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Vehicle levy being floated again to pay for transit projects

BURNABY (NEWS1130) – Local mayors are meeting today to discuss how they’re going to come up with the cash that’s needed to pay for transit projects.

A vehicle levy will be one of the ideas that will be floated. It’s been pitched to the provincial government several times before and it’s been flatly rejected each time.

Langley Mayor Peter Fassbender says that’s why they’ll have to be creative in coming up with a formula that works.

“The vehicle levy has been on and off the table,” Fassbender points out.  “What we have to do is not focus on one single solution, but focus on all of the potential options and how they can work together and how they can provide us with sustainable funding.”

Those options may include toll roads and taxing drivers based on the distance they travel.

Fassbender doesn’t expect to get a firm answer from the province before BC voters head to the polls in May, but he does want to know where each party stands.

“We want to develop the framework so that we can present it to all of the people who are running so that we can say here is our perspective, what is your platform?” says Fassbender.  “We need to say to the public, ‘Is this the vision you have for transportation?’  If it is, here are the options we are looking at to fund it.”

In October, an audit of TransLink found $41 million in savings but municipalities still face a crunch when it comes to paying for transit in the short and long term.

Tolled roads and taxing drivers for the distance they travel are other options that will be floated at the meeting.