Photo credit: Contributed

Gas tax to increase 1.5 cents for Metro Vancouver to pay for transit

Metro Vancouver drivers currently pay 33.28 cents per litre for Translink, provincial and carbon taxes.

Drivers in Metro Vancouver are facing higher fuel taxes next year in an effort to fund a $7.3-billion transit plan across the region.

Municipal Affairs Minister Selina Robinson says in a statement the province will bring in legislation that allows the regional transit authority to increase the motor fuel tax by up to 1.5 cents per litre next spring.

Metro Vancouver drivers currently pay 33.28 cents per litre for Translink, provincial and carbon taxes.

Robinson says increasing the levy isn’t anyone’s first choice and if mayors in the region can identify other sources of funding for the second phase of the 10-year transit plan, they may choose not to raise the tax.

It’s estimated that the increase would bring in about $30 million annually.

Phase two of the transit plan includes building the Broadway SkyTrain line in Vancouver, a light rail transit line in Surrey and expanding bus service throughout the region.

The province has already agreed to fund 40 per cent of the plan, while the federal government has committed money through the Public Transit Infrastructure Fund.

Translink is increasing fares two per cent by 2020 to help cover the costs and the transit authority estimates increased ridership will bring in an additional $1.6 billion.

The region’s municipalities have also signed on to hikes in parking taxes, property taxes and development costs in order to fund the plan.

But a gap in funding remained, and Robinson said the province has been speaking with the Mayors’ Council on Regional Transportation since March about how to fill the shortfall.

“The mayors have said that the revenue is needed to support their 10-Year plan for expanded transportation and commuting options throughout Metro Vancouver,” she said.

The Mayors’ Council and Translink’s board of directors approved the project’s investment plan at a meeting Thursday.

Translink CEO Kevin Desmond said in a statement that they have already seen the benefits that come from adding service.

“You reduce crowding and make transit more convenient and enjoyable,” he said. “By making transit a better experience, ridership grows and the benefits continue to add up for everyone across the region.”

Related: Cheapest gas in B.C. $1.14.9 in Vernon

Related: Taxes go up on fuel, booze and cigarettes on April 1

The Canadian Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Authorities call for calm as fires burn near Zeballos

Authorities are asking residents not to panic as several wildfires burn near… Continue reading

B.C. declares state of emergency as more than 560 wildfires rage

This is only the fourth state of emergency ever issued during a fire season

Port Hardy Fire Rescue knocks down wildland fire

PHFR members responded to the scene, located the fire, and contained it to the immediate area.

Second annual Port McNeill & District Chamber of Commerce golf tournament

Golf Holes #2 and #6 are Hole-in-One opportunities, each with a cash prize of $25,000!

No taxes paid by Neucel, Doug Bondue Arena in Port Alice closes

“Neucel owes us a million dollars and it’s pretty hard to stay status quo when you’re short a million.”

Interim GoFundMe payments approved in Humboldt Broncos crash

$50,000 to be given to each of the 13 survivors and each family of the 16 people who died

Altidore nets 3 as Toronto drubs Whitecaps 5-2

Vancouver falls 7-4 on aggregate in Canadian Championship final

Ottawa intervenes to get B.C. ball player, 13, to Little League World Series

Before immigration issue was resolved, Dio Gama was out practicing the game he loves Wednesday

Pet goldfish invades small B.C. lake

Pinecrest Lake is located between Whistler and Squamish

Mounties deployed to help B.C. communities affected by wildfires

RCMP officers heading to places particularly within central, northern and southern B.C.

Quebec sets aside $900 million for companies hurt by U.S. tariffs

Premier Philippe Couillard says his government will make $863 million available over five years

B.C. company patents Sasquatch, the country’s first homegrown hops plant

Created by Hops Connect, Sasquatch hops are being grown commercially for the first time in B.C.

Farmers ponder impact of alternatives to pesticides being banned

The nicotine-based pesticides scientists have linked to a rising number of honey bee deaths will be phased out of use in Canada over a three year period starting in 2021.

Most Read