Good interview on mobility pricing with Jonathon Brown at News1130 – where they took the trouble to transcribe the interview word for word. Unfortunately, it makes for less than elegant reading.  (The full transcript is here.)
So here’s my rewritten version of their transcript – valuable, I think, for a more detailed explanation of the idea of the Transportation Service Provider:

Independent commission to study how to tax Metro Vancouver roads with mobility pricing

by Jonathon Brown

Traffic outside Commercial-Broadway SkyTrain Station. (iStock, Photo)
VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) – How much you pay to get around, be it by car, bike, or bus, could change.
The Mobility Pricing Independent Commission is releasing a report Wednesday about lower mainland traffic congestion and pricing.
Mobility pricing looks at everything from road maintenance, transit fares, parking fees, and gas prices.
Transportation expert Gordon Price with Simon Fraser University’s Centre for Dialogue says the province cutting tolls on the Port Mann and Golden Ears Bridges has limited their options to charge for transportation.
“The entire transportation system is going to be affected by how we measure what people are doing and charge them something appropriate to that.”
He says drivers and transit users can argue over what’s fair between tolls or fare hikes, but he points to Oregon as a state that has charged alternatives to a gas tax. …
Is road pricing the fairest way to go?
“No one knows what that is, but you can count on one thing: if I’m being charged more, it’s not fair,” he laughs. …
Ride-hailing has also been on municipal minds and it adds a new wrinkle to mobility pricing.
“Imagine something like a combination of Uber and Amazon coming to a town and saying they’d like to buy the transit system, the road system that could be tolled, car share,  bike share, taxis, parking, anything that could be priced.  We’d like to sell it as a service package of transportation choices  – just as Shaw, Rogers or Telus offers telecommunications.  (You get a package of services – phone, internet, mobile – for one monthly fee without ever knowing the price of a single cell phone call.  But the next call always seems to be free.)
“If you could offer people – regardless of whether they drive, take transit, cycle, or all of the above – unfettered access to the entire transportation system, but charge them only once, that sounds pretty good, right?  You don’t have to own a car, insure or maintain it, or constantly upgrade for the latest fast-changing technology.  The service provider does all that.
“If the package on average is about $500 a month, the service provider has a cash flow as great as any company or even government – and the ability to borrow against it.  It’s huge. They become bigger than many governments.  And you can imagine the issues of regulation and control over transport investment that involves.
“But once the bond is broken between the user and personal ownership of a vehicle (and government can consequently tax the service provider, not the driver), then the politics of transportation is changed fundamentally.  The Mobility Pricing Commission should be thinking about a future more like that than the current situation which will inevitably change.”
The commission is expected to make a final recommendation to TransLink’s board of directors in spring 2018.
“This would be impossible to consider doing without a lot of public consultation,” Price continues.
“There’s no way politicians can move on an issue like radical change on pricing on transportation unless they have some kind of mandate to do so.”
The Mobility Pricing Independent Commission is doing more research and more speaking with the public over the next few months.
Before that, they will release their initial findings Wednesday at noon at the University of British Columbia’s Robson Square campus.


  1. Tax hikes are best packaged when else is lowered (e.g. property taxes, income taxes, PST and/or gasoline taxes) AND it is demonstrated that it is efficiently delivered, and not by excessively paid staff.
    It can’t be that taxes only go up up UP !

    1. We need to consider Gord’s comment about privatizing the entire transportation system for a minute. There are too many examples of private companies costing society a lot more than when the same vital service is provided by public agencies.
      What a gold mine a private road network would be to the new owners with our utterly car dependent and captive market, especially when maintenance can be deferred, wages lowered, positions eliminated and service levels and quality decreased along with labour standards after the fact.
      Usually such scenarios are made possible through corporate donations to political parties and nepotism amongst peer politicians who pave the way, so to speak, for privatization based on the policy direction of lobbyists.
      This goes to show that more than just the transportation system needs to be reformed.

      1. Yup. Unions are the #1 culprit here that keep wages & benefits of monopoly employers artificially well above market, up to 100% in some cases like BC ferries or BC Liquorboard. Translink also pays above market in very secure jobs.
        Where is Uber btw ?
        Translink could replace some low frequency remote routes with Uber contractors.
        Many buses too big for capacity needed in many (or most) off-peak slots. Why is that [ yes, I know the answer is the union ]

    2. How can a mobility charge that doesn’t exist yet be “hiked?”
      New taxes can be on top of current taxes, or in lieu of. They can have entirely different structures. It is very early in the discussion, and as such it is worth talking about what we want to achieve before getting into how such a charge may levied, IMO.

      1. When was it decided that it would be a road toll, ie time and distance based? You are ahead of yourself.
        You are already into charging structure and revenue levels.

    3. It is simply false to say that taxes keep going up. Maybe 40 years ago, but during my lifetime they have gone down, down, down.
      That said, I think that establishing mobility pricing (I don’t think I like the name, by the way) is a really important policy objective, but I think it will be a hard sell. It’s very hard to frame a tax as a positive when the intent is to actually give us less for our money: the whole purpose is to tax people off the road. Logically and economically it makes sense. I myself would far rather pay a few dollars rather than being stuck in traffic or avoiding trips altogether. But I just can’t think how to communicate that effectively and positively. I don’t like the congestion story, in part because it is inherently negative.
      My gut instinct is that revenue neutrality may be the best way to take out the sting. Once it’s in place and people experience the benefits, I think there would be more freedom to manoeuver. I am not proposing a bait-and-switch here, but what amounts to building public support by demonstrating the advantages. I am happy to live with less-than-ideal revenue neutrality rather than see the idea go down in flames. With a minority government whose election depended on eliminating tolls, I can’t imagine there is political will for forcing it through otherwise.
      I am uncomfortable with the term “mobility pricing” because I have said before that I think transportation should be communicated around the concept of mobility. Without another word for that, I’m not sure it’s worth associating mobility with the connotations of a tax. Of course if we’re not going to try to promote mobility, just “cutting congestion,” that’s a moot point. But I hope we don’t, because I think political success requires a positive story, not just attacking something (or, in other contexts, someone else) else.

      1. Your property tax bill has gone down? Do tell how you managed that. Municipal government spending is the one level of government that goes on increasing at over the rate of inflation year after year.

  2. Interesting comments on what to call it. I have heard several tag names.
    At the workshop today, we discussed names. Not that this is the only look at it, but it is one way to label it.
    Mobility Pricing is for all mobility. It includes taxi fares. Bus fares. Gas tax. etc.
    Road Pricing is for roads, and is a subset of Mobility Pricing. It is any pricing that is applied to roads. Toll roads are one example. Congestion zones as in London. and so on.
    Congestion Pricing (or decongestion pricing, if one prefers to focus on a positive, and doesn’t mind the association with colds and flu) is a subset of road pricing, and focuses on congested zones (ie bridge bottlenecks or a major highway) and/or congested times (ie pay at 4 pm, pay less or nothing at 4 am).
    It isn’t necessarily designed to drive people off the roads, it is designed to influence behaviour. If some can travel earlier or later, those who can’t do so will benefit from reduced volumes and thus less congestion. If some can shift modes, those who can’t do so will benefit similarly, even if the ones shifting modes are still on the roads, but perhaps on a fast bus instead of a single vehicle.

