank overpasses, etc.... And with reduced tolls, how can you possibly expect them to cover not only the bridge but also all the widening from Vancouver to Langley?

And need I repeat that again, tolls do not cover social, health & environmental costs


Those are all from times when money wasn't so short. And it should be noted that drivers also pay a lot in gas taxes as well.

The total cost of the port mann/hwy 1 project is in the order of 3 billion dollars. With ten lanes of traffic collected three bucks a car each way in just over a year and a buck 50 starting in two months over the four lanes of bridge each way you disagree all you want that it will make a profit but if I could be an investor in that scheme I would do it every day and twice on Sunday. And even with the tolls in place all those people will still be paying gas taxes and property taxes to help fund transit.

And you do not need to repeat that tolls do not cover social, health, and environmental costs. Much like I tire of repeating that having kilometers of vehicles spent idling as they creep their way over the bridge crossings twice a day ALSO has a social, health, and environmental cost. Nor is there any solution to these social, health, and environmental costs that is politically feasible at the moment that does not involve widening the roads. Heck, even it was, in the case of the Massey tunnel, if you wanted to provide a competitive transit alternative you would at least would have to provide extra capacity if only to provide a bus bypass over the choke point.
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#183 inane

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Posted 23 October 2012 - 10:42 AM

Those are all from times when money wasn't so short. And it should be noted that drivers also pay a lot in gas taxes as well.

The total cost of the port mann/hwy 1 project is in the order of 3 billion dollars. With ten lanes of traffic collected three bucks a car each way in just over a year and a buck 50 starting in two months over the four lanes of bridge each way you disagree all you want that it will make a profit but if I could be an investor in that scheme I would do it every day and twice on Sunday. And even with the tolls in place all those people will still be paying gas taxes and property taxes to help fund transit.

And you do not need to repeat that tolls do not cover social, health, and environmental costs. Much like I tire of repeating that having kilometers of vehicles spent idling as they creep their way over the bridge crossings twice a day ALSO has a social, health, and environmental cost. Nor is there any solution to these social, health, and environmental costs that is politically feasible at the moment that does not involve widening the roads. Heck, even it was, in the case of the Massey tunnel, if you wanted to provide a competitive transit alternative you would at least would have to provide extra capacity if only to provide a bus bypass over the choke point.


Kinda like how the Golden Ears was supposed to be a money maker huh? Did you notice the traffic trends on the Port Mann over the past 7 years? That's from the project website itself!

Ron, arguing that having people idle just proves my point. You clearly don't get it, so I guess I'll stop trying to show it.
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#184 ahzdeen

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Posted 23 October 2012 - 12:05 PM

Kinda like how the Golden Ears was supposed to be a money maker huh? Did you notice the traffic trends on the Port Mann over the past 7 years? That's from the project website itself!

Ron, arguing that having people idle just proves my point. You clearly don't get it, so I guess I'll stop trying to show it.

You clearly never drive from the Fraser Valley. Regardless of the toll, people aren't going to stop driving on the Port Mann bridge because any other alternative is too far away or plops you in the middle of city traffic. The Golden Ears bridge is a completely different animals as it was replacing a tiny ferry.
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#185 J.R.

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Posted 23 October 2012 - 12:15 PM

You clearly never drive from the Fraser Valley. Regardless of the toll, people aren't going to stop driving on the Port Mann bridge because any other alternative is too far away or plops you in the middle of city traffic. The Golden Ears bridge is a completely different animals as it was replacing a tiny ferry.


It also was built looking to the future. I remember when the Alex Fraser first opened and people laughed at the silly six lanes that were largely empty. Not empty now, are they?!

Edited by J.R., 23 October 2012 - 12:16 PM.

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#186 ronthecivil

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Posted 23 October 2012 - 12:52 PM

Kinda like how the Golden Ears was supposed to be a money maker huh? Did you notice the traffic trends on the Port Mann over the past 7 years? That's from the project website itself!

Ron, arguing that having people idle just proves my point. You clearly don't get it, so I guess I'll stop trying to show it


People can easily take the Port Mann instead of the Golden Ears as a free alternative. Once that's gone watch how much the increase in traffic is on the Golden Ears (and the Putello, and Alex Fraser, and even the Massey tunnel).

If it turn out that the traffic trend turns out that volumes actually go down as we begin the process of widening and tolling all the bridges maybe it does loose a bit of money. But that would be easily erased by the tremendous social, health, and environmental benefits of all those people not driving now wouldn't it!

