BCTA’s Solution for the Transportation Funding Problem
Regional transportation authority personnel often ask about people’s views regarding tolling as a means of generating funding for projects. Over time, tolling has also remained one of the subjects that are a conundrum for politicians and citizens alike. The question remains that how are we going to find the substantial funds for building new projects and maintaining the existing roads, bridges and highways as well as other public transportation and transit sources without sufficient tolling?
The BC Trucking Association (BCTA) has put forward a solution for this problem, based on the fact that most people realize that public transport and transit are a reliable and economical way to travel, which benefits everyone. According to the proposal, the first thing that needs to be resolved is to set concrete priorities for current and future projects that will ensure adequate road system and public transit. There is also a need for setting traffic standards and passenger volume on high priority highways and transit corridors, and a set of actions to be regulated when those standards are not complied with.
These set of instruction and regulations should be laid down in the form of a Regional Transportation Plan which accounts clearly for the areas, activities and businesses that will ensure feasible freight operations, while maintaining good relationships between them. Moreover, transportation and land-use planning should ensure that they are able to maintain adequate employment and economic conditions in the region.
Another thing that should be prioritized is defining how to maintain the existing road and transit system. In case of roads, on-street parking should be prohibited on roads designated for truck routes to enable a free-flow condition for the massive trailers. A nationwide procedure should also be established for the management of traffic incidents to decrease congestion.
The third most important thing to undertake is to create an appropriate budget for the annual maintenance and operation of road infrastructure and at the same time, to make plans to account for the regional road user taxes and fees, like fuel and parking taxes, vehicle registration and Translink’s portion of property taxes in some cases, and so on. The revenues and expenditures should be recorded, reported and documented properly, and should be made public annually.
Last but not the least; it is inherent that revenues are integrated into various road projects to maintain them and upgrade critical infrastructure system and transit routes. The public transit system should also include a “mobility pricing”, which will compel the drivers to optimize their driving trips. This will also allow the government to decrease some of the road taxes, which are collected directly to support the existing transportation system.
No urban transit system is complete and whole without a convenient and safe as well as an economical transportation system, which is maintained and sustained in a financially feasible manner. Therefore, necessary steps should be taken by the government before it is too late.
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