Letters to the Editor

Senior governments drive transit

Federal and provincial politicians need to take ownership of our many transit-funding issues, writes Martin Cooper. - File photo
Federal and provincial politicians need to take ownership of our many transit-funding issues, writes Martin Cooper.
— image credit: File photo

Editor:

Transit has become similar to the HST fiasco – no decent ideas of how to solve it.

The provincial government should stand up and be responsible by administrating transit, not the mayors.

Sadly, too many politicians are more interested in their so-called image, and not making hard, intelligent, responsible decisions that they have been voted into office to achieve.

Transit at present is too large to manage. It should be split into separate entities – the buses and SkyTrain, one division; the main roads, bridges and tunnels, another.

Allow the buses to run on duty-free fuel. The federal and provincial governments removing fuel taxes would reduce greatly some of the costs running them. The SkyTrain GST/PST should be exempt from hydro costs.

After all, these taxes do return to all of us eventually. The administration costs would also be reduced, as less administrators would be employed collecting these taxes.

The roads, bridges and tunnels throughout B.C. should have the users of these amenities pay to fund them.

Whatever is budgeted into roads, bridges and tunnels at present should stay. Additional monies should be raised through a vehicle levy/tax – i.e. motorcycles $50 per annum, general class 5 operated vehicles $100 per annum, and a scale upwards from those costs for larger-class vehicles by axle weight or wheel base. Even bicycle users (over age 16) could contribute by placing a operator license, similar to a vehicle operator license.

The driver’s-licence centres could administer them.

Tolls on all bridges and tunnels could then be shared by all road users and could be eliminated. I am sure the toll collections is a drain out of the tolls. All of the taxes could be added to the insurance annual renewals and collected by ICBC. Thus no more administrators would be needed in this venture.

Both of these transit divisions should be administered by the provincial government, making someone accountable for monies received and spent.

Lastly, the BC Ferries could also be run on duty-free fuel, thus reducing their cost in operating their routes. This could reverse the decision to cut the Bella Coola and surrounding areas of their rights to a ferry service.

If the federal and provincial governments are as committed to transit as they maintain, they could embrace these ideas throughout Canada.

Are we not considered to be an oil-rich country? Therefore, give a break to all transit from some of the oil revenue.

Martin Cooper, Surrey

 

 

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