Of course, it seems as though you don't even listen to yourself. Apparently widening the roads and bridges is supposed to generate additional traffic. Now you think it won't???
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#187 inane

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Posted 23 October 2012 - 01:26 PM

People can easily take the Port Mann instead of the Golden Ears as a free alternative. Once that's gone watch how much the increase in traffic is on the Golden Ears (and the Putello, and Alex Fraser, and even the Massey tunnel).

If it turn out that the traffic trend turns out that volumes actually go down as we begin the process of widening and tolling all the bridges maybe it does loose a bit of money. But that would be easily erased by the tremendous social, health, and environmental benefits of all those people not driving now wouldn't it!

Of course, it seems as though you don't even listen to yourself. Apparently widening the roads and bridges is supposed to generate additional traffic. Now you think it won't???


What? When did I say that?

Listen Ron. You want to pretend this exists in a bubble. It doesn't. You can't engineer your way out of this. As I've said, building more roads does not work. The simple fact that you agree with me, but want to do it anyway speaks volumes.
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#188 ronthecivil

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Posted 23 October 2012 - 01:47 PM

What? When did I say that?

Listen Ron. You want to pretend this exists in a bubble. It doesn't. You can't engineer your way out of this. As I've said, building more roads does not work. The simple fact that you agree with me, but want to do it anyway speaks volumes.


Well then traffic and thus revenue should be plentiful.

If all we did was build more roads it wouldn't work. But combined with a demand management system in the form of tolls that would have any excess revenue dedicated to expanding transit it might. And in the case of the Massey tunnel how the heck would we ever provide a transit alternative when buses have to go through the same choke point as everyone else?
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#189 inane

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Posted 23 October 2012 - 01:54 PM

Well then traffic and thus revenue should be plentiful.

If all we did was build more roads it wouldn't work. But combined with a demand management system in the form of tolls that would have any excess revenue dedicated to expanding transit it might. And in the case of the Massey tunnel how the heck would we ever provide a transit alternative when buses have to go through the same choke point as everyone else?


But we don't have tolls on the highways! Bridges and tolls are great and all, but if you're going to wildly expand them then they require massive upgrades to get to them.

You keep going on about the tunnel. I agree it needs replacing, all the old infrastructure needs a lot of work if not upgrading. But new or upgrade doesn't necessarily = expansion.

That's a whole other topic that we haven't even approached. Maintenance on all this new infrastructure.
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#190 Totes McGoats

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Posted 23 October 2012 - 02:12 PM

Going to replace the GM Tunnel with what? An oil pipeline that nobody wants?

Bazinga.
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#191 ronthecivil

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Posted 23 October 2012 - 02:25 PM

But we don't have tolls on the highways! Bridges and tolls are great and all, but if you're going to wildly expand them then they require massive upgrades to get to them.

You keep going on about the tunnel. I agree it needs replacing, all the old infrastructure needs a lot of work if not upgrading. But new or upgrade doesn't necessarily = expansion.

That's a whole other topic that we haven't even approached. Maintenance on all this new infrastructure.


This topic is about the tunnel! Forgive me for trying to stay on topic!

And of course it will be expensive to upgrade 50 year old infrastructure which for the most part will have to be replaced.

But of course whatever happens to the tunnel it will have to be expanded. It doesn't even match the roads that lead to it which is why there's the pinch point. There's no reason to not look at an option that only adds two lanes so that you can have two general + one HOV in each direction....

And with Translink already putting a toll on the New Putello (and there's no avoiding that since it's literally falling down) it will only leave the Alex Fraser as a free alternative and soon the south fraser screenline is complete and you have your first toll line.

Like I have said over and over this is unavoidable the only questions will be what is promised in return for the tolls that will have to go on all the south fraser routes (well could do north fraser still) and what will happen to the extra toll money. This will all become obvious early next year when every shortcut through New West and North Delta (and south surrey to some extent for Langley people) becomes even more crazy than it already is and the residents start loosing their minds and demand tolls on the free alternatives.....
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#192 J.R.

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Posted 23 October 2012 - 02:41 PM

But we don't have tolls on the highways! Bridges and tolls are great and all, but if you're going to wildly expand them then they require massive upgrades to get to them.

You keep going on about the tunnel. I agree it needs replacing, all the old infrastructure needs a lot of work if not upgrading. But new or upgrade doesn't necessarily = expansion.