    1. There will be a benefit in return for some kind of mobility pricing: less congestion.
      Is there some way motorists stuck paying more could get a free/discounted transit pass?

      1. “There will be a benefit in return for some kind of mobility pricing: less congestion.”
        Yes, absolutely. The difficulty is how to communicate that effectively to the public. Especially when we know that there will be opponents (e.g. Jordan Bateman) trying to cast this is the most negative light possible. If their message is clearer, then we have a problem.
        I like the intention of the discounted transit passes, but I can just see it dismissed in two words: social engineering. I could explain why I think that response is wrong-headed, but I could not do it effectively to a mass audience. “Revenue neutral,” on the other hand, or “replacing the gas tax,” “mobility rebate,” or maybe even “we pay you to free up road space” (which is what happens if you only charge the fee to those who use the road, and rebate it to everyone else): that’s easy to understand.

      2. Come to think of it, you have a mobility rebate even if some of the money is directed to transit. You could split it between a mobility rebate and mobility investment, on top of the benefit of reduced congestion.
        Brainstorming for positive alternatives to congestion: open roads, time savings, efficient traffic, clean roads (of cars and pollution), clear roads, working roads (there’s a reason truck drivers are in favour), smooth driving, fluid streets, dynamic roads, economic roads.
        (I’m avoiding “free,” which has long been hijacked by the right, and “fast,” which suggests driving through not being in or part of, and recklessness.)

      3. I like Working Roads. When they are jammed, the roads are not working. The aim is to get roads working. That means getting people to work, and getting them home to their families. Mobility rebates can free up road space for when it really matters. Mobility investments give them choices. Then they can decide how to use that money to get where they need to go.
        This is not about pitching cars against transit, or pressuring people to take one or the other: it is about providing effective choices that work for everyone.
        Also, though I wouldn’t play this up too much, it seems to me that working roads goes well with working people, a traditional NDP term and constituency.

      4. Indeed we ought to introduce fast-pass lanes .. like Disneyland. Pay $10 at rush hour and you can zip through Massey Tunnel or over Lionsgate bridge. Pay $2 for the slow lane only.
        Let’s try that.

    2. ” it is designed to influence behaviour. ” That means those designing whatever ‘it’ is want everyone, except probably them, to drive less.
      Social Engineering. Yes, of course. The Great Leap Forward and all that stuff.
      This is a downtown Vancouver fixation by a small special interest group. All anyone needs to do to gain some understanding of this scheme is to go anywhere that is 10km from Vancouver and see that there are hundreds of thousands of people that have to drive vehicles to get around. Go further out to Langley, Aldergrove and beyond and just about half the vehicles are trucks, many used for businesses.
      Vancouver and those that think they call pull this stunt off (The Mayors’ Council) are pretending they live in a big city. There would be a massive resistance to this scheme, as any savvy politician knows.

      1. If you were someone in trades driving a truck to your work sites, every delay in traffic would cost you money. Wouldn’t you prefer to pay a road fee instead of a gas tax, if the result was that could get where you were going faster?
        I may have been talking about language above, but I’m not joking: the roads really aren’t working. I simply avoid driving far from home now because the the situation is so bad. I can make that choice because I live close to everywhere I need to be (Burnaby). I don’t have to drive downtown because I have a train. Our household could actually function without a car (and did, during the 2008-9 snowstorm).
        Farther out in the suburbs you are absolutely right: people have no choice but to drive. Leaving people with no good choices is real social engineering, if you ask me. It is the people in the suburbs who are hit hardest by city traffic, because they have no alternatives. I can avoid the traffic. An electrician or a commuter from farther out can’t. He is the big winner from fixing city congestion: not me.
        What’s your alternative? Blow a 10 lane freeway through my neighbourhood? I can guarantee that’s not going to happen. You think selling drivers on a different way to pay is hard, try finding the politician who will bulldoze whole neighbourhoods (talk about Great Leap Forward). Even if that did happen, the freeway would fill up almost immediately and you would be back to square one.
        I know people rely on their vehicles for work. I’m dead serious: do you want working roads, or don’t you?

        1. Many tradespeople that live anywhere outside Vancouver and are driving to sites all over the region are already avoiding gas taxes. (Been to see the lovely gas stations in Point Roberts or Aldergrove lately?). I digress, I am more socially minded. User-pay is a right wing idea. The rich and the heavily subsidized poor will drive but the middle class are squeezed, again. The gap between the haves and the have-nots is further widened.
          Vancouver City Hall artificially causes congestion and is proud of that. A number of blockage points are not even being considered for smoother traffic flow because the City is quite happy with the ‘regulator’ effect in place now.
          The question will be whether or not the mayors can convince the provincial government that this ‘traffic reduced demand’ policy should be continued and the NDP in Victoria take the rap for a cash grab.
          The largest voting group is the middle class.

        2. Yup. Unless the traffic actually flows better the mobility fee is correctly just perceived as another tax grab like the last failed transit referendum.
          I did not see any suggestions which taxes will be lowered in lieu: property taxes ? Income taxes ? Gasoline taxes ? Electricity surcharges ? PST ?

        3. “She” stated: “Vancouver City Hall artificially causes congestion and is proud of that.”
          Many people repeat this but is there any factual basis to this statement? Examples? Actual quotations that they are proud of artificially causing congestion?
          My take is that there are simply too many cars using a fixed number of streets. City is trying their best to improve overall mobility and they are succeeding very nicely on that front. Burrard Bridge upgrade is a good example where all modes will see improvements in their travel time and safety. Their strategy of improving cycling and walking are paying off because this means less cars on the road and less congestion. This city council has accomplished a huge improvement in mobility for its residents.

        4. Arno: unless you are a biker mobility has not improved in Vancouver. Five examples, of far too many to mention below, that the city has a clear “ car users are to be negatively impacted whenever legally possible and are second class citizens “ policy
          A) parking allowed on many major east-west or north-south roads such as 76, 41st or even Granville in rush hour. Some disallow parking are 3-6 pm Monday to Friday just to clog traffic weekends or 8-11 am
          B) extremely slow Burrard Bridge or SW Marine repair to install bike lanes or other improvements with days or weeks of very few crews or oftenno crews at all
          C) one lane traffic between Granville bridge and W Georgia on northbound Seymour due to high rise construction on a normally 3 lane road causing massive delays
          D) bikelanes on major through roads like King Edward
          E) one lane traffic on bridge to airport / Richmond from Granville Street although bridge could handle 2 lanes
          All that is excusable of buses were actually faster on major throthfars such as 41st or Broadway, with dedicated lanes or priority signalling, but they are not.
          We need a carrot and a stick to get people out of their cars, not just sticks.
          The flogging will continue until the morale improves, eh ?

