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

Team BC defeats its hosts at junior curling nationals Sunday

Tyler Tardi and his team have played and won three games in the Canadian championships, so far.

UPDATE: Olympic softball qualifier to be held in Surrey

Tournament is to be held Aug. 25 to Sept. 1

Surrey resident to speak about erasing Alzheimer’s disease stigma

A goal of Dona McMorland is to erase stigma attached to the disease

Vehicle rollover in Surrey

Surrey Fire Service responded to the collision on the 19500-block of 60 Avenue

VIDEO: Three-peat for Semiahmoo at basketball’s Surrey RCMP Classic

South Surrey-based squad tops Lord Tweedsmuir in final at Enver Creek gym

REPLAY: B.C’s best videos this week

In case you missed it, here’s a look at the replay-worth highlights from this week across the province

Patriots make 3rd straight Super Bowl, beat Chiefs 37-31 in OT

New England will meet L.A. Rams in NFL title game

Pettersson returns to lead Canucks to 3-2 win over Red Wings

Vancouver’s super rookie has 2 points in first game back after knee injury

Crash closes Coquihalla southbound lane south of Merritt

Accident occurred approximately 26 kilometres south of Merritt

Skaters stranded in Saint John, NB, amid storm on last day of championships

More than half of the flights out of the city’s airport were cancelled due to the weather

Call for tighter bail rules after Saudi sex-crime suspect vanishes

Mohammed Zuraibi Alzoabi was facing charges related to alleged sexual assault, criminal harassment, assault and forcible confinement of a woman

12 poisoned eagles found on Vancouver Island

Improper disposal of euthanized animal suspected

B.C. resident creates global sport training program

The 20 hour course teaches the science and application of interval training at the university level

B.C. VIEWS: Fact-checking the NDP’s speculation tax on empty homes

Negative-option billing is still legal for governments

Most Read