That's a whole other topic that we haven't even approached. Maintenance on all this new infrastructure.


Sea to Sky was under the Olympics "tent". SFPR is under the "port traffic/moving goods tent". Neither of them are crossings FWIW. (Crossings not having alternate routes all but guarantees customers...particularly when you put in a screen line).

Bridges/tunnels will have tolls. Tolls that will help fund transit expansion.

There's going to be more people here Inane. We need more roads/expansion so we have somewhere to put the buses that we all want those people on when they get here. The majority of that road expansion is (beyond the two notable exceptions above) will benefit transit expansion. So is there something in particular that irks you about replacing the tunnel or did you just feel the need to soap box and parrot talking points like "environmental cost"?
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#193 inane

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Posted 23 October 2012 - 03:12 PM

This topic is about the tunnel! Forgive me for trying to stay on topic!

And of course it will be expensive to upgrade 50 year old infrastructure which for the most part will have to be replaced.

But of course whatever happens to the tunnel it will have to be expanded. It doesn't even match the roads that lead to it which is why there's the pinch point. There's no reason to not look at an option that only adds two lanes so that you can have two general + one HOV in each direction....

And with Translink already putting a toll on the New Putello (and there's no avoiding that since it's literally falling down) it will only leave the Alex Fraser as a free alternative and soon the south fraser screenline is complete and you have your first toll line.

Like I have said over and over this is unavoidable the only questions will be what is promised in return for the tolls that will have to go on all the south fraser routes (well could do north fraser still) and what will happen to the extra toll money. This will all become obvious early next year when every shortcut through New West and North Delta (and south surrey to some extent for Langley people) becomes even more crazy than it already is and the residents start loosing their minds and demand tolls on the free alternatives.....


LOL Oh I see, we're off topic. How convenient for you to claim that now after numerous pages of going back and forth 'off-topic'.

Well this is the thing Ron--you can't talk about the tunnel and whether or not it should be replaced, or what it should be replaced with without talking about the entire transportation network. This thing does not exist in a bubble.
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#194 J.R.

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Posted 23 October 2012 - 03:18 PM

Well this is the thing Ron--you can't talk about the tunnel and whether or not it should be replaced, or what it should be replaced with without talking about the entire transportation network. This thing does not exist in a bubble.


So what's your plan to move people through the 99 corridor if not replacing the tunnel?
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#195 inane

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Posted 23 October 2012 - 03:23 PM

Sea to Sky was under the Olympics "tent". SFPR is under the "port traffic/moving goods tent". Neither of them are crossings FWIW. (Crossings not having alternate routes all but guarantees customers...particularly when you put in a screen line).

Bridges/tunnels will have tolls. Tolls that will help fund transit expansion.

There's going to be more people here Inane. We need more roads/expansion so we have somewhere to put the buses that we all want those people on when they get here. The majority of that road expansion is (beyond the two notable exceptions above) will benefit transit expansion. So is there something in particular that irks you about replacing the tunnel or did you just feel the need to soap box and parrot talking points like "environmental cost"?


I disagre with your basic premise. I disagree based on numbers that we're seeing with regards to transit usage, alternative mode share #'s, volume #'s. Based on gas prices/volitilty in the market. Based on the environmental costs--air pollution, water pollution, land acquisition, sprawl, wasted land on parking lots, etc. Based on the massive and growing amount of information on health care costs, crashes, lost/wasted productivity, etc... Based on efficiency of movement for people and goods. Based on spiralling maintenance costs. Based on social costs--affordability, access, insurance. Based on trends with seniors and teens who want to move back to walkable cities, who aren't getting drivers licenses at anywhere near the rate they use to. etc....

But I know all these things don't matter. We just need to keep building more roads to get out of this nasty problem we have of full roads. Just like we did last time. Because this time it will work. Really.
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#196 inane

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Posted 23 October 2012 - 03:25 PM

So what's your plan to move people through the 99 corridor if not replacing the tunnel?


I never said the tunnel doesn't need replacing. If it is structurally unsound or in danger of collapsing then of course something needs to be done.
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#197 J.R.

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Posted 23 October 2012 - 03:38 PM

I disagre with your basic premise. I disagree based on numbers that we're seeing with regards to transit usage, alternative mode share #'s, volume #'s. Based on gas prices/volitilty in the market. Based on the environmental costs--air pollution, water pollution, land acquisition, sprawl, wasted land on parking lots, etc. Based on the massive and growing amount of information on health care costs, crashes, lost/wasted productivity, etc... Based on efficiency of movement for people and goods. Based on spiralling maintenance costs. Based on social costs--affordability, access, insurance. Based on trends with seniors and teens who want to move back to walkable cities, who aren't getting drivers licenses at anywhere near the rate they use to. etc....