        5. Thomas, I still donèt see any anti-car policy.
          – There are now 10% of resident commutes are by bike. Surely that must improve the lot for those who take transit or for those who must drive. And all this was done with only upgrading a tiny percentage of active travel lanes on downtown streets for dedicated bike lanes. Outside of the bridges where travel times were not compromised, I only count one active travel lane in about 13 downtown blocks that were upgraded to 2-way protected bike lanes. My estimate is less than 0.5% for downtown core and pretty much 0% outside downtown core.
          (A) Parking. That is a gift to car drivers. I agree that they should be charged for this privilege, but this is not deliberate anti car policy – quite the opposite.
          (B) Anti car policy? It was a huge project. and bike lanes were an insignificant part of the project – hardly worth mentioning. It could have been much quicker if cars were banned during construction, but I am sure that the howling would have been much worse. Also, Granville Bridge continues to be used way under its capacity.
          (C) So you want to stop construction of new buildings? How can one equate allowing construction with being anti car?
          (D) Zero traffic lanes were compromised in the addition of the bike lanes. Definitely not anti car.
          (E) This bridge is owned and operated by YVR. Anyway, I don’t see room for two lanes. I hope you aren’t proposing the elimination of bike lanes.
          Thomas, you will have to try harder. City is improving mobility big time. And there is no anti car policy either expressed or implied.

        6. Oh please, you don’t see an anti-car policy Arno? How about allowing street parking on half the lanes of both Seymour and Howe Street during the day? Even though there is plenty of off street parking in the area, they want to artificially congest those streets. How about disrupting the green wave of traffic signals on both Howe and Nelson leaving the downtown core? How about the lightly used bike lane down Nelson which messes up traffic flow leaving the core? The list goes on and on..

        7. Allow street parking, those who don’t want it call it anti car.
          Disallow street parking, those who want it call it anti car.
          See the problem?
          Nelson bike lane (and Smithe) needs to be extended west so that it is accessible to those leaving the West End.

        8. Bob: Jeff summarized the parking problem very nicely. Note that the second biggest issue that council faced in the last 8 years was the upgrading of Hornby Street to have a two way bike lane on one side. This did not remove any car travel capacity but did remove parking from one side of the street. So you should at least be happy that the parking was removed. Note that no one has to wait now while others complete parking movements. Also, research shows that drivers now reach their destinations on Hornby Street much more quickly since they no longer drive around in circles looking for a street parking spot.
          Changes to Nelson were to attract more people to cycle. This means less people driving which is good for those who must drive. Maybe Pro bicycle but not anti car. Many street upgrades like the Burrard Bridge improve safety and convenience for everyone, including pedestrians. Improved mobility for everyone. This is the city’s policy and they are executing it admirably.
          I haven’t noticed any change in the green wave on Nelson. When did this change?

        9. Arno, You should maybe take a look at the City 2040 Plan. The Demand Management plans for reducing vehicles is everywhere.
          Yet, you have to go through 40 pages before vehicles are specifically even considered. Then revealing gems like this pop up:
          “Although the City’s previous transportation plan committed to not expanding road space to accommodate additional growth, this plan goes even further. ”
          There is the nugget. A million more people and not another inch of road-space. In fact, the City is proudly removing as much road-space as it can.
          Extremely long road works are unnecessary, except for the social engineers that have the belief that closing roads is another way of ‘reducing demand’ than leads to drivers just not driving, or finding other means of travel. Bingo! That’s the objective. The resulting congestion and pollution is just collateral damage.

        10. Tom, You are right about there not being more road space but only a tiny bit of road There space was used to create a cycling network downtown. Like I wrote earlier this gets lots of people cycling and less people driving. Is this not good for those who must drive?
          Do you have any evidence that road works are deliberately slowed down to infuriate drivers? This is a nasty accusation. Please provide facts to back this up.
          With increasing population, how would you accommodate all of them if driving were the only option. Wouldn’t this cause complete gridlock? Doesn’t the provision of alternate modes solve this problem? Isn’t improved mobility for people walking, taking transit and cycling actually a gift to those who who drive?
          I don’t see your quote but I do see lots of positive stuff, like:
          Private automobiles will continue to play an important role
          in Vancouver for the foreseeable future. A key goal of this
          plan is to improve safety and minimize congestion.”
          No evidence of anti-car here.

        11. The ONLY mobility improvement I have seen the last few years was the introduction of Car2Go and Evo. The one before that, almost ten years ago now, was the CanadaLine for the Olympics. Without the Olympics in 2010 we’d still be wrestling over funding like the UBC line or the train to N Shore.
          Bike lanes help for those able to ride them in good weather, and mainly downtown. Drive on a rainy day and you will notice almost no bikes and FAR WORSE congestion as more folks drive. Drive on the new SW Marine bike lanes or even Lionsgate bridge and you see a few hundred daily users, say 1% of overall traffic. That is hardly mobility improvement for the masses.
          What is missing in Vancouver is efficient RAPID transit for all. A gross oversight in the rush to build build build the last 30 years. Immigration is all fine and dandy ( I am one myself) but it has to be accompanied by investments into transit, not just bigger salary & benefit packages for ever more civil servants ! That was the gross mistake the last 2-3 decades in Vancouver.
          Hospitals, schools AND transit are all overburdened by large immigration. That topic needs to be further explored. Immigrants pay far too little to get a Canadian passport or long term visa. A free ride basically, or at least far too cheap a ride. In the long ago past, immigrants had to prepay healthcare for five or ten years, or didn’t get any. Ditto with schools and transit infrastructure. The cost to society is now plain and simple. But hey, let’s increase it to 300,000 a year. This disconnect of costs vs benefits of immigration is now VERY apparent in our daily traffic congestion, healthcare wait lists and crowded school system, solved partly now by accumulating debt.
          The smart, wealthy immigrants as such do the rational thing: make money abroad, take in all those free goodies and buy the biggest home they can afford as any gain is tax free and our property taxes so very low per $100,000 of assessed value. Our tax system is stuck in the 1950’s.

        12. “Drive on the new SW Marine bike lanes or even Lionsgate bridge and you see a few hundred daily users..”
          C’mon, Thomas, you can do better than that.
          Lions Gate Bridge is an easy one, there are published bike counts. We are currently hitting over 2000 per day midweek (making you not just wrong, but wrong by an order of magnitude). It peaked this summer at 71,000 bike trips in one month. if we take the year to date, including Jan-Feb-Mar, and look at mid week trips, it is still over 1400 per day. So if you want to include winter, you are currently out by a factor of seven.
          When you claim that there are a few hundred per day, you further destroy your credibility. Especially when these numbers have been pointed out to you before on this site. That means that when you can’t quote easily found figures like traffic volumes, there is little reason to read on for your opinions on immigration (even if they were on topic).
          Want the SW Marine drive figures as well?
          Given your quick dismissal of the benefits of removing 71,000 person trips in vehicles across the bridge in one month, it is no wonder you don’t acknowledge MOBI as a recent mobility improvement.

