Road Pricing

In the latest attempt to fund transit and infrastructure initiatives, Translink, the region’s transportation authority has suggested that ‘road pricing’ may be in our future. Road pricing typically keeps track of a vehicle’s movement via GPS, and charges the user a fee based on when, where, and how often that vehicle operates on the roads. The system will likely punish those who use the road system at peak times and those who cover the greatest distance i.e. suburban commuters. It’s going to be interesting to see whether or not this traffic reducing and cash generating change in the approach to transit funding will be able to survive the provincial government’s commitment to a referendum on a new funding formulae. Whether or not using a ‘user fee’ model to pay for transit will fly remains to be seen. What is clear though is that building transit infrastructure correctly can result in significant changes to traffic pressures on the overall system and help to increase efficiency and safety for drivers, pedestrians, and cyclists. The success of the Canada Line has shown that ‘if you build it, they will come. . .’ The tough part is finding a way to pay for it!

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