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Urban Travel Issues

CONTENTS 17pg 81K 17fig
1. Summary
2. Definitions
3. Introduction
4. My own experience with urban travel
5. Brief history of urban travel
6. GVRD transportation area
7. Use of different modes of transportation
8. Transportation organizations in the GVRD
9. Funding of TransLink organization
10. The high and low density dilemma
11. Transportation and resources
12. Transportation and pollution
13. Transportation and congestion
14. Practicality of transit
15. Travel Management (TM)
16. Sticks, user fees, tax grabs, carrots
17. Country vs city roadway costs
18. Increasing world and regional population
19. Motor vehicle ownership vs use
20. Rich vs poor
21. Types of transit in the GVRD
22. People interviewed
23. Tug-of-war between Travel Management techniques
24. Present funding of transportation in the GVRD
25. Best Travel Management solutions
26. Electronic Tolling
27. Conclusions
28. Notes
29. References
30. Revision history
>>>Copyright

2001Mar24 by Ben Wiens...innovation operative

1. SUMMARY
    Motor vehicles have been a problem in urban areas for at least 70 years because of congestion. In the future new types of motor vehicles could be much cleaner and efficient but the problem of congestion will largely remain. In large urban city areas such as the Greater Vancouver Regional District there needs to be a transit system to reduce vehicular congestion in the high density regions. At the present time, transit is more ideal for the city, and motor vehicles are more ideal for the countryside. We should optimize each form of transportation and encourage people to use a form of transportation that is most appropriate using Travel Management techniques. Transit usually has to be subsidized. Where should this money come from? Transit subsidies indexed to motor vehicle fuel use especially don't make sense because when people drive less and use transit more, there is less money collected to fund transit. The money should rather come from direct government subsidy. Fuel prices may rise in the future to the point where average workers cannot afford to drive. Therefore cities should plan now for effective transit systems. A rising world and regional population is the most serious threat to providing effective transportation in urban areas.

Urban Travel Issues, www.benwiens.com

Fig 1 Rapid transit systems are useful because they are fast

2. DEFINITIONS
Motor vehicle is defined here as...a self-propelled vehicle used for land transport such as a car, truck, van, bus, cab that is used for transporting people and goods and that is not considered a form of transit.
Transit...is short for public transportation and defined here as a vehicle such as train, tram, bus, truck, cab for transporting people but also goods that are not driven by those that want to travel and are owned or managed by a transit organization taking directives from elected officials.
Rapid transit...a transit system that does not travel within the regular motor vehicle traffic flow, is usually elevated or underground to avoid any level road crossings.
GVRD...is the Vancouver Regional District of British Columbia Canada and is composed of the areas shown in the map of Fig 4.
Travel Management...management of travel systems.
Travel Demand Management...include a variety of strategies to encourage more efficient use of different travel systems.
Transportation...a mechanized means of person or goods conveyance such as motor vehicle, airplane, bus, railcar, or bicycle.

3. INTRODUCTION
    This study is based on a real case of present transportation issues in the Greater Vancouver Regional District (GVRD) of British Columbia Canada. The ideas presented however can be applied to many other similar cities.
    I decided to work on this study after the tremendous public anger surrounding methods of raising money for transit subsidies by the TransLink organization in the Greater Vancouver Regional District (GVRD) in the spring of 2000. In the end Translink decided to go for a flat rate motor vehicle levy. Mayors of cities in the low density regions of the GVRD were threatening to pull out of the GVRD organization because such fees would have been unfair to those people in the suburbs that had little transit and that did not drive into the city. In the end the provincial government blocked the motor vehicle levy leaving inadequate funding of TransLink.
    I decided to do a study of not only the funding issues surrounding transportation, but also the technologies involved. After all one of my friends claimed that transit was so inefficient in the larger urban area that he recommended getting rid of the whole system. Was he right, or should we pursue public transit at all?

4. MY OWN EXPERIENCE WITH URBAN TRAVEL
    I have lived in the Vancouver area for about 20 years. Professionally I am an energy consultant and my main interest is energy conversion technologies. Transportation uses a great deal of energy and so I am quite interested in ways of making transportation more efficient. I have also worked for several motor vehicle companies such as Flyer Bus and Ballard Power. In the early 1980s while working at Flyer Bus I designed a low floor bus in my spare time and hung it on my office wall. Many people came by and laughed at it, but of course today the low floor bus is widely used. At Ballard Power I was involved in redesigning fuel cell power plants and worked on designing the early version of the fuel cell powered bus. I have been interested in different transportation systems and have been collecting ideas for the last 30 years.
    Presently I own a light sport utility vehicle, a 1986 Toyota Tercel 6 speed 4WD station wagon. It gets up to 38 miles/US gallon or 16.5 km/liter and I drive about 8,000 km per year. At the moment I work out of my home, so don't need to commute. I drive an average of once a week. Even though I live in the suburb of Coquitlam, which is 25 km from downtown Vancouver, I find that it is quite practical to walk to most services I need. Within a half hour walk there is a major supermarket, car parts store, office supply store, video rental outlet, post-office, restaurants, library, recreation center, major mall, major movie theater, wide variety of stores, and banks.
    I don't often use my bicycle for general transportation because of problems of theft and safety. Coquitlam has given little thought to bicycle transportation, most quiet roads are dead-ends and so bicycles often need to travel in 80 kph traffic flows. Bicycling is something I do for pleasure mostly on Sunday's when the traffic is considerably less.
    I have not always owned a car. I bought one again a little over a year ago. For three years I drove a small motorcycle, bicycled a lot, and took transit where I could. I found some trips by transit went well, while others were close to a nightmare. Trips into Vancouver downtown went well because a single bus took me practically from my doorstep to within 3 blocks of where I usually needed to go. To look for a motorcycle however it once took me about 8 hours return trip from Coquitlam to the edge of Langley by a combination of bus, rapid transit and a ride. My trips home from the University of BC in the evening were frustrating because buses on the very busy Broadway/Lougheed route just stopped near the edge of Vancouver and started up again a few kilometers away again in mid Burnaby.
    Presently I still use transit to get to downtown Vancouver and the University of BC. It is easy to lose up to 1 hr/trip with bad connections in more outlying areas of the GVRD. I know motor vehicles sometimes get caught in traffic jams caused by accidents, but the stress of trying to catch connections with transit is a constant one.
    So I have this love-hate relationship with transit. I want to save our environment, I don't like traffic noise and bustle, and love to relax or read a book on transit. On the other hand I have been so frustrated with transit at times.

