Archive for the ‘taxes’ category

Montreal transit fare increase proposed

November 27, 2009

CBC News

Riding the bus or the Metro in Montreal could cost more next year, as the Montreal Transit Corp. is proposing to increase fares by two per cent, starting in January.

If the proposal is approved by Montreal council, the cost of a monthly pass for an adult would go up to $70 from the current $68.50. A single adult fare would go to $2.80 from $2.75.

Most Montrealers who ride the bus and Metro every day say they are willing to pay more, but only if it will mean better service.

The transit corporation’s vice-president Marvin Rotrand said commuters will notice a difference.

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TransLink directors don’t get it

November 27, 2009

Surrey Leader

Editorial

By Frank Bucholtz

Metro directors see no problem with their big pay hike” reads the headline on a story appearing on Black Press Lower Mainland newspaper websites – a story which also appeared in many of those newspapers.

It seems Metro Vancouver directors have no problem taking an additional 25 per cent this year. After all, it’s our money, and they see themselves as deserving of every penny they get.

They may not have a problem with their pay hikes, but many taxpayers do. We are being asked to pay more in property taxes each year – some of which goes to service the bloated Metro political structure.

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Paul R. Landry: The TransLink tax merry-go-round

November 21, 2009

The Straight

By Paul R. Landry

Newly minted Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure Shirley Bond was quick to rebuff a $450-million ask from the Metro Vancouver Mayors’ Council on Regional Transportation to support TransLink’s latest incarnation of its 10-year transportation plan. Her “no” was made more significant by the fact that the mayors were being supported by business, labour, and environment leaders.

So, it won’t be long before the residents and businesses of Metro Vancouver will be asked to pony up as much as $340 million a year in higher taxes, fees, and fares to fund TransLink’s mandate as our local transportation authority. That’s a whopping 35 percent increase from today’s funding levels—a hike of up to $150 per man, woman, and child in the region.

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News Bites for Nov. 20.09

November 20, 2009

TransLink has cancelled its plan for a bus to connect south Langley to White Rock and the Township council isn’t happy about it.

Only a fraction of the motorists using the Golden Ears bridge,
eight per cent, are taking advantage of the bargain-basement transponder rate of $2.75 per crossing. The vast majority of bridge users, 87 per cent, are paying premium prices, the top rate of $3.90 charged on vehicles that don’t have transponders.

A new director has been picked to serve on TransLink’s board.
W. John Dawson, a retired partner with accounting firm PricewaterhouseCoopers, was appointed to a three-year term by the regional mayors’ council. Dawson, an audit specialist, had for years advised Crown corporations including BC Rail and ICBC and had been vice-chair of the B.C. Financial Institutions Commission.

First hydrogen fuel cell bus in Whistler

November 19, 2009

ED. $100 million of taxpayers money wasted.  Time to use the limited transportation funds to actually solve problems, rather than experimenting on hydrogen – a power source rejected worldwide. This just more window dressing for 2010.

Pique Newsmagazine

By Clare Ogilvie

Whistler commuters will see the first hydrogen-powered bus by the end of the week.

It is already in town and undergoing commissioning.

“Everything seems to be going well,” said Joanna Morton, spokesperson for B.C. Transit.

“…In a month or so we will be seeing all 20 (hydrogen-powered buses) up there so we are quite excited.”

It is hoped that those riding the bus will be able to get information about the hydrogen power source and how the bus works, she added.

The ride is expected to be smoother and quieter than regular diesel buses. The only emission is water.

Once the buses arrive in Whistler, they will be kept at the new transit facility currently under construction near Nesters Road, for which the municipality is required to pay half the costs, over a 30-year period.

The $89.5 million hydrogen bus project is being funded with $45 million from the Government of Canada and $44.5 million from the province and B.C. Transit.

RELATED:

Stephen Rees article

Alternatives to Broadway Corridor SkyTrain

November 16, 2009

beyondrobson.com

Posted by Jake Tobin Garrett

Nov15Skytraintunnel.jpg

Image by Graham_Ballantyne from the BR Flickr Pool

On October 23, 2009 several mayors voted to increase funding for Translink to $130m in order to keep services running at the same level we are experiencing now (as opposed to a cut back to 1970s levels–ouch). Unfortunately, this plan falls short of the increase in funding Translink needed for expansion, and so expansion has effectively been shelved for the moment.

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NYC subway proves boon to the city and environment

November 15, 2009

ED. In Vancouver the car is king and government builds even more roads to encourage auto use.  New York, on the other hand, is so advanced in its public transportation system that we should be modeling ours on this American city, rather than having big business tell us what we should build.

EMIRATES BUSINESS

More than half of the households in New York do not own a car and up to 75 per cent of the population of Manhattan is without four-wheeled transport, thanks to the city’s mass rapid transit system and their extensive network of public transport.

Due to the New York City Subway, one of the few 24-hour metro services of the world, and the fact that New Yorkers use the public transport very extensively, it is one of the most energy-efficient cities in the US.

One in every three mass transit users in the US, or 4.9 million people a day, use the New York City Subway, which is the largest subway system in the world, measured by track mileage. It has grown from 28 stations when it was founded in October of 1904 to 462 stations at present.

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