Don Cayo, a Vancouver Sun business columnist, takes issue with the Canadian Taxpayers Federation ballyhooed Gas Tax Honesty Day. Using information from the Victoria Transport Policy Institute, he states that auto users are heavily subsidized from general tax revenues because indirect costs of roads and auto usage are not included in cost calculations of our auto dependence. The gas tax debate should focus on the subsidy to auto users rather than on generating populist rants about alleged over taxation. The real gas price scandal is that the tax take is too low, not too high.
2010, May 25
A survey by the World Wildlife Federation – Canada found that 80% of Canadians claimed they were concerned about the environmental impact of their transportation usage. However, the survey also found that almost as many Canadians would not give up their cars, even if other, more environmentally friendly travel options were available. Unfortunately, news reports concentrated on what Canadians said they would give up before hanging up their keys (junk food, credit cards, sex[?]). A more useful analysis would have involved discussing why Canadians are so unwilling to give up their cars and what incentives or disincentives would help alter automobile usage.
The Vancouver Courier reported on TransLink’s 2009 annual general meeting , held aboard the organisation’s newest SeaBus, MV Burrard Pacific Breeze. For 2009, TransLink reported 188,000,000 revenue passengers (8,000,000 more than 2008) and a $67.3 million deficit on an operating budget of $1,250 million. It stated the $130 million funding increase approved by the Mayors’ Council does not allow major transit service improvement for 2010. However, service will be fine-tuned for greater efficiency; resources could be moved from poor performing routes to those requiring more service. A hiring freeze, eliminating staff and executive positions will reduce administrative costs but fuel and maintenance costs and increased use of discount passes are affecting the organisation’s finances. Vancouver city councillors, Geoff Meggs and David Cadman, provided their take on TransLink funding, essentially stating it is a provincial problem
A lengthy article in The Vancouver Courier discusses the history of the Arbutus Corridor (aka CP Rail’s Marpole spur) since rail service was halted in 1999. Various interest groups and the City of Vancouver have abundant ideas on what to do with this large chunk of undeveloped land on Vancouver’s west side.