But I know all these things don't matter. We just need to keep building more roads to get out of this nasty problem we have of full roads. Just like we did last time. Because this time it will work. Really.


So you deny the tunnel needs more lanes? Even if only for transit/carpool?
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#198 ronthecivil

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Posted 23 October 2012 - 03:41 PM

LOL Oh I see, we're off topic. How convenient for you to claim that now after numerous pages of going back and forth 'off-topic'.

Well this is the thing Ron--you can't talk about the tunnel and whether or not it should be replaced, or what it should be replaced with without talking about the entire transportation network. This thing does not exist in a bubble


And no, I was not complaining about being off topic. I was responding to your claim I was obsessing over the Massey tunnel. Which of course I am, it's the topic. What would you expect?

Of course it doesn't exist in a bubble which will be apparent as soon as they start tolling the Port Mann and even more so when the Putello work starts.

Do you really think that people will accept tolls on the other routes with no sort of improvement? Even if they did how the heck would you improve transit on the 99 corridor without some sort of expansion to get past the single lane bottlenecks?
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#199 inane

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Posted 23 October 2012 - 03:46 PM

And no, I was not complaining about being off topic. I was responding to your claim I was obsessing over the Massey tunnel. Which of course I am, it's the topic. What would you expect?

Of course it doesn't exist in a bubble which will be apparent as soon as they start tolling the Port Mann and even more so when the Putello work starts.

Do you really think that people will accept tolls on the other routes with no sort of improvement? Even if they did how the heck would you improve transit on the 99 corridor without some sort of expansion to get past the single lane bottlenecks?


I think your premise that it's a non-starter is dumb. Check out other places where they put it to the people for a vote or referendum or similar. People are willing to pay if they know exactly where the money is going. That's one big problem with the way we do it now--we take taxes or whatever and put it into this big pot where it disappears. If you taxed or collected money and tied it directly to a specific item, I think you'd have better luck.
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#200 inane

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Posted 23 October 2012 - 03:47 PM

So you deny the tunnel needs more lanes? Even if only for transit/carpool?


My fear is that replacing the tunnel is just an opening to try and beat our newly established widest bridge in the world. Care to address my larger point?
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#201 J.R.

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Posted 23 October 2012 - 04:14 PM

My fear is that replacing the tunnel is just an opening to try and beat our newly established widest bridge in the world. Care to address my larger point?


Not really as I agree with most of it. This however is a thread about replacing the G.M. Tunnel. IMO doing so without expansion to allow for better transit and correct the one lane bottleneck issue is not going to help move people or goods. Ideally they'd also do something about the Steveston/Highway 17 merge/choke points (lane continuity would be a good start). Am I wrong?
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#202 inane

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Posted 23 October 2012 - 04:20 PM

I think we should chill out and see what the SFPR does to traffic patterns before we start assuming we know what the tunnel will do. Just like good old Falcon said back in the day.

But how can you agree with most of it, but want more highways?

Am I being punkd? Is that you Ashton?
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#203 ronthecivil

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Posted 23 October 2012 - 04:25 PM

I think your premise that it's a non-starter is dumb. Check out other places where they put it to the people for a vote or referendum or similar. People are willing to pay if they know exactly where the money is going. That's one big problem with the way we do it now--we take taxes or whatever and put it into this big pot where it disappears. If you taxed or collected money and tied it directly to a specific item, I think you'd have better luck.


And if the proposal was to put HOV lanes from the border and over the river to connect with the HOV lanes on the other side if the existing highway 99 then you could put the peds/cyclists in one of the old tunnels the buses in the other and the cars in a six lane bridge that wouldn't be the widest in the world.

The inner HOV lanes have space all the way up and down just take out the grass median and put in a barrier. Cheap and easy.

Designate the extra toll revenue go 100% to a list of transit projects south of the Fraser.

I am fairly certain that would be ok.

As an alternative you could put in a new two lane structure for HOV/Bus with outriggers for peds/cyclists and have enough more money designated to put transit south of the river (I would think the extra money left over might be enough to push RAV over the river.