Urban Travel Issues, www.benwiens.com

Fig 2 I worked on the early designs of the Ballard fuel cell powered bus shown

5. BRIEF HISTORY OF URBAN TRAVEL
    In many parts of the world, country people till 80 years ago often had to walk for miles to the nearest store and going to a nearby town might be an overnight trip by foot or horse. I am sure that people in those days were not all that content with their limitations of travel.
    Historically people moved into cities because people and businesses were so much closer. This made it faster to do one's business, travel to work, and made more socializing possible. Travel by foot in the city was the major form of transportation in the early days, this was the reason buildings in early cities were built very close together. Later the bicycle and transit such as cabs, trams, and subways were added and provided a way for people to travel much greater distances in the city with ease. This however made it practical to build buildings far apart.
    The invention of the motor vehicle resulted in a large improvement in mobility for country people. Soon however city people bought motor vehicles, because they found that the tram would not take them out to their relatives, friends and activities in the countryside. If people had been content to only drive cars in the country and use transit in the city all would have been well. But there is no sudden boundary to a city and so people often need to travel back and forth between city and country areas. In this type of travel, the automobile is more practical in general. However now that there are so many motor vehicle on the roads they create so much congestion everywhere that they are not the wonderful means of getting around anymore.

Political Issues of Urban Transportation, www.benwiens.com

Fig 3 Modern cities have a mixture of motor vehicles and transit

6. GVRD TRANSPORTATION AREA
    The Greater Vancouver Regional District (GVRD) of British Columbia Canada is a seaport city area on the south west coast of Canada. Total population is roughly 2 million people [1]. People here get around with motor vehicles, walking, bicycling, elevated rapid transit, bus, ferry, and train. The climate is quite temperate, 0 deg C is the usual low and temperatures rarely climb above 25 deg C. It does however rain frequently making bicycle and motorcycle travel less than fun. As can be seen on the map, there are many bodies of water (black) between the different areas of the GVRD. This means that traffic must be funneled over the few bridges available. These are major bottlenecks in the system.

Political Issues of Urban Transportation, www.benwiens.com

Fig 4 The GVRD is a huge area and 80 km long which is hard to cover with effective transit

7. USE OF DIFFERENT MODES OF TRANSPORTATION?
    Presently transit use is remarkably low if use is averaged throughout the GVRD region. Transit use, walking, and cycling represent a large percentage of trips in the city of Vancouver however, which has a much higher population density than most of the surrounding cities. On the other hand, the adjoining city of Richmond has a very low percentage of total trips taken by transit.

Trips in the GVRD
Trips by automobile/day4,200,00076%
Trips by transit/day550,00010%
Trips by walking and cycling/day750,00014%
Estimated 1999 total trips in GVRD/day5,500,000-
Trips in Vancouver
Trips by automobile/day--
Trips by transit/day313,000 [4]58%
Trips by walking and cycling/day--
Estimated 1999 total trips in Vancouver/day540,000-
Trips in Richmond
Trips by automobile/day--
Trips by transit/day 33,000[4]5%
Trips by walking and cycling/day--
Estimated 1999 total trips in Richmond/day660,000-

Fig 5 Trips Taken In the GVRD

8. TRANSPORTATION ORGANIZATIONS IN THE GVRD?
    There are actually five different organizations that oversee, are in charge, own, collect taxes, or fund different parts of the road and transit systems in the GVRD. These different organizations are listed in the table below. This results in a lot of confusion when residents are asked to cough up more money for roads or transit through taxes or user fees. When more money is required, the big picture of all these transportation organizations should be looked at first. What is the total budget of all of them.
    Sometimes several organizations provide grants to fund one project, while at other times several organization even own different parts of the same system. Often only the budget needs of one of these organizations is mentioned in a report. For example, at the present time the TransLink organization is in charge of all transit operations and a few major roads. They want more money to fund an expanded transit system and also for improvements to the roads they manage. TransLink claims that the major subsidy of transit in the GVRD comes from a transfer of 8 cents/liter of motor vehicle fuel taxes. This is true as far as their bookkeeping, however if one looks at the big picture, a large part of the Skytrain trackway is actually owned by the Provincial government. As well a majority of the major roads and bridges are still owned or funded by the Provincial government. So really direct Provincial funding provides a much larger portion of the total transit subsidy. The shortfall in funding should really be thought of largely as a squabble between the TransLink organization and the Provincial government. The Provincial government claims that TransLink has enough money and TransLink says they need more. See Chapter 23 for more details.

Organization Federal roads Major road Major bridge Skytrain Train Bus SeaBus Minor road Minor bridge
Federal governmentX--------
Provincial governmentXXXXX----
Greater Vancouver Transit Authority (GVTA)-XXXXXX--
TransLink-XXXXXX--
Cities-XX----XX

Fig 6 Organizations that own, oversee, fund, tax, maintain, or operate roadways and transit in the GVRD

9. PRESENT FUNDING OF TRANSLINK ORGANIZATION
    Till about 1980, the GVRD managed the transit system. At this time the Provincial government decided that because transit required large subsidies, it would be better to manage and fund the transit systems in all the major cities. So, for about the last 20 years, BC Transit was in charge of the transit system in the GVRD. In fact many other Provincial cities still have transit systems that are managed by BC Transit. These cities still receive transit subsidies directly from the Provincial government treasury. The subsidy these cities get is between 40-50% of the total operating costs. This used to be the case for the previous Greater Vancouver BC Transit as well.
    It is true that transit systems in most other cities in North America are not directly funded or operated by the Provincial or State governments but rather are run by the city regions themselves just as it was in the GVRD before 1980. In these cases it appears that either city taxes or Federal government transfers subsidize the city transit systems. The Greater Vancouver BC Transit organization decided it wanted to go back to a transit system with local city control. The major road systems in the GVRD were also managed by the separate cities as well as the Provincial government. This resulted in such problems as traffic signals that were of different standards and major roads that were managed by several different cities. In April 2000 they convinced the Provincial government to allow them to form a new organization called TransLink which would be in charge of the transit system as well as certain major roads. To complicate the issue further, a separate organization called the Greater Vancouver Transportation Authority or GVTA was formed which is composed of board members, who are mostly city councilors, to oversee the TransLink organization. This results in some odd relationships and accounting. For example while TransLink cannot borrow money and must break even ever year, the GVTA can borrow the money for TransLink.
    Several years before TransLink was formed, the subsidy received from the Provincial government to operate the Greater Vancouver BC Transit system in the GVRD started being indexed to the amount of motor vehicle fuel sold in the GVRD. When TransLink was formed, the major subsidy continued to be indexed to fuel sales. TransLink however was also given authority to impose user fees on motor vehicles and road use.
    Apparently the funding for the Greater Vancouver BC Transit was originally changed from the 50% Provincial subsidy formulae to being indexed from automobile fuel taxes due to a concern over funding stability. It was feared that each new Provincial government in power would change the formulae and throw transit plans in disarray. It was felt that indexing the amount to automobile fuel sales through legislation would result in a more stable cash flow. OK, I am no politician but can't there be legislation to cover a subsidy formulae based on alternative numbers such as the population in the GVRD as well?
    It has to be understood that TransLink does not collect a portion of the fuel taxes themselves. The Provincial government does this. The subsidy is an amount of money transferred from the Provincial government general treasury just like with the 50% subsidy formulae. It is simply based on an amount of automotive fuel sold in the GVRD. Just a number in the books.
    Having a transit subsidy indexed from fuel sales means that if TransLink officials are successful in getting people to use transit, less people will buy fuel, the amount of the subsidy will go down while at the same time it will cost more to run transit. If a fuel crisis suddenly hit, or war erupted and fuel rationing was imposed, the transit subsidy would be dramatically reduced leaving TransLink with little money to run the badly needed transit system. Having transit subsidies indexed to motor vehicle fuel use results in transit planners being tempted not to try and reduce motor vehicle trips at all.