        13. Thomas: Levels of 10% of commutes by Vancouver residents by bike make cycling a form of mass transportation. And it is the fastest rising mode of transportation in Metro Vancouver.
          WRT SW Marine. there has been no change in number of lanes and improved cycling infrastructure means more people riding and less driving. Cost was minimal since road was being torn up anyway.
          Also, you forgot to mention Mobi. I only discovered stats for 2016, but usage was at about 15,000 trips per month over 5 months. Probably much higher this year. Would you rather see these people driving or using wobbly buses?
          Improved mobility makes the city better for everyone.

        14. Jeff, you make a couple erroneous assumptions. One, that those trips were all commuter trips. The fact they peaked in summer is the tip off there was a lot of recreational riders, that’s not reducing traffic. Two, you assume all those new cyclists were former motorists, when in reality they were likely transit users.

        15. The bike trips I quoted were mid week, that is Tuesday to Thursday. We can compare those to the total monthly trips to see what the shift to weekends is. It is higher mid week. But I didn’t say they were all commuters. I don’t think all cars are driven by commuters either. What is your point? Getting back to the thread topic, is it that mobility pricing (if it is introduced) should have different rates for people going to different types of destinations? A high rate to go to a golf course, and a low rate to go to a health clinic?
          Should we tell the people stuck in the line ups at the Massey Tunnel that if they are going to the ferry terminal or a golf course out that way, and don’t work there, that their trip doesn’t count because they are not commuters?
          Peaking in summer doesn’t necessarily mean more recreational trips. It generally means more weather effects, on a bike connector route like the Lions Gate bridge and causeway.
          I don’t assume that all people riding bikes reduce drivers on a one to one basis. I used the phrase people in vehicles. But some could be people walking. That is less true for a crossing of the Lions Gate due to the distance, but it is a potential.

        16. Good points Bob. Well said.
          Are joggers now counted as pedestrians on their way to work? Ha!
          Vision is creating this extensive work-out circuit on our essential roads for Lycra wrapped cyclists. While the roads for vehicles are shrunk everywhere and the main entry and exit points to the city are proudly preserved as they were 20 years ago.
          Yes. This is unsustainable.
          The big mistake the ideologues have made is that if they had also improved roads and bridges for traffic, while they carved out the cycle tracks, the massive majority that drive would have been more receptive to their game.

        17. @Jeff or Arno: Kindly enlighten me re LG crossing stats links. Over 1000 one way ? Even on a rainy November day ? Whenever I drive there I see a bike or 2 .. that’s it.
          Mobi: yes that is a nice feature. It replaces primarily existing walkers, bike users that fear their bike is stolen, and transit users. Even I use it almost weekly. Complements Car2Go. How many car users though leave their car because Mobi exists? They might cycle now instead of waiting for a bus for 1 km. Also only for downtown Vancouver. You cannot extend this model to even wider Vancouver like E-Van and S-Van let alone MetroVan.
          Once we have Car2Go like bikes and e-bikes everywhere around the rapid transit network will we get car users out of their cars. The mobility vision from downtown Vancouver works well for downtown Vancouver but it is far too myopic if one talks in a MetroVan context where 2.5M folks live. Of course a lot of things make sense downtown Vancouver. But if you live in Steveston, Deep Cove, W Van or S Van .. then what ? Buses only ? THAT is where the mobility breaks down and why cars are still used a lot and lot a lot less despite Mobi or car2Go or more bikelanes. Too much immigration without corresponding investment into RAPID transit (and schools or healthcare). Look at the mess in N Van .. zero rapid transit but 10s of thousands more residents. That is sustainable ?

      2. “” it is designed to influence behaviour. ” That means those designing whatever ‘it’ is want everyone, except probably them, to drive less. Social Engineering. Yes, of course.”
        No. It means that there is a desire to have society as a whole drive less. It isn’t a secret, it has been the transportation goal for years, to shift mode share away from private vehicles. Not to eliminate private vehicle use, but to offer sufficient high quality alternatives that individuals can make choices, and that enough of them decide to opt for an alternate, so that total mode share shifts. It isn’t a goal to eliminate everyone driving.
        You say “Social Engineering” as if the push to adopt the private vehicle over years wasn’t social engineering. This is a return to more balance, not some mad scientist scheme run amok.

        1. Objection #16 The False Narrative
          “….there is a desire to have society as a whole drive less.”
          Exactly who has this desire? People who already don’t drive? The automotive industry? No. Society who as a whole are drivers? No.
          Congestion is a land use issue, a consequence of intense densification, the place to be, the destination.

        2. At last. You agree with everything written.
          Do you seriously think any government is going to support new charges for those voters South of the Fraser that voted NDP for “No Tolls”, with a “NEW” universal road travel fee for going to the supermarket, to see family or out to dinner, as well as going to work?
          That is one pretzel no spinner can untwist.
          The crippling of TREO and Bridge Toll Cancellations have also sidelined road pricing for a number of years.

        3. Do you seriously think that a charge designed to address congestion (peak periods, peak routes) would be applied universally for going to the supermarket?
          You are tying yourself in knots.
          Mobility pricing options are being investigated. That investigation is supported by the provincial government. Removing the tolls from the Port Mann has provided good data on how road pricing can impact congestion. Think of it as a learning exercise, not as a sideliner of any road pricing initiative going forward.

        4. So, according to Jeff Leigh, anyone using their vehicle to go to a supermarket will not be charged for using the roads. If you’re stopped and asked, or set your satellite tracker, just say you’re going shopping. Free passage will be allowed. That’s what they call a ‘no brainer’.
          How can it work any other way?
          Perhaps the massive Vancouver taxpayer financed study and panel will suggest only putting up new toll booths at the bridges. Oops! Just cancelled that. Perhaps new booths around downtown Vancouver.
          If I live in Langley or North Vancouver can I go shopping at Ikea without paying?

        5. Reading appears to be hard. Can’t think of another reason you would keep making stuff up. I never said a charge wouldn’t apply. I asked you if you thought it would.
          You suggested universal road pricing for going shopping. Now you have dropped “universal” and said supermarkets would be free. Read harder.
          If one wants to drive to go grocery shopping on the other side of a congestion point (bridge, tunnel, etc) at rush hour, a usage charge would seem to be in line with the goal of managing demand.
          If one wants to go grocery shopping down the street from one’s house, on an empty road, then a charge wouldn’t seem to be doing much to reduce congestion, which wouldn’t typically exist.
          See the difference?
          It isn’t a Vancouver study. It is a Metro study.

  3. Objection #13 Deceptive Marketing Language
    “Mobility Pricing” is a term used to describe what is in fact a repressive strategy that if implemented will result in poor people disenfranchised from driving on public roads that they have already paid for through taxation. Maybe those who cannot afford “mobility pricing” should be exempted from the taxation used to build and maintain those roads.

    1. Most poor people don’t pay any taxes. Rent and groceries are GST free. Their income taxes are tiny. Most taxes are paid by well off and middle class folks. The more you earn, the more taxes you pay. That won’t change one iota with mobility pricing. In fact it will get more skewed.
      Since energy and road use are in everything you consume, use or require everything will get more expensive: food especially, but also clothing, services, housing. Unless mobility pricing is very high and extra rapid transit is built throughout the region providing real alternative, for example from N Van to Surrey, the roads won’t get any less busy.

