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Independent commission to decide pricing models for transit and transportation in Metro Vancouver

(Courtesy surrey.ca)

Panel to be made up of people with transit-related expertise and community stakeholders

Independent commission will be named on Tuesday

Expert believes removing the political component from making pricing-related decisions could be beneficial

VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) – More bridges with tolls and fees based on how far you drive are just a couple of options under a possible mobility pricing scenario for the region.

The Mayors’ Council has formed an independent panel to look into different options to help pay for transit and transportation improvements around Metro Vancouver.

The panel will be made up of people with transit-related expertise, community stakeholders, and basically non-partisan individuals according to Transit Blogger and Langley City Councillor Nathan Pachal.

“Considering the results of the referendum you really want to have an independent party that’s impartial to look at all the options on the table,” says Pachal, who adds balance is important. “When you’re talking about taxation – because it is at the end of the day – you really want to have something where there’s consensus and you’re looking at it from all perspectives.”

Though road pricing and mobility pricing aren’t controversial topics themselves, Pachal says previous proposals from the Mayors’ Council have been denied by the province.

With a new provincial government coming in, he believes removing the political component from making these kinds of decisions could be beneficial.

He says the Mayors’ Council has been shifting toward road pricing for a while. In theory, road pricing and mobility pricing are similar, but the transit blogger says the latter takes things one step further.
“It looks at how we’re doing in all transportation, so the transit network as well.”

TransLink is also working on its own pricing component that will complement what the panel decides.

The Mayors’ Council is expected to announce commission members tomorrow, as well as further details on the panel’s functions.