10. THE HIGH AND LOW DENSITY DILEMA
    The GVRD is located on the seacoast side of a 160 km long river delta that is nestled between two mountain ranges. The whole region is called the Lower Mainland. This area could be divided into a mixture of three types of zones--City Center, Suburb, Countryside. But the GVRD does not have one city center but rather is composed of the major downtown Vancouver with roughly 16 smaller city centers throughout the region. This is not unlike the situation in some city areas in North America but is unlike cities in Europe which generally have one major city center.
    Spreading out a city and having many smaller city centers was the dream of city planners in the GVRD for the last several decades. They felt that this would reduce the flow of motor vehicle traffic into a downtown core. While such a spread out urban area is right for the motor vehicle, it is not right for transit. The small regional city centers are much too small for people to stay in their own city centers, so they drive all over the larger region. So now that the GVRD has decided to concentrate on transit, should we start tearing down all the regional city centers?
    Presently motor vehicles serve countryside residents better. Conversely the city areas have such a high density that it is difficult to provide enough roads and parking to make the automobile practical. The dilemma is that people from the countryside often travel into the city areas for work. It is difficult for these people to take transit directly from their homes into the city. This group driving motor vehicles results in congestion on the roads leading into and out of the city areas. City people as well may often need to travel to the country for business or pleasure and this requires an automobile. People often have to make many stops at different places. If some stops are in the city, and some in the countryside, people tend to use their motor vehicles. This is because motor vehicles can be used in all the different areas, while transit is mostly useful in the city centers.
    If there were gates to keep people in their respective zones, then each area could adjust their taxes and modes of transportation for their own specific needs. This is not possible. That means some people travel from the countryside to the city frequently and use the roads in the city. Others in the country travel mostly within the countryside. Some people in the city use transit extensively while others chose to walk. There is no fair way to collect taxes in situations of mixed density and travel choices.

Political Issues of Urban Transportation, www.benwiens.com

Fig 7 There are no gates that keep people in their zones

11. TRANSPORTATION AND RESOURCES
    In Canada, motor vehicles and other forms of transportation presently use about 25% of the total energy consumption. In high density areas, transit is more energy efficient than the automobile. Motor vehicles have gradually become more efficient over the last several decades, however an increasing population, and desire to purchase large motor vehicles, may result in continued high energy use.
    Automobile manufacturers have already designed 5 seater prototype motor vehicles that get 100 miles/US gallon or 42 kilometers/liter. Such motor vehicles use fairly standard diesel engines and could be mass produced next year if desired. If such motor vehicles were widely used, motor vehicles would use a much smaller share of the total energy consumption. As well it could be argued that transit would have a hard time being more fuel efficient than such motor vehicles. Some studies show that motor vehicles are more fuel efficient than transit in the suburbs because the buses are traveling nearly empty much of the time.
    In the next several decades however there may be severe fuel shortages and this would result in fuel prices in the world increasing dramatically. This would mean that economics may severely limit the use of the typical motor vehicles that we drive presently. People may begin buying more fuel efficient motor vehicles but it also might mean that areas that have highly efficient rapid transit systems already in place will have a better standard of living. Good transit systems may be a safety feature for our economy.

12. TRANSPORTATION AND POLLUTION
    Motor vehicles built over 20 years ago spewed out a tremendous amount of nitrogen oxides, unburned hydrocarbons, and carbon monoxide. The development and use of the catalytic converter has reduced the amounts of unburned hydrocarbons and carbon monoxide dramatically, however many new motor vehicles still produce high levels of nitrogen oxides. Motor vehicles built to the tougher California standards however are already able to greatly cut nitrogen oxide emissions as well.
    Prototype motor vehicles ready for production now have the ability to dramatically reduce all 3 pollutants mentioned above. One manufacturer's claim is that the exhaust would be five times cleaner than the present atmospheric air in the Los Angeles area. Future motor vehicles might also use fuel cells. These motor vehicles would be even more efficient and even less polluting. If the energy to power these motor vehicles originates from fossil fuels, there will still be accumulated carbon dioxide produced, a greenhouse gas. Carbon dioxide is presently considered a fourth major pollutant if it originates with fossil fuels. If however other renewable fuels or energy sources can be found to power motor vehicles, then motor vehicles in the future would contribute very little to pollution.
    Motor vehicles should not be absolutely discounted as a future means of transportation because of pollution, however it will be difficult for society to find the vast amounts of renewable energy needed to power automobiles.

