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Public invited to provide more feedback on It's Time mobility pricing study


Online engagement platform open from February 26 – March 14 provides details on potential decongestion charging approaches


February 26, 2018 (Vancouver, BC) -- Today, the It’s Time project launched the second phase of its public engagement program, inviting Metro Vancouver residents to share their thoughts with the Mobility Pricing Independent Commission. The online engagement, which outlines several examples of how distance-based charges or congestion point charges could be introduced to combat traffic congestion in the region, will be open from February 26 – March 14.

“In our first engagement, more than 6,000 residents and stakeholders shared their perspectives on congestion, and principles such as fairness and affordability that we are considering as we study new ways to approach mobility pricing,” said Allan Seckel, Chair of the Mobility Pricing Independent Commission. “Now that we have some examples of how decongestion charging could work, we need more feedback to ensure that the Commission’s recommendations are informed by the needs and priorities of the public.”   

The Commission’s study is the first step in a multi-year process that will require additional research before local and provincial governments can make an informed decision as to whether or how to proceed with changes to mobility pricing.

The online engagement platform launching today presents short videos, maps, and potential strengths and weaknesses of a series of examples, including:

-          Maintaining, reducing or eliminating the fuel tax

-          Charging based on distance driven

-          Charging at specific congestion points (areas or crossings)

The platform also asks for general feedback such as whether people would prefer a scenario where “everyone pays a little bit every time they drive” versus “only those people who drive in congested areas and at busy times are charged.” Residents are also being asked to comment on what choices are available to them if decongestion charging was introduced.

The engagement platform is available in English, Simplified Chinese, Traditional Chinese and Punjabi, and can be found on the It’s Time website.

Other members of the Metro Vancouver community are also encouraging the public to engage in the It’s Time project:

·         “The It’s Time project team’s research will help us understand the strengths and limitations of our current transportation infrastructure and inform our decisions as we seek to address emerging needs. All of us have to be open minded to hear about and work hard to understand the research. We have to be thoughtful in our approach to solutions and determined to act and see them through.  Most of all, we have to be flexible enough to change our approach when circumstances require it. If history teaches us anything, we always have more to learn.” Dave Earle, President & CEO, BC Trucking Association

·         “The sheer growth in the number of people in the region is a huge factor in the congestion we’re experiencing in our cars and on transit. The reality looking forward is that if the current system remains, we will simply not be to handle the proportionate number of people in cars that we are seeing today. That is why this research to address congestion is hugely important. We need to understand that there are millions of stories from millions of people about how they get around the region. We need to hear about people’s unique challenges so that we can identify approaches that are going to be as fair as possible to as many people as possible.” Marc Lee, Senior Economist, Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives

·         “Buying time is a good investment in our happiness. Commuting is one of the most unpleasant activities in most people’s day, and shaving off minutes from the time we spend commuting could help to improve people’s wellbeing on a day to day basis.” Dr. Elizabeth Dunn, Happiness Researcher and Professor, Department of Psychology, University of British Columbia

·         “Research is an important method to solving any problem, and helps us understand our current conditions and what is needed to successfully approach issues we face. Public input is fundamental in helping researchers, like the It’s Time Project team, understand how congestion affects our region, and ensure that the needs of our communities, including fairness and affordability, are considered.” Mairi Lester, Sustainability Coordinator, Kwantlen Student Association

The Mobility Pricing Independent Commission will provide its recommendations this spring in a report to the TransLink Board of Directors and Mayors' Council on Regional Transportation, who will decide on next steps.

About the It’s Time project

The It’s Time project is a public engagement and research initiative led by the Mobility Pricing Independent Commission to explore decongestion charging as part of a plan for the future of transportation in the Metro Vancouver region. The project is designed to research and gather information about decongestion charging including learning about how charging has worked in other cities, and hearing from residents and businesses about what decongestion charging means from a local perspective. The Commission is made up of 14 community leaders from across Metro Vancouver.

Media contacts  / 604-618-5231 /  604-505-9048