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Independent Commission will study potential of mobility pricing for Metro Vancouver

Transportation authorities in Canada’s Metropolitan Vancouver region have formed an Independent Commission that will provide recommendations on whether road/mobility pricing could help reduce congestion and improve fairness in the way people pay for transport.

TransLink’s Board of Directors and the Mayors’ Council on Regional Transportation have officially launched the Mobility Pricing Independent Commission, which will examine how pricing could potentially solve key transportation challenges in the Metro Vancouver region.

The launch was set in motion in November 2016 with the approval of the ‘Phase One Plan’ of the ‘10-Year Vision for Metro Vancouver Transit and Transportation’. With the region’s economy booming, it is predicted that one million more people will move to Metro Vancouver over the next 30 years. On some key commuter routes, it is currently taking drivers an additional 10 to 15 minutes to get to work than it did 10 years ago. Without changes to the region’s transportation approach, congestion, travel times, and environmental impacts will continue to worsen.

The 10-Year Vision committed the region to exploring mobility pricing as a method to reduce congestion, promote fairness, and support transportation investment. Mobility pricing would build on and support other elements of the 10-Year Vision, including new investments in transit and transportation infrastructure throughout the region. The Commission will evaluate mobility pricing options based on the following objectives:

• Reduce traffic congestion on roads and bridges across the region, so people and goods can keep moving and businesses can thrive and be competitive;
• Promote fairness to address concerns around the long-standing approach to tolling some bridges, but not others;
• Support transportation investment to improve the current transportation system for all users.

The Commission’s chairman will be Allan P Seckel, CEO for Doctors of BC (British Columbia), with former member of the BC Legislative Assembly, Joy MacPhail, as vice-chair. A small expert staff team, supported by technical consultants, will support the research, analysis and public engagement. This team will be led by internationally-recognized mobility pricing expert Daniel Firth (right), chief strategy officer for the City of Stockholm Department of Transportation, who has been appointed executive director.

“It’s crucial that people are able to move efficiently and affordably around our growing region, using the route, time and mode that works best for them and for the transportation network overall,” said Gregor Robertson, Mayor of Vancouver.

“I look forward to hearing the Commission’s recommendations on a mobility pricing system that will work for everyone.”

June 8, 2017

Written by Adam Frost

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