13. TRANSPORTATION AND CONGESTION
    The motor vehicle is much more versatile than any transit system. Future motor vehicles may be very efficient and non-polluting. If this happens then problems of congestion would be the most serious fault of the motor vehicle. The motor vehicle occupies a considerable space both on the road and when it needs to be parked.
    There is talk about making motor vehicles that are electronically guided on freeways. In planned systems, motor vehicles would follow sensing strips in the roadway as well as being able to detect motor vehicle locations around them. Theoretically motor vehicles could travel nearly bumper to bumper at high speeds because their speeds would be very uniform. This might allow up to 3 times the traffic flow per lane. Such ideas sound good in theory, but controlling the speeds of thousands of totally different types of motor vehicles, with different engines, transmissions, steering, and brakes may prove to be a formidable task.
    It is much harder to improve the traffic flow on local roads. Because cities are 2 dimensional roadways and have flows of traffic that constantly cross each other, traffic controls are often used to make one group of motor vehicles wait while the other group of motor vehicles cross over. Traffic lights that are electrically controlled and adjust to traffic flow can increase the efficiency of roads a fair amount. Traffic lights however cause major disruptions of traffic flow. Electronic circuits in computers can switch flows on and off millions of times per second, but it takes nearly 10 seconds to stop and start each flow of motor vehicle traffic.
    Traffic flows can be tremendously increased in city areas by various road stacking arrangements such as tunnels, underpasses, double deck roadways, but these are expensive and if done above ground can sometimes be unsightly. In North America, all major roads are designed to handle large motor vehicles such as semi-trailer trucks, but this isn't always best. In Paris, for example, many major intersections use a simple type of underpass. For example in a regular multilane intersection, the outermost lanes on the major road are replaced with low height tunnels that allow small motor vehicles to pass under without stopping. Motor vehicles wanting to make turns as well as large vehicles use the regular roadway. I am sure that some midsize vehicles must at times get stuck in the tunnels, but low height restrictions are a fact of life in many parking lots already. Paris also has many tunnels diverting traffic underneath parts of the city. In many congested city regions, roadways should be stacked just like the buildings above them. This increases the cost of roads but greatly increases the flow of traffic and if done carefully adds little clutter to the city landscape.
    There is considerable resistance of people to using very small motor vehicles the size of Mini Coopers which require less parking room. These vehicles are not generally large enough to carry a family, and many people generally can't afford to own separate vehicles for special purposes. Buying special purpose vehicles such as small electric cars just for commuting results in people having to have more parking room at home but less at work. Most people wouldn't be able to afford the insurance and upkeep on many separate motor vehicles. There is also a concern by much of the public that small motor vehicles pose too great a risk in accidents.
    Many people have suggested that motor vehicles be publicly owned in city areas. Such motor vehicles could be rented by the trip. Instead of parking the automobile for the day, it would be left at the curb for someone else do drive. Such an approach is interesting but has it's problems. If you stayed late at the office, there may not be any motor vehicle for you to drive home. Then there is the problem as mentioned already of where to park this extra automobile at home if you needed another type of motor vehicle for other transportation needs. Would people look after the motor vehicle or would they be abused and soon need to be replaced. As history has taught us, public ownership has its problems.
    Motor vehicles will always cause major congestion in high density city areas and need to be restricted in some way. Now that urban areas have been shaped by city planners with the automobile in mind, we cannot reshape them in a few years time to be higher density and suitable for transit. There are also some quality of life advantages in having lower density suburbs as well. Not everyone wants to live and especially raise children in a high rise apartment.
    If we only knew what lay ahead? Perhaps fuel prices in the future will be so high that there will be few motor vehicles on the road. If this would be the case, planners would not even need to think about how to reduce congestion in urban areas.

14. PRACTICALITY OF TRANSIT
    Studies show that presently in the GVRD only 5% of people choose to use transit for their trips if they have another choice for transportation [3]. People walk and use bicycles in the GVRD for 14% of their trips which is almost three times the amount of choice transit trips. In the suburbs, the amount of choice transit trips presently is as low as 1%. Some of the reasons people don't take transit are listed in the table below.

Disadvantage of transit compared to motor vehicle
Slower
Have to wait for transfers
Expensive for short trips
Hard to carry luggage, tools, groceries
Little service in non-downtown areas
Expensive for families
Little service in evening, Sundays, and holidays
Often have to stand
Not suitable for suburb trips that involve many stops
Have to wait for transit in cold or heat

Fig 8 Major disadvantage of transit over motor vehicles in GVRD

    Realistically, if roads were not congested, parking was cheap and available, few people in the GVRD would consider taking transit. Most people that own motor vehicles but chose to take transit do so because of problems with road congestion and high parking fees. This is in spite of the much higher cost of operating a motor vehicle as opposed to taking transit.

15. TRAVEL MANAGEMENT (TM)
    Transit professionals like to use a term called Travel Demand Management or TDM. This is sometimes referred to as Transportation Demand Management, however because walking is not really considered a form of transportation, it is better to use the term travel instead of transportation. Travel Demand Management includes a variety of strategies to encourage more efficient use of different forms of travel. Actually though, TDM tactics are only part of the bigger picture of Travel Management or TM. For example TDM tactics only involve travel demand, while there are many other issues to consider like speed of travel, pollution, energy resources, and noise which have nothing to do with demand.
    As well, few Transportation Demand Management tactics deal with the issue of how to raise money for transit subsidies, most relate to decreased use of motor vehicles. If people suddenly took to bicycling and walking or working at home, this would actually be an extreme hardship for transit. There would not be enough people taking transit to make it efficient. So many TDM tactics are a conflict of interests in transit organizations.
    Travel Management strategies are often referred to as sticks, user fees, and carrots. Sticks penalize, user fees are aimed at pay-for-use, and carrots are neutral ways of encouraging people to use transit more, drive their motor vehicles less, bicycle and walk more, or reduce trips entirely. The following table shows a few TM tactics and their effect.

Description TM Type Effect
Dictate who can use motor vehiclesLegislationLarge traffic decrease
Flat motor vehicle fee to pay for transit costsTax GrabFunds more transit
Large increase of fuel tax to discourage useStickSmall traffic decrease
Decrease cost of transit fareUser FeeSmall increase in transit use
Make transit faster than automobile travelCarrotMedium increase in transit use
Variable vehicle fee based on pollutionEnvironmentalSmall change to cleaner vehicles

Fig 9 Different types of Travel Management ideas for solving transportation problems

16. STICKS (penalties), USER FEES, TAX GRABS, CARROTS (incentives)
    If we had a dictatorship type of government, civil servants could individually interview each and every citizen and determine whether they needed to drive their motor vehicles. Those that drove their motor vehicles when they could easily take transit would be severely penalized. Those that had jobs in one place but bought a house in a distant suburb would also receive hefty penalties. Very quickly enough people would start leaving their motor vehicles at home and start using transit. If more funds would then be put into transit, it would soon become very effective.
    We don't want to have a dictatorship and we don't want to have a minimalist society where we only do things to barely survive. As well, it is pretty hard to determine whether someone can easily take transit. There are so many things to consider. Sticks will always severely penalize certain groups who need to use the automobile for transportation as well as poor people. Tax Grabs are simply taxes that organizations impose to raise money, they are not primarily designed to be a stick or carrot. Like sticks they also severely penalize certain groups who need to use the automobile for transportation as well as poor people. User fees however can be neither sticks nor carrots. Carrots are incentives without any penalties. User fees can often result in responsible use, however they can often be a hardship on the poor. Carrots generally have the least hardships on any group and are therefore the first incentive that should be used to encourage people to choose their transportation in a democracy.
    The chart below shows how different strategies affect different income groups.

