There have been a spate of things I have wanted to write about these last few weeks but have been unable to grab a moment here or there. So, there's a compile going on and I have a moment to mention this story that greeted me when I picked up the paper this morning. I wish I felt any confidence that this was going to improve transit and transportation in the Lower Mainland. The revised governance and the expanded sphere of responsibility is good. The missing link is still funding. Where is the funding for all these projects going to come from?
One aspect of the announcement is that public-private partnerships will be fostered by revised zoning and encouragement to develop around transit hubs in return for the private sector building certain parts of the transit system. Great. But where does infrastructure improvement that doesn't have a built-in opportunity for development get its funding from?
It's time, it's time, it's time for governments to admit that the steady stream of gasoline tax already being collected belongs not in general revenue where it's currently being sent, but in paying primarily for better transit, secondarily for better roads. Using that money for any other purpose is an illegitimate redirection of those funds that is tilting the playing field up hill for any sensible transit policy and downhill for whatever else it's being used for.
I despair of that conclusion ever being reached by the people who could make that idea a reality.