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

Province announces $100-million grant funding for Northwest communities

The Northern Capital and Planning Grant will go to four regional districts and 22 municipalities

All Native Basketball Tournament Day 5: Recap

Highlights and results from day 5 at the All Native Tournament

All Native Basketball Tournament Day 6: Preview

Look ahead to all the action scheduled for Feb. 16 at the All Native Tournament

All Native Basketball Tournament Day 4: Recap

Results and highlights from day 4 at the 2019 All Native Basketball Tournament

All Native Basketball Tournament Day 3: Recap

Highlights from around Day 3 of the tournament

Mermen calendar targets ‘toxic masculinity,’ raises big money for charities

Newfoundland and Labrador Beard and Moustache Club gave a cheque for more than $202,000 to Violence Prevention NL

Minister says plans to fight poverty, climate change, focus of B.C. budget

The NDP said in its throne speech last week that affordability will be the hallmark of its initiatives

UPDATED: ‘Violent’ B.C. man back in custody after Alberta arrest

Prince George man with ties to Vernon was being sought by police

After a week away, SNC-Lavalin questions await MPs returning to Parliament

Two have resigned already: Jody Wilson-Raybould was veterans affairs minister and Gerald Butts was Trudeau’s principal secretary

‘How did we get here?’: B.C. mom of transplant recipient worries about measles outbreaks

Addison, 7, cannot get a live vaccine because she has a heart transplant

Poverty coalition has high hopes for B.C. poverty reduction strategy

Funding allocation expected to be released with 2019 budget

Chanel: Iconic couturier Karl Lagerfeld has died

He spent virtually his entire career at luxury labels catering to the very wealthy

Lost a ring? This B.C. man will find it for you

Chris Turner founded The Ring Finders, an international directory of metal detector hobbyists

NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh calls for public inquiry over SNC-Lavalin questions

Vancouver member of Parliament Jody Wilson-Raybould resigned from cabinet last week

Most Read