      1. Landlords pass on property taxes to tenants, poor people pay that tax indirectly. The working poor such as renters pay income tax and sales tax on items not exempted. They also pay a tax on gasoline. Poor people (increasingly the middle class) pay plenty of taxes which reduces what little disposable income they have. Try being poor for a while, it’s a stunning education.

        1. Yes being poor sucks. What else is new? Increased CO2 taxes or road tolls will make goods more expensive. And with increased min wage you might even lose the meagre job you have as the retailer or restaurant chain lays folks off to trim costs. The new OSFI mortgage qualification rules and new BC landlord tenant act also will increase rents dramatically for folks looking for a place to live. At least there is no income tax if you are a working poor, nor GST or PST on many life’s necessities.
          Unclear how this is related to mobility pricing except that everyone gets affected by higher taxes ?

        1. So busy that I am sure that many commuters would wish that they were re-instated. Road pricing needs to be seen as a positive that is good for everyone including those who feel that they must drive.

        2. Objection #14 Wishful Thinking
          If road pricing was truly a positive it would be seen as a positive, but since it is not a positive there is no point to the “need to see it as a positive”.

        3. jolson, It all depends on how it fashioned and how it is presented. I believe that a road pricing scheme can be created where a majority of people pay less than today but overall revenues are increased. Everyone will benefit due to reduced congestion and reduced driving. Similar to the Carbon “tax” which I believe to be net positive for a majority of residents of BC. The key part is to show people how their lives will improve.

        4. Arno, I agree 100%.
          I see some people debating how to move forward and address significant mobility problems that we face today. And I see critics who dismiss the concept out of hand. They refuse to discuss details, implementation, or evidence. They propose no solutions of their own. One might think they enjoy being stuck in traffic.
          My saying this will not convince any critics here. I am setting a bad example: if anything, this post will only increase their anger and stubbornness. Which is fine: the argument will be won before the larger public, not on Pricetags. But that can’t do attitude reveals their weakness. If advocates for working roads are open, respectful, patient, and positive, they can win the argument.

        5. Objection #15 Imaginary problems cannot be solved with imaginary solutions.
          Significant mobility problems? If one does not like traffic one can always walk, bike, take a bus, hop a train, or stay home, after all it is the person that is mobile not the machine.

        6. Many people would be happy, very happy, to pay if there actually was less congestion. Pay $2 and take the bus and it takes 45-60 min to get somewhere, or pay $8-12 in tolls or mobility fees and be there in 20-30 minutes. The issue is that this will likely NOT happen anytime soon as initiallly the toll / mobility fee / road tax is perhaps $5 and NOTHING changes. Same traffic and same congestion. And no other taxes lowered. As such the idea has to not only be sold but proven giving real world examples. Otherwise it is merely perceived as a revenue grab like the failed transit referendum.

  4. All this talk for something that will never happen. By all means let the NDP/Greens introduce “mobility pricing”. The BC Liberals will campaign against it and win the next election.
    I wonder, how many posters live within a 2km radius of downtown here? You get your opinions reinforced by those who share your biases. Talk to some people from the ‘burbs when you have a chance. Gregor is almost universally loathed by people outside the CoV.
    And be careful what you wish for. Should mobility pricing ever go ahead there would be enormous pressure from voters on the businesses and services they use to move out of Vancouver and closer to where they live. Since governments did nothing to stem the explosion of house prices, how many of the nurses at VGH, St. Paul’s etc do you think live in the city? Or even doctors? What about all those who attend a game at Rogers Arena or BC Place?

    1. So how would you improve mobility in CoV. A most recent example of Burrard Bridge is a win-win all around since it improves safety and convenience for all modes. Think of what motor vehicle congestion would look like if those 10% if vancouver residents shifted from cycling back to driving. Loathing does not improve anything. Great ideas may move us forward.

      1. More subways or Skytrains, esp to N Shore, UBC, E Van, deeper into Richmond
        Time sensitive road and bridge tolls ( ie triple to quintuple between 7 and 9:30 am and 3-6 pm )
        Dedicated bus lanes with priority signalling
        Removal of on street parking on major thoroughfares

      2. Arno, they likely shifted from transit to cycling. And most of them go back to transit when it rains in any significant amount.

        1. false. i ride, and when its really gross out i drive my car. i just have to leave earlier to avoid traffic. Transit(40) takes longer than riding(30 min) which is overall quicker than driving(30-60)
          I don’t need a bike lane to ride. I am more than happy in the centre of a lane going where I need to. They are generally full of cyclists. As a car driver though, bikes are annoying and dangerous and I fully support getting them off the roads. Its safer for all involved. which seems an inane thing to argue against.

        2. Bob, anecdotally I know many people who now cycle more often who use motor vehicles as well. It would be good to know what the modal split is between those who also use transit and those who also use driving. I suspect it is close to 50-50.

    2. That would be great if some businesses moved out of the core of COV. Particularly the ones primarily staffed by people living outside the city. People should live where they work and vice versa. The city core will carry on just fine without tens of thousands of commuters who can only arrive by car. And moving the cost burden to those who require the additional spend for their lives makes sense.
      Gregor doesnt get elected by those outside the city. I think the burnaby mayor is a very silly person. Doesnt matter though, I dont vote for him.

  5. Interesting to read Patrick Condon’s comments he made on CBC.
    “Yours truly interviewed on what we are calling “decongestion” pricing, but in non-newspeak is called congestion pricing.
    My bit starts at minute 40. Sorry, no shorter version.
    Spoiler: I support congestion pricing but have no confidence that it will be adopted or if adopted that it will last beyond the next writ being dropped. Bridge and tunnel tolls are the more reasonable place to have users pay for transportation they use, as this is where the congestion is. If only! Every tunnel and bridge in the region had a toll on it at one time going way back to the Pattullo bridge. That toll was taken off in 1952 as an election season gift to voters. That worked so well we do it every time. Tolls on all other bridges and tunnels have been removed religiously every time there is a provincial election right up to the most recent. What will make this time different?
    Spoiler II, this is all about how to pay for a couple of pieces of overpriced infrastructure, notably the “half way Broadway subway”. The City and the Region have refused to update and announce a cost estimate for the 5 km Vancouver Millennium line extension subway since 2010. Estimates for the new Toronto subway suggest that the cost will be between 3 and 4 billion, not the 2 billion in the existing budget.
    Also, the Province has also not yet made clear that the $1000.00 per dwelling unit proposed “regional transit” tax on new home sales will go for the local share or the provincial share for these projects, leaving the region desperate for a way to pay its 20 percent share (or more) of this overly expensive project.
    Again, I love subways. I wish we had a subway fairy and could have one in every neighbourhood. But there are only so many taxpayers in our region of one million families. We have a New York level transit appetite with a Cleveland level tax base.”
    CBC also reported today that the Federal Government has announced a delay in previously promised Infrastructure Funding.

