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The Metro Vancouver Mobility Pricing Independent Commission will release its report tomorrow. (Expect to hear the pat-pat-pat of running feet as politicians distance themselves from anything that looks like a ‘road tax.’)
This report will be just the opening round as everyone in the region deals with the inevitability of transformative change in our transportation system.
Regardless of the options, one of the key (and most contentious) issues is the concept of ‘fairness.’ In April, economist Marc Lee at the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives provided of the first, detailed outlooks on this issue, in the CCPA’s report “Getting Around Metro Vancouver.”
Just announced today by the Mayors’ Council:
WHAT IS THE MOBILITY PRICING INDEPENDENT COMMISSION?
The Mobility Pricing Independent Commission’s purpose is to make recommendations to the TransLink Board of Directors and Mayors’ Council on Regional Transportation on how to improve the way we price transportation in Metro Vancouver, including roads and bridges, in order to manage congestion, promote fairness, and support continued investment in urgently needed transportation infrastructure. The Independent Commission is comprised of 12 community leaders from across the region who call Metro Vancouver home.
HOW WILL THE INDEPENDENT COMMISSION GO ABOUT ITS WORK?
The Independent Commission is tasked with considering all available options for mobility pricing and making recommendations for made-in-Metro-Vancouver solutions informed by a careful review of the best evidence and the views, perspectives and input of Metro Vancouver residents. From minor tweaks to the existing system to a broad re-imagining, this Independent Commission is invited to rethink all approaches and explore new ways of doing things that are fair and make the transportation system work better for everyone. The Independent Commission will start its work in June 2017 and will provide its report and recommendations approximately 10 months later.
WHAT IS MOBILITY PRICING?
Mobility pricing refers to the range of fees and charges for using everyday transportation services. It can include things like road usage charges (tolls, fuel sales tax, or vehicle permit and insurance fees), transit fares, and charges for using shared use services like taxis, bike sharing, car sharing or ride hailing. Different jurisdictions around the world – such as London, Stockholm, Singapore and Oregon – have put in place a number of different models for mobility pricing to meet some or all of the objectives of reducing congestion, improving fairness and supporting transportation investment.