GroupSticks (penalties)User FeesCarrots (Incentives)
RichOKOKOK
MIddle classHardshipOKOK
PoorHardshipHardshipOK

Fig 10 Transportation Demand Management Types

17. COUNTRY vs CITY ROADWAY COSTS
        The cost of roads in the countryside is a lot less than the roads in the city center per kilometer if one considers the price of the land that the roadway takes up at current market value. This is because the cost of the land in the city center is extremely expensive compared to the cost of land in the countryside. City roads are generally more heavily used than those in the countryside, so it is more appropriate to talk about the land roadway value per motor vehicle. Approximate costs for this "land roadway value per vehicle" can be seen in Fig 11 below. It can be seen that the land cost per vehicle driven could be about 26 times higher in the city center as in the countryside.
    This roadway land value however has no direct connection to a yearly roadway cost per motor vehicle. In our society we think of every generation needing to buy property at market value. Public property such as roads however can be thought as being owned indefinitely by the people. Most roadways in the older parts of the cities were built when the cost of land was only a fraction of what it is worth today.
    In the GVRD, politicians decided about 30 years ago not to increase the amount of roadways especially in the higher density parts of Vancouver city. So in much of the GVRD, people are not paying high taxes to buy up property and increase the amount of roadways. In fact budgets of different cities in the GVRD show that the cost of maintaining the present roadways is very small. In the city of Coquitlam, the average city road maintenance costs are only $81 per household per year, or 5.4% of the cities budget.
    Some people argue that because the motor vehicle is so practical and roads are not that expensive to maintain, people wouldn't mind paying more taxes to increase the amount of roadways. Unfortunately studies show that increasing the amount of roads, especially highways leading into cities, only results in more people driving from more distant suburbs.
    There are many models that can be used to figure out what the "true cost" of the roads are. On the simple side, supporters of motor vehicles often use a model of road costs that include only the cost of road construction and maintenance but don't consider the cost of land. Those that like to build a case of reducing motor vehicle use a model of road costs that include the cost of land, maintenance, accidents, effects of pollution, effects of noise, and loss of tax on the road land value. There can be even more elaborate models generated. For example it could be argued that without roads to transport people and goods, the economy would be drastically reduced, therefore the roads actually generate money for the economy instead of costing money.

RegionSpeedVehicles/hrLand ValueLand Value/Vehicle
Countryside50 kph200/hr$50/sq.m$4,700
Suburb40 kph 600/hr$500/sq.m $12,500
City30 kph 600/hr$1000/sq.m $18,750
Downtown20 kph 600/hr$10,000/sq.m $125,000

Fig 11 Land value roadway cost per motor Vehicle, based on 1 hr total commute/day entirely in single region

18. INCREASING WORLD AND REGIONAL POPULATION
    As was mentioned in the last Chapter, the land value of roadways has no direct connection to a yearly roadway cost per motor vehicle. On one extreme it can be argued that if the population in a city remained static forever, the land of the roadway could be recycled through generations of people for 1000s of years. Even the $125,000 per vehicle amortized over 1000 years with no interest is only $125 /vehicle/year. On the other extreme, one could argue that if the population of a city is growing rapidly, the $125,000 may have to be amortized in as little as one generation as additional roads have to be build for the increasing population. Not including interest, the $125,000 amortized over one generation or 30 years would be $4,200/year.
    In the first case, if the population remains static, the land value in the city center amortized over 1000 years would only result in about 2 cents/kilometer. In the second case, if the population rises quickly and additional roads are built, the land value in the city center amortized over 30 years would result in about 60 cents/kilometer. Such figures show how incredibly expensive our rapidly growing world population is for urban areas. Large cities do not necessarily result in expensive roadways, but rapidly growing cities with heavy motor vehicle use in the city center areas do. If a city's population did not grow, imagine not having to widen a single road for the next 1,000 years.

19. MOTOR VEHICLE OWNERSHIP vs USE
    It is reasonable for average people to own a motor vehicle in the GVRD considering the shortfalls of transit. One of the reasons people drive their motor vehicles so much presently instead of taking transit is because of the high fixed costs of owning a motor vehicle. For example I own an older 1986 station wagon but only drive it on average once a week. It costs me about $30 every time it leaves my garage. But if I would drive it more often, such as once a day, my cost per trip would only be about $4.30 per day. Because I drive my station wagon so seldom, it really only costs me fuel and tire wear if I drive it more. It might cost me 10 cents/km to drive any extra amount. If I drive the 6 km to the mall and back it costs me 60 cents/person/outing. If I take the bus it costs $3.50/person/outing. If I drove to the mall with a family of four it would cost only 15 cents/person/outing to take the motor vehicle.
    One TM strategy that has been investigated by TransLink is to have automobile owners pay for insurance by the kilometer. Statistics show that on average those that drive more have more accidents. One insurance company in the United States already charges insurance by distance traveled using a Global Positioning System. For me, about 60% of my fixed costs are insurance. If my fixed costs were reduced, I would leave my station wagon home even more. With some of the money saved I would insure my 4-cycle 100cc motorcycle for local trips.
    Kilometer-based insurance and motor vehicle taxes could be a powerful carrot (incentive) for people to take transit provided the fees are in line with present averaged ones. On the other hand it does not raise revenue to subsidize transit. But it appears that kilometer-based insurance could have a more positive effect of increasing transit use than imposing stiff gas taxes to discourage motor vehicle use. This is because kilometer-based fees have a two-way stick-carrot effect. First those that drive less that the average pay lower fees than they did before. As well those that drive more than the average pay more than they did before. So kilometer-based fees are really considered primarily user fees, but it is true that user fees can be sticks as well as carrots too, even though they are not classed as such.

20. RICH vs POOR
    In Chapter 6 it was discussed how the high and low density areas of the city and surrounding areas create a dilemma as far as who should pay for what. On top of the issues of high and low density areas, there is another real issue. There are rich and poor living in these areas. The poor are not necessarily bums that should get a job. Many of the poor already have one or two jobs, are honest citizens, and are trying the best they can to make ends meet. Many of the poor and also middle class who have families have little choice but to live in the suburbs. They hadn't really planned to drive to the city for a job, but it just worked out that way. These days many people just can't be too fussy about which job they take, they just take a job that becomes available. Many people in the suburbs drive motor vehicles to work because it is extremely difficult to take transit. It could be done, but at a penalty of having little free time to enjoy life.
    Using harsh sticks (penalties) to discourage these people using motor vehicles often results in extreme hardships for these families, while at the same time not really affecting the richer people at all. Using harsh sticks to discourage people driving motor vehicles then soon results in a society where the rich drive and the poor stay at home.
    We know that not all of us can travel around in helicopters or private planes like the heads of large corporations or governments often do. Is driving a right of everyone in society? Presently it costs a minimum of about 20 cents/kilometer to drive an older motor vehicle. It would cost about $20/day to do a long distance commute with this vehicle. If someone was working on a minimum wage job of $7/hr it would take three hours of work just to pay for traveling costs. So poor people already are limited in travel by motor vehicle expenses. Many people I know drive bicycles or take transit because they can't really afford a motor vehicle.
    If higher road taxes or road tolls were introduced and kilometer-based insurance was available, poor people might still end up being able to travel for about the same cost as long as they limited the amount of kilometers they traveled per year or drove mostly in the countryside.

