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Expert calls for performance based TransLink funding

VANCOUVER (NEWS1130) – Call it the carrot at the end of the funding stick.

An urban planning expert believes public funding for transit should be tied to how cities develop their land.

This comes as SFU holds a roundtable discussion Tuesday on a promised referendum on ways to find more public funding for Translink.

Doctor Larry Frank with UBC‘s School of Community and Regional Planning believes, wherever that funding comes from, it should be doled out according to how transit-friendly a city’s developments are.

“It’s the same as investing in a stock you feel is going up,” he tells News1130. “Tie the funding to the kind of behaviour you want to see happen and use it as a way to leverage an incentive — a carrot — for bringing forth the kind of development patterns around transit that are needed.”

That would include containing urban sprawl, building “up not out” and encouraging the building of communities around transit hubs.

Frank is surprised more regions haven’t started to put performance-based transportation funding into place.

“We need a significant increase in funding for transit and to have it allocated in a less political manner. This is a more objective approach.”

Premier Christy Clark and Transportation Minister Todd Stone have committed to holding a transit funding referendum in Metro Vancouver by November 2014.