Letters to the Editor

Subsidies for drivers, too





Re: PAN online question of the week, Jan. 2-8.

I am quite disappointed to see that 79 per cent responded ‘no’ to the question: “Should drivers subsidize public transit through gas hikes?”

However, I find that the way the question was worded was somewhat misleading, in that it positions this debate as a commuters-versus-drivers question, where commuters seem to benefit from a long list of government subsidies.

The fact is that drivers are heavily subsidized by all taxpayers in the construction and maintenance of streets, roads and highways. While these subsidies also benefit people who take the bus, bus commuters also use gas for their transportation and will also end up paying for the higher gas taxes, as these costs will be ultimately reflected in ticket prices.

People who choose to drive should be happy to see the expansion of public transit, as it takes people off the road and decreases congestion and the need to spend yet more tax dollars on roads.

In the end, no matter what, there is no such thing as a free ride for anyone and we should all work together to develop the best combination of private and public transit solutions.

Sylvie Peltier, White Rock



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