  6. Continuing conversation re city being anti-car, cycling as mass transportation and mobility for all.
    Bob and Thomas have a valid point regarding new people cycling and suggest they are mostly from transit riders and pedestrians. Anecdotally, I know lots of people who used to drive a lot or exclusively and now take many trips by bike. I am sort of one of these since I used to drive more and now don’t even own a car. Cycling is such an awesome, fun and time saving way of getting around our fair city.
    I assume that among new cycling trips, half of these used to be done by car and 1/2 by transit. Note that in Vancouver and in all of Metro Vancouver, cycling is the fastest growing transportation mode while driving as a transportation mode is actually decreasing. It would be great if we had some factual basis for this. Jeff, do you know of any such data? Anyone?

    1. If cycling is going up and transit is going up where are the cyclists coming from? Well population growth plays a role. But hint, hint, car trips are going down. Hint, hint.

    2. Sure. The fastest growing mode of transport in Metro Vancouver is cycling. You can see it everywhere. Just look at Port Moody and the Barnet Highway in the mornings. Loads of cyclists heading into town.
      They are also clogging the shuttle bus to get through the Massey Tunnel. The van will have to increase its load. Three trip in the morning with eight bikes every half hour means a total each rush-hour of 24 bikes maximum.
      What was the massive increase, Arno? Up from 20 bikes per day to 24?
      Someone is living in a bubble.

      1. Maybe you think cyclists are dumb but they’re actually very wise. They ride in places where it is viable and safe more than where it isn’t. They ride even more in places where it is pleasant.
        Imagine that.
        If you prefer to live and commute in places that are inhospitable to cyclists you won’t see many of them.
        Your choice.

        1. Lovely, Ron. Your resort on two wheels is just lovely. Norman Rockwell would be smiling with a Colgate-quality smile.
          No wonder Surrey is on track to have a larger population than Vancouver soon.
          Have fun.

        2. Old Champlain Bridge: 6 lanes of general traffic.
          New Champlain Bridge:
          The new bridge will be 3.4-kilometres long and will have six lanes of traffic, three in each direction for cars plus two permanently reserved lanes for public transit. There will also be reserved bike lanes and sidewalks for pedestrians.
          Yup. Constraining general MV capacity while increasing space for transit, walking and cycling.
          It should, of course, be subject to a fee.

        3. There is a cost Ron, a fee if you like and you’re paying it. Totally paid for and maintained by the Government of Canada using funds from taxpayers from across the country.

        4. Feel free to take up the funding with the Feds. Your alter-ego brought up this bridge and it was a terrible example to prove their/your point. Just the opposite.

    3. Tom. I don’t make things up. From 2011 TransLink Trip Diary Survey (the latest one), we have these results between 2008 and 2011:
      Number of cycling trips increased by 26% while car trips increased by 4%. Cycling and transit mode share increased while car mode share decreased.
      Yes, cycling mode was 1.8% metro wide in 2017 but this is now as high as 7% in City of Vancouver. We will know more when census data gets released this month and the results of the 2017 TransLink Trip Diary Survey are out next year..

      1. Arno. I know you are an honest man. I am too. 2014 numbers show 80,000 vehicles going through the Massey Tunnel DAILY and the Ministry reports, “. In
        2014 the shuttle transported an average of 910 people per month. “.
        Can you crunch those numbers, please. My calculator came up so many zeros it concked out.
        By the way. You do realize that the Translink Trip Survey is really fake news. The contributors are “selected” and offered free passes to Vancouver venues, if they agree to participate. Again; a bubble.

        1. Pretty hard to find a more inhospitable stretch of road to count bikes than Highway 99 and thru the tunnel,
          I suppose the bike counters on the Burrard Bridge and Science World are all fake too.

        2. Feel free to provide your alternate data Eric/Tom/Anonymous/William/She/Steven. We can compare it to the data we have.
          Calling something fake news… not a way to build your credibility. Any more than continually changing your screen name is.

        3. My family got selected for the 2017 TransLink Trip Diary Survey. This surevey is conducted by Ipsos Reid, so I assume that we were randomly selected. The only incentive we received is $5 for the entire family and an extra $5 for each family member who did 3 days instead of one. There is also a prize draw. Hardly fake news. Also.we will soon receive census data. Hope you don’t consider that fake news.

        4. Arno; Some of us realize that the Translink Trip Diary is for personal travel. The complete ignoring of Commercial Traffic leaves a massive hole in the data.
          Translink Trip Diary. FAQ
          “We understand that it would be very difficult for commercial drivers to record all their trips and we certainly don’t expect them to do so. Instead, we ask that you record only your PERSONAL TRIPS, which include trips that you travel to and from work and any non-work related trips.”
          This is important Fine Print that should be on all resulting published data. The bubble here is that the data is devoid, by design, of commercial movements.
          Arno. Don’t despair about your measly$5. You might still be eligible for the vacuum cleaner.
          “What are the draw prizes?
          Upon completion of the household assignment, your household will be entered to win:
          One of 6 $250 Visa gift cards;
          One of 5 $150 shopping mall gift cards (valid at 21 major shopping centers nationwide);
          One of 5 $50 Visa gift cards;
          One of 58 Regional prizes of $25 Visa gift cards each;
          One 43” LED Smart TV;
          One of 2 iPad minis;
          One Dyson handheld vacuum;
          One Beats Bluetooth headphone; or
          One of 5 pairs of adult Grouse Mountain Ultimate Experience tickets.”
          Remember Arno that if you, or someone in your household, just out for a ride on your bike just forget about including it in your Trip Diary because it could disqualify you from getting your $5.
          “What doesn’t count as a trip?
          It doesn’t count as a trip when it has no actual destination. For example:
          • Walking a dog (with no destination)
          • Walking between a parking lot and your destination
          • Walking to or from transit stops
          • Jogging or biking in your neighbourhood with no destination
          • Moving around between classes/campus or within the same building complex, such as office
          • Commercial vehicle trips”

  7. Talk about phony data!
    We now learn that the Translink Trip Diary EXCLUDES any commercial travel.
    So it’s just pleasure travel they are measuring when telling us how many more people are walking, biking or taking transit.
    No wonder more and more the city is called the Resort of Vancouver.

    1. Who needs commerce anyway in a self-balancing budget ? Also see any high commercial property taxes pushing out business. Resort like residential living preferred indeed by Vancouver and of course less cars all doable among the highrises. Not so applicable though in non resort land outside the city core ie in E-Van, S-Van, Richmond, Surrey etc

      1. Funny that our resort is the economic centre of the region. Aren’t resorts usually scenic hotel zones offering little employment outside of tourist services? Seems like some on PT like to confuse the conversation by inventing new meanings for well established words.

        1. Oh yes Ron. Our resort is booming. Everyone has a good well paying job, a nice home and garden and is making tons of money.

        2. I certainly see what you’re saying. A lot of gardens. And nice homes. The economy is booming.
          However you may have failed to understand some underlying problems. But that is perhaps off topic for this thread.

