Here’s the preliminary report from the Mobility Pricing Independent Commission:

Here’s the Global coverage.
Looks like the emphasis is on reducing congestion – a strategy used for the transportation referendum that couldn’t overcome the negativities associated with ‘TransLink’ and ‘tax’ in the same sentence.  This, however, might work if no prescribed pricing solution is presented first.

Commission members will focus largely on “congestion charging,” which can take the form of anything from tolls to congestion fees, and distance-based and time-based fees.
The commission is starting a public engagement process on Thursday, and is expected to report back to TransLink’s board of directors and the Mayors’ Council on Regional Transportation in April 2018.
On Wednesday, the commission released a new report titled “Moving around Metro Vancouver: Exploring New Approaches to Reducing Congestion.”
The document looks at the current traffic situation in Metro Vancouver, and how new approaches to mobility pricing could help to pay for improvements to the region’s transportation system.
The commission identified eight “congestion hot spots” that it considered among the worst in the region …


  1. The preliminary report does not mention climate, pollution or health. It is crazy to look at how to price transportation without considering the climate crisis (unless you are an oil company, in which case you would be crazy to include climate pollution as a consideration). Seems like a process started while the BC Libs were micro managing TransLink.

  2. The report unfortunately references “reducing” congestion in an age when an entire mode shift to walkable urbanism and transit is required in our cities. And as Eric mentioned above, climate and health should have been mentioned as key reference points, and in answer to “why are we doing this?”
    Other than that it seems to cover all the bases of accountability for road pricing:
    * population and employment density
    * mode share (it’s truly remarkable that Vancouver and the UEL now have a 57% transportation share between transit, ride sharing, walking and cycling)
    * road pricing based on vehicle km travelled
    * graduated road pricing based on vehicle size, weight and fuel efficiency
    * VKT in relation to fuel consumption trends (VKT plateaued since 2008 – think about that in context with the recent freeway dreams, fuel consumption down except since 2013 when prices decreased)
    * trip mode and annual transport costs per proportion of household income
    They topped it off with local polling that indicates a majority or neutral support for road pricing.

  3. I was a participant in the Regional Stakeholder meeting held by the commission this morning. The workshop was very open in terms of accepting input. Our group (and other tables) added in objectives around climate, pollution, health, safety, and land use planning.
    We also suggested that there be specific mapping between the recommendations of the commission, and existing public policies, including things such as climate targets, Vision Zero, and so on. We were looking for more alignment, particularly considering the number of jurisdictions involved.
    Lots of discussion around fairness, and what that means (geographic, income level, mode choice, options available such as transit, etc).
    Lots more, but those points come to mind.
    The workshops come to local venues next, and I recommend looking for ways to participate.

  4. Congestion Charging: worst idea ever
    Objection #12 The traffic jam
    Causes of the traffic jam include: vehicle accidents, failures to yield, failures to stop, driver distraction, mechanical design failures, mechanical breakdowns, police incidents, emergency responders, suicide jumpers on the Lions Gate Bridge, vehicle and building fires, road upgrades, broken infrastructure, broken signals, parked cars in rush hour lanes, closed lanes due to building construction, idling construction trucks, large scale electrical failures, Skytrain system failures, broken trolley lines, street closures due to Royal visits, Presidential visits, sporting events, rock concerts, a variety of civic protests, civic celebrations, Earth Day, Celebration of Light events, Dragon Boat Festival, Pride Parade, Christmas Parade, Sun Run, civic riots, fallen trees and power lines due to wind storms, storm water flooding, black ice, snow, texting in crosswalks, geese on the causeway, etc. Now for all of this we are to pay time and distance user charges? Worst idea ever.

    1. Doesn’t have to be time or distance. Those are but options. Other options include one or more cordons, for example, or gateway charges across choke points such as bridges.

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