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

VIDEO: Collision in Surrey breaks axle off SUV

Two people were reportedly sent to hospital

Students spend night in White Rock shelter

Students hear powerful stories about homelessness on the Semiahmoo Peninsula

A look at White Rock’s next council agenda

Following a public hearing, council will hear annual reports from a number of its committees

‘Meet Your Muslim Neighbour’ event bridges gap on Semiahmoo Peninsula, association says

Event serves as an educational space for residents in South Surrey-White Rock

Teen with cancer whose viral video urged Canadians to vote has died, uncle tweets

Maddison Yetman had been looking forward to voting in her first federal election since junior high school

Security camera records hatchet attack on Langley store owner

Target escaped uninjured, but was ‘upset’ by incident

Rowing Canada, UVic investigate celebrated coach for harassment, abuse

Lily Copeland says she felt intimidated and trapped by Williams

Cleanup in the works after tanker truck fire leads to oil spill in B.C.’s Peace region

The province said the majority of the spilled oil likely burned away in the fire.

BC VIEWS: Action needed on healthcare workplace violence

While we’ve been talking about it, the number of B.C. victims has only grown

VIDEO: Vancouver Giants blank Cougars 4-0

Goaltender David Tendeck turned aside all 38 Prince George shots for his WHL-leading third shutout

Closing arguments begin in B.C. case launched in 2009 over private health care

Dr. Day said he illegally opened the Cambie Surgery Centre in 1996 in order to create more operating-room time

MacLean says “Coach’s Corner is no more” following Cherry’s dismissal from Hockey Night

Cherry had singled out new immigrants in for not honouring Canada’s veterans and fallen soldiers

Most Read