  8. Honest Ed is back. Once again, posting text that was previously posted by eric.
    And now we have Alex-M, who is posting text previously posted by eric, and also by specific other posters who, surprise surprise, also posted text previously posted by eric.
    Bots are easy to spot. They use very recognizable phrases A spam filter set to highlight specific phrases catches them.
    Time for the bots to refresh their IP address again.
    Too bad that some spend so much effort trying to pollute public discussion,

    1. Translink confirms that the Trip Diary excludes anyone doing any commercial business in the region. Therefore it is reasonable to point out this missing link and the inherent weakness and slant in their claimed numbers.
      Pointing this out is not polluting the discussion, it is clarifying it.

    2. That is old news, an item that has been brought up previously by a number of posters (likely all the same person, or at least the same boiler room operation) to try and discredit the data.
      If you have other data that includes commercial trips as well, by all means provide it.
      Referring to the trips as pleasure trips is wrong. They are personal trips. They include all the trips to and from work (which may be a pleasure for some).
      Personal trips are a subset of all trips. If you want to know how many, great, go to the screen line surveys (as one example). Match the data between the various types of surveys, and share your results.
      Polluting the conversation refers to multiple repetitive posts by a person attempting to be seen as many unique people (through the use of multiple pseudonyms). It is clear that it isn’t working.

      1. If the city is bragging about the high number of bike or transit riders and those riders are a select few that are not representative of the population at large, then pointing out this narrow and recreational group is responsible for high ridership only shows the weakness and irrelevance of the data. Unless your group is purposely crafting the data to show the results you want.
        No sane person can imagine a city that is devoid of commercial traffic. Even Disneyland has electricians, cleaners and garbage collectors.
        Even if anyone accepts the limited profile as you have, there are still people like Arno that present the understood faulty data as something to be noted and applauded. It is they that need to be reminded they they are merely repeating fake-news.

        1. No sane person is attempting to portray a city devoid of commercial traffic. What’s the point of your statement?
          The huge growth in cycling that shows up on public counters means that there’s nothing fake about it. Surveys are just one of many metrics.
          Get over it.

      2. You are not considering what the data is measuring.
        Personal trips are made by residents of Vancouver (I’ll focus here on the Vancouver trip survey, since you attack it as often as the Translink one). The City has a goal of increasing the share of trips made by walking, cycling, and transit. It doesn’t look at commercial traffic since those trips likely have different characteristics. Do you think a plumber carrying tools is going to switch to a bike? If not, then why would you consider those trips in the bucket of trips that the City is trying to move to walk/bike/transit? You seem to want to increase the denominator just to shift the mode percentages.
        Now consider that the mode share isn’t all we look at, there is also the change in mode share. Why would we want to dilute the data with trips that weren’t a target to change? It would increase variability in the change measurement. It would make the data less useful.
        Why would those people completing the survey not be representative of the City at large? You must know that usual mode of travel is one of the questions to respondents, to ensure that usual travel mode is reasonably represented across all survey respondents. You seem to think people riding are “stacking the deck”. Do you not think that is also potentially true of people driving vehicles?
        Why would you focus on recreational riders? How do they report trips in the survey? A trip has an origin and a destination. What is the destination for a recreational rider? Sounds like it might be the same as the origin. So, not a trip then. How about recreational walkers and recreational drivers? Isn’t it the same issue?
        It occurs to me that some people walk or ride a bike on a commercial trip. I see Shift Delivery most days I am out, pedalling around town. I also had a repair technician show up recently walking, pulling a roller case with his tools (he wasn’t a plumber, rather a communications network technician). You realize that not including commercial trips means that the above sorts of trips are not counted as well? It isn’t a conspiracy to get the drivers.
        I am sure Disneyland has electricians and cleaners. Do you think they pay admission to go to work? Are they purposely being excluded from gate receipt reports? Maybe they aren’t the population the people doing the gate receipt reports are studying. Does that make the relevant report incorrect? Is it “fake news”?
        You appear to have such a hate on for bikes and people who ride them that your thinking is clouded. You seem to have adopted the phrase “fake news” so that you can discount numbers and reports that you don’t like. So present some alternate numbers (ones with sources, not just “alternative facts” – you don’t want to be lumped in with that other person who says “fake news” every time he doesn’t like a story). Or, accept that perhaps what is being measured (much more than one time, I might add) may actually be telling us something.

      3. Jeff, don’t forget Foodora and now two other food delivery services that use bikes exclusively. It used to be that pizza and other food deliveries were done exclusively by car. I’ve also heard of landscape services by bike. I’m certain more and more businesses will become creative about moving equipment by bike as the infrastructure becomes more accommodating.
        I do some of my site visits by bike.
        Bikes are increasingly being used on linear development sites like roadway and SkyTrain construction.
        Security companies use bikes a lot.
        Though not technically “commercial” there are police on bikes and increasingly paramedics on bikes. Lifeguards along our beaches use bikes.

      4. Arno and a few others should mention the Fine Print and the slant in the data.
        Anything less is fake news.
        Even some enthusiastic cyclists appreciate truth.

        1. The 2011 TransLink Regional Trip Diary Survey Analysis Report is quite up front about the data they collect. From the Executive Summary we see:
          At the most basic level, the Trip Diary is a household survey that
          contains information on the personal travel patterns and
          characteristics of Metro Vancouver residents. Since data is collected
          only from local households, the Trip Diary does not include
          information on commercial vehicle travel, such as trucks and taxis,
          and non-residents or tourist travel. Hence, many trips that occur in
          the regional transportation system are not captured by the Trip Diary.
          I don’t see any slant here or any fake news. Travel to work stats are a subset of the trip diary surveys and are corroborated by federal census data. CoV is also very diligent in doing vehicle counts at many intersections including bicycle counts so that they can obtain factual volume. TransLink is encouraging municipalities to collect more cycling count data. .Only people who do not appreciate the data use terms like fake news. I like to stick to the facts.

  9. Winston Churchill once said: “I contend that for a nation to try to tax itself into prosperity is like a man standing in a bucket and trying to lift himself up by the handle.”

      1. Gee, doesn’t the conversation have to do with TAXES ie mobility prices ie a fee for using the (formerly free) roads at certain times ?
        As such, a comprehensive tax debate needs to happen, not this isolated tax discussion. Also see the enormous resistance our PM and Finace Minister Bill Morneau received when he tried to ram through the small business tax increases.
        If the tax stick is taken to flog society into prosperity then the carrot has to be well understood, in light of the many sticks that exist in society.
        As I mentioned most drivers would be HAPPY to pay for road use if the roads actually cleared off traffic, traffic flow is increased AND rapid transit alternatives are provided. While that maybe the end goal, it is not enough to tax now, and then, maybe, in 20 years you get a subway.
        Also see increased immigration with nary a discussion. All related to very high house prices and clogged roads !