20. TYPES OF TRANSIT IN THE GVRD
    In the GVRD we presently use several different types of transit. Skytrain is our rapid transit system that mostly runs on elevated trackways. Eventually it will run to many of the cities in the GVRD. Skytrain cars run on steel wheels on tracks and the propulsion is by linear induction motors. The cars are not manned but rather run by a central computer. In 2000 there were 150 cars in the fleet. There is a total fleet of 1175 buses both single length and articulated. This also includes a large electric bus fleet in Vancouver that runs on overhead trolley wires. Five commuter passenger trains run from Mission to Vancouver. At least two passenger ferries connect downtown Vancouver with North Vancouver. About 250 small vans are also used for special needs.
    Rapid transit is the most favored transit system by people in the GVRD. Skytrain has an average speed of about 50 kilometers/hr including stops. This is about double the speed of a motor vehicle in rush hour. Unfortunately Skytrain technology is rather expensive. The new large Skytrain cars cost $Cdn3,000,000 each. Articulated buses cost only $500,000 and regular buses cost $300,000. Many people think future rapid transit in the GVRD should be with more conventional rotary electric motor driven cars. According to TransLink even such more conventional light rail cars would cost nearly $3,000,000.
    TransLink is buying the present Skytrain cars from Bombardier. Again TransLink claims that they would be allowed to purchase such cars from competing manufacturers however there are non. This results in Bombardier not needing to be very competitive. The Skytrain guideways do not have to be built under license.

22. PEOPLE INTERVIEWED
    In the course of months doing research for this article I interviewed a lot of people informally. Figure 12 actually is only a small selection of those interviewed and does not represent an accurate scientific cross-section of people in the region. I just wanted to collect some observations of people regarding transit. Interestingly the comments show that not many take transit to work or for other activities. More people I know walk or bicycle than take transit. The statistics in Fig 4 show that this is true for the general population in the GVRD.
    One of the most frequent comments I received was that people recognize that motor vehicles cause congestion and feel bad about driving them in rush hour, but find that transit often doesn't work very well at all for them. The biggest complaint of transit is the long waits for buses, and the fact that connections are often missed. Most people think much more highly of rapid transit than buses.

AgeHomeComments
40sCoquitlamTried getting around just with transit for 3 years and was frustrating because of waits
30sLangleyOften has to stand 1.5 hrs each way to work and back into Vancouver on transit
40sLangleyThought there would be work in Langley but now commutes to Vancouver which takes 1.5 hrs each way on transit
40sN VancouverThinks transit works so poorly and so few people take it they should get rid of it
40sN VancouverSold her near new car, now only takes transit, loves not having to spend money on car repairs, doesn't get out much though
30sVancouverThinks motor vehicles are bad for society, bicycles to school, borrows car for shopping
40sVancouverWalks everywhere in downtown, drives her car on weekends to go hiking
50sRichmondBicycles to work everyday but thinks everyone needs to own a car for weekend outdoor activities
40sCoquitlamTried to take transit to work in Richmond but just did not work so now drives to work
40sVancouverBicycles in Vancouver to save the environment, owns an old car for getting to outlying areas
50sVancouverBicycles to work but is thinking about getting a second car now that wife has a baby.
30sVancouverDoesn't own a car, bicycles everywhere in Vancouver and often for out of town trips too

Fig 12 Selected comments from people interviewed

23. TUG-OF-WAR BETWEEN TRAVEL MANAGEMENT TECHNIQUES
    To double the amount of people using transit from 10% to 15% of total person trips may cost $2 billion because a greatly increased transit system would be necessary. To decrease the amount of motor vehicle trips by 5% through a TDM tactic may cost as little as $5 million. So the question arises. Why should we spend 400x as much money for an increased transit system if all that is desired is to not have to build more roads? It is a complex issue which requires looking ahead to the future.
    If we were able to reduce the volume of motor vehicle traffic by 5% this year through a TM tactic, in less than 5 yrs time we would be at the same traffic flow due to an increased population. If we have 2 major TM tactics we may be able to keep traffic flows the same for 10 years. But if there is no transit system to provide an alternate, we run out of TM tactics and eventually there will be grid-lock if all the highways are not widened. If the rapid transit system is improved each year, eventually it will be more widely used and then the roadways will not have to we widened at all in the future.
    The GVRD did not have a rapid transit system till about 15 years ago. Without an extensive rapid transit system, there is little hope of transit being practical for a large amount of people, especially the longer distance commuters. A lot of money has to be spent for a total of about 30 years to build up the rapid transit system. There may come a time when the transit system in the GVRD does not need to expand much and then it might need far less funding and may even break even.
    TM tactics however can be used in certain periods to reduce the need to spend as much on transit. For example in the GVRD, TM tactics should be used extensively during the period it takes to build the rapid transit system. A lot of money needs to be spent to build the rapid transit trackways, but the full effect of reducing motor vehicle use will not be felt till the system is greatly expanded. At the present time however TransLink has not used a single major TM technique, while at the same time crying for more money to build up an extensive bus fleet. The type of TM tactics they have used so far are mostly in educating and encouraging the public to use transit without actually using sticks or carrots. It would be much cheaper to go with bolder TM techniques such as per-kilometer insurance during this rapid transit construction phase to decrease motor vehicle traffic than to try and reduce motor vehicle traffic through an increased bus system.
    Not as many buses will be needed when the rapid transit system is greatly expanded, so there is no need to build up the bus fleet. All that is really desired is to keep the traffic levels the same for the next 10 years and not necessary to build up the transit ridership a great amount. The GVRD has voted to go for aggressive transit spending but this is already being done by the Provincial government supplying $millions in subsidies to construct the rapid transit trackways.