I would think that would be a nice set of choices to give the public.
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#204 ronthecivil

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Posted 23 October 2012 - 04:30 PM

I think we should chill out and see what the SFPR does to traffic patterns before we start assuming we know what the tunnel will do. Just like good old Falcon said back in the day.

But how can you agree with most of it, but want more highways?

Am I being punkd? Is that you Ashton?


The intersection leading to the Alex Fraser will back up to the SFPR as soon as North Surrey figure out it gives them a short cut to the toll free bridge. In fact the surest thing is that the Alex Fraser traffic is going to be getting much, MUCH worse in the next couple of years as the demand for it and the access to it grows.
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#205 J.R.

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Posted 23 October 2012 - 04:41 PM

I think we should chill out and see what the SFPR does to traffic patterns before we start assuming we know what the tunnel will do. Just like good old Falcon said back in the day.

But how can you agree with most of it, but want more highways?

Am I being punkd? Is that you Ashton?


Who says I want more highways? I want BETTER highways with actual transit alternatives.
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#206 No5Butcher

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Posted 23 October 2012 - 07:59 PM

Just a quick question, but here it goes.There seems to be a commonality in opinion that transit service needs to be expanded. I agree that Greater Vancouver would be better served with more transit options.

Prior to the economic downturn, and possibly even since (I haven't checked Translink's last couple of budget reports), Translinks share of road construction and maintenance costs has been paid for through revenue from gas taxes. The Skytrain as a whole was also roughly revenue neutral. The extra subsidies, be it through parking taxes, property taxes etc., were used primarily to fund busses. Likewise, the recent major infrastructure projects with federal monies (Port Mann Highway One and the SFPR) have been paid through the Gateway Program, which is entirely funded by gas tax revenue. Provincial contributions are murky as gas and carbon taxes just get thrown into general revenue.

With that in mind, would everyone who is in favour of expanded transit be in favour of expanded transit if it meant that fares would be raised to the extent that transit was revenue neutral?
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#207 ahzdeen

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Posted 24 October 2012 - 12:21 AM

Just a quick question, but here it goes.There seems to be a commonality in opinion that transit service needs to be expanded. I agree that Greater Vancouver would be better served with more transit options.

Prior to the economic downturn, and possibly even since (I haven't checked Translink's last couple of budget reports), Translinks share of road construction and maintenance costs has been paid for through revenue from gas taxes. The Skytrain as a whole was also roughly revenue neutral. The extra subsidies, be it through parking taxes, property taxes etc., were used primarily to fund busses. Likewise, the recent major infrastructure projects with federal monies (Port Mann Highway One and the SFPR) have been paid through the Gateway Program, which is entirely funded by gas tax revenue. Provincial contributions are murky as gas and carbon taxes just get thrown into general revenue.

With that in mind, would everyone who is in favour of expanded transit be in favour of expanded transit if it meant that fares would be raised to the extent that transit was revenue neutral?

The way the GVRD is setup, i don't think transit in Vancouver could ever be revenue neutral.
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#208 ronthecivil

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Posted 24 October 2012 - 07:56 AM

Just a quick question, but here it goes.There seems to be a commonality in opinion that transit service needs to be expanded. I agree that Greater Vancouver would be better served with more transit options.

Prior to the economic downturn, and possibly even since (I haven't checked Translink's last couple of budget reports), Translinks share of road construction and maintenance costs has been paid for through revenue from gas taxes. The Skytrain as a whole was also roughly revenue neutral. The extra subsidies, be it through parking taxes, property taxes etc., were used primarily to fund busses. Likewise, the recent major infrastructure projects with federal monies (Port Mann Highway One and the SFPR) have been paid through the Gateway Program, which is entirely funded by gas tax revenue. Provincial contributions are murky as gas and carbon taxes just get thrown into general revenue.

With that in mind, would everyone who is in favour of expanded transit be in favour of expanded transit if it meant that fares would be raised to the extent that transit was revenue neutral?


While it still wouldn't make fares revenue neutral it would make it closer by simply putting in a fourth zone that included Twassen, south surrey/white rock, Clayton/Cloverdale, the Langley, and the ridge meadows. Make a four zone ticket like 7.50 and a monthly pass about the same though few would actually use that since for example I would only use a three zone since I would be going white rock to Burnaby. (Canucks games would be four zones though). And then in the off peaks charge a two zone fare for three and four zone travel.

Use that money to actually provide bus service to that fourth zone that was fast and effecient (like a King George and Fraser Highway Blines with expanded 351 and whatever the bus to Twaassen is called).
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