        1. If you go and buy a pair of shoes and call the payment a tax, then yes.
          The question is, how much you’re willing to pay for mobility and what limitations of mobility arise when you’re not willing to pay much? (Just like shoes.)
          But unlike shoes, I am taxed so others can drive without paying the real cost.
          I think you’ll find that most drivers are not happy to pay for free-flowing roads and better transit. We’re having this debate because most people want others to pay. We’re standing in Winston’s bucket and it’s hard to climb out. This is not about taxing ourselves into prosperity. It’s about finally paying your way and relying less on taxes.

        2. A fee, user fee or a mobility charge is still A TAX.
          It is a tax because it used to be free because the road was paid for by other taxes, namely GST, PST, property taxes, gasoline taxes, income taxes etc ..
          I agree with your last sentence “It’s about finally paying your way and relying less on taxes.” .. hence my question: which other taxes will be lowered in lieu? GST, PST, property taxes, gasoline taxes, income taxes ? All I have seen so far is higher CO2 taxes, higher income taxes and discussion of taxing properties more and/or their gains. Where is the discussion about LOWERING taxes ?

        3. It’s irrelevant if it used to be free. Charging the cost of something is not a tax.
          Tax noun
          a compulsory contribution to state revenue, levied by the government on workers’ income and business profits or added to the cost of some goods, services, and transactions.
          Note: “added to the cost” .
          For the last few decades conservative governments have repeated the mantra of lowering taxes. The trend has not been up.
          Unfortunately the poor and vulnerable have suffered for it. The rich, fossil fuel companies and highway construction companies have not.
          It tells a lot about our society.

        4. I think Canada is a far better place to be poor than most other countries except a few wealthy (and overtaxing) EU nations.
          Only working, investing $s and/or producing results should be majorly rewarded, not being “poor” or “lazy”. Yes we have to help those that can’t help themselves due to addiction, age, mental health or physical illness. That is perhaps 3-5% of society. Not 30-40% like today.
          The overtaxation of upper and mainly middle class families has to end to subsidize an overly large civil servants & political class with more (and untaxed) benefits, higher wages than comparable private sector jobs, lower hours and high job security. 40%+ income taxes (and certainly 50%+) are theft in my opinion. You get a $10,000 bonus and the government takes 40%? How fair is that ? Why work hard ? Where’s the incentive to take great risks and/or invest loads of $s if the government takes 50% ?
          Even the Bible talks about tithing which is 10% .. well before governments took over most social services and now routinely take triple that.
          Most “poor” people ie the lower 20-30% pay almost no taxes anyway, no income taxes, no property taxes and no PST or GST on rent or groceries. That leaves ONLY the upper & middle class to reap. Once you’re upwards of 40% income taxes people will find ways to avoid this by shifting $s abroad or into untaxed real estate.
          Unlike US, Canada actually has free healthcare AND a great education system which is a great equalizer for those that wish to part take. No everyone wants to, so you cannot force people out of poverty.
          To repeat Winston Churchill who once said: “I contend that for a nation to try to tax itself into prosperity is like a man standing in a bucket and trying to lift himself up by the handle.”
          As such, a new road tax HAS to be accompanied with lower taxes elsewhere. Where is that ? GST, PST, property taxes, gasoline taxes, income taxes ?
          The top 20% pays almost 60% of all taxes and the top two quintiles in Canad pay over 82% of all taxes. Among individuals it is even higher: the top 40% pay over 90% of all income taxes. You think it should be even higher ?
          In 2017, the average Canadian family will earn $108,674 in income and pay a total of $47,135 in taxes (43.4%). If the average Canadian family had to pay its total tax bill of $47,135 up front, it would have worked until June 8 to pay the total tax bill imposed on them by all three levels of government (federal, provincial, and local). This means that in 2017, the average Canadian family will celebrate Tax Freedom Day on June 9.
          Tax Freedom Day in 2017 arrives one day later than in 2016, when it fell on June 8, because the average Canadian family’s total tax bill is expected to increase at a faster rate this year (2.4%) than the growth in income (2.2%). Tax Freedom Day for each province varies according to the extent of the provincially levied tax burden. The earliest provincial Tax Freedom Day falls on May 21 in Alberta, while the latest falls on June 25 in Newfoundland & Labrador.
          Some more related reads

        5. The existing mobility TAX a k a (transit fare) could be replaced with the introduction of a road user TAX( fee)

        6. Thomas Beyer wrote:
          “I think Canada is a far better place to be poor than most other countries except a few wealthy (and overtaxing) EU nations.”
          He seems to suggest that there may be a connection between higher taxes and reduction in poverty. I totally agree! When I was in Europe, the highest taxed countries seemed to have the best conditions for everyone. Like my dad always said, “I love paying taxes”.

        7. The most recent election selected a party that reduced taxes immediately. They eliminated tolls and halved the msp fee. So Thomas, your taxes(=fees) got reduced. Now they’re talking about increasing them in some places.

        8. @William .. they also increased the higher bracket of incomes taxes AND CO2 taxes immediately, too. They cut tolls on a bridge ti buy votes in Langley and Surrey swing ridings to squeak by a one vote majority with the Greens. One single vote. Now they rule like the new kings in town and also pretended healthcare is free so they indeed cut MSP in half to appease Vancouver Island voters. Yup, the mooching is well developed.
          It will AL be financed by debt debt DEBT. See it mushroom in 2018/2019 into red ink territory as economy flatlines.
          In other news: almost 1M new immigrants in the next 3 years to compensate for anemic GDP growth to pretend all is well. Free education and healthcare. Who is funding all that. Who benefits in Canada? What are the costs? Is this mere vote buying? Is it actually good economic policy? Where’s the democratic input here? A far more thorough discussion on sound immigration AND taxation levels required. But that is avoided as it is too cumbersome.
          No wonder the roads are ever more crowded, it is very tough to find quality rentals at affordable prices and condo prices shoot way way up.

  10. Arno, the Fine Print also tells us that the Trip Diary selects their highest number of respondents from the 5-19 age group. I can see why driving is not a high priority for this group. Maybe it has something to do with the fact that they are too young by law to drive.
    More facts that reduce the scope of validity of the data.
    Good for shoemakers and bike makers.
    I also see that only around 40% of the respondents are employed.
    Yes. It’s exciting to see that those of us between the age of 5 and 19 are cycling more and those of us not working are walking quite a bit too.
    Now. Let’s do another six months long and 120 page study.

    1. It’s easy to dismiss a study that you don’t believe in. I will be more convinced if you supply a study which reaches different conclusions which uses the same rigour as the TransLink study. Note that the census data on commuting is coming soon. This should provide a fairly accurate representation of commuting, though it still does not include dood data on multi=modal commutes.

    2. There is detailed methodology info out for all of the previous Translink travel surveys. Using the data from the last report, the highest number of respondents is 45-64. Regardless, the data is weighted to match census populations for age, gender, geography, etc. Income level was also investigated and reported on.
      The Vancouver travel survey is different in that age bands start at 18. Translink is interested in how children get to school. Despite your claim that this age group doesn’t drive, many do. We call them passengers.
      Your facts are anything but.
      This was all explained previously to poster “eric” who made the same sort of unsupported claims. Under a variety of user names.

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