24. PRESENT FUNDING OF TRANSPORTATION IN THE GVRD
    A table of expenses and revenues for road and transit in the GVRD is shown in Fig 13. Many of these figures were hard to obtain and so are based on estimates [5], marked with *. Motor vehicle users might be angered by the fact that it appears they presently pay over 2x the direct cost of the present road system in the GVRD. All the while the politicians are claiming that motor vehicle users don't pay their own way and should be coughing up an increasingly bigger share.
    Of course transportation planners like to emphasize that the cost of the roads in the GVRD as listed in Fig 13 are not the real cost of roads. By this they mean the cost of providing more roads instead of maintaining the present roadway area as mentioned in Chapter 16. They say that motor vehicles should also subsidize a large enough transit system that can keep the roadway area from increasing in the GVRD.
    Unfortunately using an increased amount of fixed fuel taxes in the GVRD as a basis for transit subsidies causes a major inequality among those traveling in the city regions. People become angriest with taxes when they don't use a service and other able people are not paying at all. Imagine someone on the outermost region where the fuel transit surcharges are used. A majority of these country people drive within their own region and don't have extensive transit services available. This group is taxed the hardest for transit. Meanwhile in the city center a great deal of people don't own motor vehicles or drive quite little. This group which is quite wealthy on average, uses transit by far the most and contributes very little to it's subsidy. This is completely opposite to a pay-as-you-go system, which we are striving to go to more in our society.
    It is hard to supply an equally effective transit system throughout the GVRD. If we use figures from the table in Fig 13 then the transit system costs 16 times as much as the road system per person trip based on the present 10% ratio of total trips. This of course would be justified in the high density city center areas because the real price of roads is 26 times as much. But it creates a dilemma because it is impossible to supply an equal transit system in the suburbs and countryside.
    There is no ideal solution to this dilemma of inequality of transit funding but some will be examined in Chapter 24.

2000 GVRD Road Revenue estimates in $million dollars Canadian
Federal GST Tax, gasoline and other$100*
Federal Gasoline Tax$200*
Provincial Gasoline Tax$330*
Automobile Sales and Repair Tax$200*
City Street Taxes$160*
Total GVRD Road Revenue$990
GVRD Road Costs/yr estimates in $million dollars Canadian
TransLink$55
Provincial$200*
Cities$160*
Federal$0
Total GVRD Road Costs$415
GVRD Transit Money Received estimates in $million dollars Canadian
Transit Fares$197
Other$4
Aircare Fees$24
Hospital Tax$55
Electricity Tax$16
Non-residential property tax$37
Parking tax$10
Provincial subsidy based on automobile fuel use$174
Money received used for roads$(55) subtract
Skytrain Provincial subsidy$200*
General Provincial loan or subsidy$71*
Total GVRD Transit Money Received$883
GVRD Transit Cost estimates in $million dollars Canadian
Transit Capital Rolling Stock, averaged$180
Transit Operations$353
Skytrain Track, 50 yr average$200*
Total GVRD Transit Costs$883
GVRD Transit vs Road Surplus/Subsidy $million dollars Canadian
Total Transit Subsidy/yr$686
Road Revenue Surplus/yr$575

Fig 13 GVRD Estimated Road and Transit Revenues and Costs [5]

25. BEST TRAVEL MANAGEMENT TECHNIQUES
    There are many things that urban areas can do to optimize transportation but the most effective one's take considerable will, planning and co-operation between different organizations. The following list shows the wide variety of Travel Management methods available. Ones that I recommend to implement now are highlighted and marked in bold.

DescriptionYes/NoUse
Future high cost of fuelWill happen, futureReduce motor vehicle use, increase transit use
Province wide transit and road organizationYes, nowCo-ordinate transportation in entire Province
Separate transit and road organizations in GVRDYes, nowReduce conflict-of-interests
Direct Provincial subsidy to pay for transitYes, nowTransit subsidy
Kilometer-based insurance and motor vehicle feesYes, now Reduce motor vehicle use
Install more rapid transitYes, nowReduce motor vehicle use
Use buses as feeders onlyYes, nowReduce bus use
Reduce number of bus routesYes, nowTo increase frequency
Increase frequency of busesYes, nowMake transit practical
Make transit faster than automobile travelYes, nowReduce motor vehicle use
Greater Federal transfer of taxes collected to pay for transitYes, nowTransit subsidy
Greater Provincial transfer of taxes collected to pay for transitYes, nowTransit subsidy
Bicycle improvementsYes, nowReduce transit and motor vehicle use
More Park and RideYes, soonReduce motor vehicle use
Increase road capacity with technologyYes, soonIncrease motor vehicle traffic
Kilometer-based transit feesYes, soonIncrease transit
Commuters receive cash as alternate to free parkingYes, soonReduce motor vehicle use
Electronic tolling in entire Province based on total kilometers, region, route, time of dayYes, futureReduce motor vehicle use, transit subsidy
Charge users for parking whenever possibleYes, futureReduce motor vehicle use
Large employer tax incentives for work at home employeesNoReduce motor vehicle use
Dictate who can use motor vehicleNoReduce motor vehicle use
Small increase of fuel tax to help pay for transit subsidyNoTransit subsidy
Increase fuel tax overall in entire regionNo Transit subsidy
Decrease cost of transit fareNoIncrease transit use
Variable motor vehicle levy based on automobile pollutionNoTransit subsidy
Variable motor vehicle levy based on private/commercialNoTransit subsidy
Fixed motor vehicle levy to pay for transit subsidyNoTransit subsidy
Road fees based only on total kilometers onlyNoTransit subsidy
Build more roadsNoIncrease motor vehicle traffic
Limit city population growthNo, can'tReduce need for more transportation
City property transit tax based on transit availabilityNo Transit subsidy
motor Vehicle transit fee based on if region is served with transitNoTransit subsidy
Increase fuel tax in GVRD to pay for transitNoTransit subsidy
Electronic tolling only in GVRD and only for major roads and bridgesNoTransit subsidy

Fig 14 Travel Management solutions to urban travel problems

    Modern travel planning should be based on stick-user fee-carrot travel management techniques. Apply a little pressure to reduce the long distance rush hour motor vehicle commuters (stick) while at the same time supplying a transit system that is faster than the motor vehicle (carrot) or lower fees in countryside areas (carrot).

26. ELECTRONIC ROAD TOLLING
    A future travel management solution that would have the greatest effect on reshaping traffic while at the same time being most fair to all the groups involved would be electronic tolling of motor vehicles where charges vary with time of day, route, region, vehicle weight, and total kilometers driven. While this may sound like a science fiction solution, in reality several cities around the world have already implemented such a system. To be effective, such tolling would need to be applied province wide. In such a system, motorists driving in really low density regions would pay perhaps 2 cents/km, compared to motorist's driving through the city center during rush hour who would be charged 30 cents/km. Driving on major bridges and busy highways during rush hour might cost 10 cents/km. These prices represent a tolling system were fuel taxes were completely removed, which might not be desirable. While long distance urban commuters might be angry at paying up to $10/day in road tolls, they are the one's that are using the busy congested roads. Another long distance commuter living and working in the countryside might only pay $2.00/day to commute the same distance.

