Bike lanes and other infrastructure for cycling should be eligible for funding through the federal gas tax transfer

Metro Vancouver wants bulging gas tax fund to aid cycling

Fuel tax transfers from Ottawa have stacked up faster than TransLink can spend the money

More than $280 million in federal gas tax that is supposed to flow to TransLink is sitting unused and Metro Vancouver politicians now want some of it to go to building bike lanes.

Since 2005, Ottawa has handed back to TransLink at least half of the 10 cents a litre of gas tax it collects within the Metro region and the money has helped finance hundreds of new and replacement buses and SkyTrain cars.

But TransLink is only allowed to spend the resulting fund on certain types of projects – mainly vehicles – and with its capital spending constrained, the transferred federal gas tax money is stacking up faster than it can be spent.

An extra $122 million will flow in this year, lifting the total to more than $400 million.

“We want to be able to spend that money reducing our carbon footprints with cycling infrastructure around the region,” Burnaby Mayor Derek Corrigan said.

But the federal government two years ago removed bike-related projects as an allowed use of the gas tax transfers.

Metro’s regional planning committee voted Friday to urge area cities to lobby Ottawa to reinstate that use.

“It’s more consistent with the green agenda for the gas tax dollars,” Corrigan said.

TransLink strategic planning and public affairs vice-president Bob Paddon said it was unfortunate the federal government disallowed cycling spending.

But he rejected suggestions the gas tax money will go to waste, noting it is carried over each year and TransLink has more eligible spending in the works.

This year TransLink is applying to use $123 million from the fund to replace hundreds of older buses, community shuttles and HandyDarts over the next three years.

The federal gas tax transfer is separate from the 17 cents a litre in tax that TransLink directly levies on each litre of fuel sold in Metro Vancouver.

TransLink’s currently proposed three-year base plan would pare back the amount of money going to cycling upgrades around the region.

 

Just Posted

White Rock couple to donate blood 325th time, collectively

Anne Friendly will make her 175th donation, while her husband Kevin Klop will donate his 150th time

South Surrey mothers to launch CBD-infused water product

Three friends say benefits may include anxiety relief, pain management

4-year-old child injured in Surrey after falling out window

Child fell out of third-storey window, expected to fully recover

City of White Rock hosts official pier reopening

Event included ribbon-cutting, speeches, live music

Surrey school district to allow students to miss class for global climate strike

Students must be excused from school by parents; will be able to make up missed work without penalty

VIDEO: A moment to remember during the World Lacrosse Men’s Indoor Championship in B.C.

Diego Hernandez Valenzuela’s team lost, but he felt like a winner Saturday

Over 200 Hotel Georgia hospitality workers join ‘open-ended strike’

Unionized workers at Hyatt Regency, Westin Bayshore and Pinnacle Harbourfront have also walked out

B.C. Lions hype-man marks 15 years of cheers

Crazy P cheers, chants, bangs his drum and spreads a message of love

Hiker rescued after spending night on Crown Mountain

North Shore Rescue spotted the woman by helicopter over Hanes Valley

PHOTOS: Steller sea lion with plastic around neck rescued on Vancouver Island

Rescue staff determined the plastic band cut the protected animal’s neck approximately two inches

B.C. VIEWS: School officials join fact-free ‘climate strike’

Students, public get distorted picture of greenhouse gases

Vancouver Giants complete weekend sweep of Cougars

Back-to-back road trip victories for Langley-based team

Handgun crackdown, health spending and transit plans latest campaign promises

Friday was the end of a busy week on the campaign trail

B.C. woman photographs massive ant swarm on Abbotsford driveway

She asked what the ants were doing? The answer: war

Most Read