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.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

South Surrey couple donates $250K to students in honour of late son

Joseph Chung Scholarship Fund helps out 100 post-secondary students

Surrey RCMP investigate report of explosion at home

‘Emotionally elevated’ person taken ‘safely’ into custody: police

Surrey tells Uber to cease operations in city, but company ‘respectfully’ declines

Ridesharing company told to stop operating within the city by 9 p.m. Jan. 24

Plans for apartments on Strawberry Hill shopping site coming to Surrey council

It would be near the library, and include 123 rental units

Man killed in fall from 3 Civic Plaza balcony in Surrey

Heavy emergency services presence in plaza at the skyscraper, at 13475 Central Ave.

‘Presumptive case’ of coronavirus in Canada confirmed by Ontario doctors

Man in his 50s felt ill on his return to Canada from Wuhan, China

People knowingly take fentanyl so make policy changes to reduce harm: B.C. study

Dr. Jane Buxton, an epidemiologist at the centre, says drug users need more resources,

‘My heart is going to bleed’: Bodies brought back to Canada following Iran plane crash

Remains of Sahar Haghjoo, 37, and her eight-year-old daughter, Elsa Jadidi, were identified last weekend

UBC grad and sister killed in Iran plane crash had bright futures ahead, close friend says

Asadi-Lari siblings Mohammad Hussein and Zeynab were two of 57 Canadians aboard downed Flight PS752

Coronavirus concerns cause cancellation of Langley Lunar New Year celebration

Close to 1,000 were expected to attend the annual Live In Langley event on Saturday

Second earthquake in two days strikes near Agassiz

A 2.6-magnitude recorded Saturday morning

BCLC opens novelty bet on Harry and Meghan moving to the west coast

Meanwhile, real estate agency points to four possible homes for the family

Canada slips in global corruption ranking in aftermath of SNC-Lavalin scandal

The country obtained a score of 77, which places it at the top in the Americas

Most Read