The Mayors Council has unveiled a new independent pricing commission to look at mobility pricing.
“All options are on the table,” said Vancouver Mayor Gregor Robertson, adding that the current “haphazard” system is not working for communities in Metro Vancouver.
“A system that was put together in fits and starts and is clearly not serving the region.”
The new body will spend the next 10 months working a report on the best pricing options for Metro Vancouver. The commission will cost taxpayers $2.31 million with members being paid $550 per meeting, the chair being paid $2500 per month and the vice-chair being paid $1166 per month.
The commission’s executive director Daniel Firth was the project manager for Stockholm’s Sustainable Urban Mobility Strategy.
“[We will] look at a system that will reduce congestion, promote fairness in the way we pay for transportation and providing a sustainable revenue stream for transportation,” said Firth.
“We’re going to be looking at a proposal from mobility pricing that creates as many winners as possible…
More than 50 people applied for roles on the independent commission, according to TransLink board member Janet Austin.
It will be chaired by Doctors of BC CEO Alan Seckel and former NDP MLA Joy MacPhail.
Robertson said that he hopes the new provincial government will take a close look at what the commission ends up recommending.
“The provincial parties recognize the current system of road tolling and bridges is broken,” said Robertson, noting that mobility pricing is not the only option.
“We have other sources of funding we can use like gas taxes or potentially carbon pricing. We don’t want another referendum… that’s a terrible way to approach public works.
“There’s no target for how much funding will be raised,” Robertson added.
Asked about reallocating current municipal funds to pay for new transit investments, Robertson said there was no extra money in city coffers.