Urban Travel Issues, www.benwiens.com

Fig 15 Zones used for electronic province-wide tolling and possible costs for rush hour travel

    If electronic tolling were applied province wide, there would be no urban border issues such as we now face in the GVRD. Presently an urban commuter living outside of the fuel transit levy area can totally avoid paying transit levies if they purchase fuel where they live. They are however big users of the roads. This is why it also doesn't make sense to apply motor vehicle tolling to only motor vehicles registered inside the GVRD.
    Electronic tolling may seem a drastic measure to motorists, however there is no other technique that would be as fair at applying motor vehicle charges. While many motorists can see the logic of such tolls, they fear that politicians would use such measures as a cash cow and become inefficient.
    Presently there are also major inequalities of transit fares in the GVRD. The entire GVRD is divided into three transit zones. If someone is taking transit 1 km down the street they presently pay $1.75. If another person travels 25 km in a single zone they also pay only $1.75. Someone living on the edge of two zones however would need to pay $2.25 to travel just 1 km if they crossed a zone border. Such zones don't make for a very fair pricing structure. New electronic methods of collecting transit fares by the kilometer appear to be possible. Transit users would carry pre-paid cards which contained a tiny microchip that would be activated only while they were on a bus. Trip fees would be subtracted from the original amount on the card. Though many people would pay less for short trips, it might be possible to collect about 1.5 times as much money as is presently due to slightly higher charges for longer trips and more people taking transit for shorter trips.
    Road tolling however does not deal completely with the issue of people in the congested parts of the city not contributing to transit subsidies. Unfortunately there is only one completely user-pay system to solve this and that would be to raise transit fees to cover the complete cost of transit. No form of tax in the congested parts of the city would be entirely fair. This is because there are many people living in these areas that don't use transit or drive motor vehicles, they rather walk or bicycle. Electronic road and transit tolling does however make possible two things that start to make transit subsidies fair. First, somewhat higher transit fees are possible because motorists have to pay stiff charges in congested areas. Second, higher road fees pressure more people to take transit. This generally makes transit more cost effective and in turn needs less subsidies. Coupled with the higher amount of money that could be collected with electronic transit fares, the transit system would need less subsidy or may not even require a subsidy in the future. Most people would not object to such a system because it would be closer to a user-pay system. This is illustrated in the logic flowchart in Fig 16.
    Of course electronic road tolling has numerous difficulties that would need to be sorted out. For example, what can be done with out-of-province visitors? How easy is it to tamper with the units, how expensive are they, and are they reliable? Would people consider them to be an invasion of privacy. In spite of these difficulties, electronic tolling does appear to be feasible.

Urban Travel Issues, www.benwiens.com

Fig 16 Logic flowchart showing benefits of future electronic road and transit tolling

27. CONCLUSIONS
    The general plan in the Greater Vancouver Regional District of primarily expanding the rapid transit system rather than adding new road lanes is good. Though transit does not work well in a wide variety of situations, it is presently our only hope in the higher density parts of the GVRD to reduce motor vehicle congestion especially during rush hour and maintain a livable region. As well, future fuel prices may make transit more and more desirable for people in urban areas.
    It would be better to have money for transit, ferries, and roads in the province come directly from provincial coffers as shown in Fig 17. This means that no single group is unfairly hit in a big way for the transit subsidy. Using money from the provincial government has the advantage of drawing from different sources as time goes by as shown in the different scenarios of Fig 17 without having to change legislation every time a new source of funding is to be used or disappears.

Urban Travel Issues, www.benwiens.com

Fig 17 Money for transportation should come from Provincial government coffers

    Logically flat rate motor vehicle fees make little sense because almost every transportation study that has ever been done points to the benefit of reducing flat rate motor vehicle fees and rather introducing mileage based fees. In the future motor vehicle fees would be applied more fairly to all the different regions if variable province-wide electronic road tolling could be implemented. Mileage based transit fares should also be implemented. Transit subsidies indexed to motor vehicle fuel use or mileage however don't make sense because when people drive less and use transit more, there is less money collected to fund transit. So motor vehicle fees should be mileage based but the transit subsidy should be based on the number of people in a certain region and the specific projects that should be developed.
    It appears that total motor vehicle taxes and fees in the GVRD already represent up to 200% of the cost of present road construction and maintenance. On the other hand transit users are paying roughly 25% of total transit costs. A reasonable argument can be made for using these motor vehicle tax surpluses to partially offset transit subsidies. There is already enough money collected within the GVRD transportation system to fund the entire road and transit system with no additional fees.
    Unfortunately the funding agreement that was negotiated between the province and TransLink was not adequate. It was based on the old subsidies to the GVRD transit system. The previous subsidy money was based on only operating costs of buses and rapid transit vehicles. TransLink however is supposed to be responsible financially for most roads, buses, rapid transit vehicles, and rapid transit trackways. The cost of these extra's is far beyond what the old subsidy included. So TransLink wants to get the extra money from motor vehicle owners. Realistically the money should come from that already collected. The whole TransLink organization and funding structure should be revised.
.     Buses running on regular public roads do not provide a very effective means of public transit. They are generally slower than the already slow motor vehicle traffic. They are expensive to operate due to the manpower required. Rapid transit is much more appealing to average commuters especially for long trips because of the speed and comfort. This type of transit should be promoted. It is expensive presently because systems are nearly custom made. Less expensive forms of rapid transit should be developed.
    Motor vehicles will always be very desirable for many types of trips. Improvements should continue to be made with efficiency and emissions. The value of land in urban areas is very high. Advanced technology should be used to make major roadways more efficient.

28. NOTES
[1] TransLINK Strategic Transportation Plan 2000Apr p5
[2] TransLINK Strategic Transportation Plan Appendixes 2000Apr p7
[3] TransLINK Future Search p5
[4] TransLINK Strategic Transportation Plan Appendixes 2000Apr p9
[5] Most of the known revenues and expenses were obtained from TransLINK Strategic Transportation Plan Appendixes 2000Apr p26. Capital costs however were generally averaged and interest was not considered. It seems reasonable to not consider interest on capital items in public organizations especially if the funding comes largely from the Provincial government. The great mix of different capital intensive programs could be considered to result in even yearly capital expenditures.

29. REFERENCES
BC Transit, 2000Feb26 History, Funding, Partnerships, www.bctransit.com
BC Transit, 1996Oct10 BC Transit Five Year Plan and Funding Strategy, www.city.vancouver.bc.ca
California Transit Association, 1992 California Transit...Funding Crisis, www.transitassociation.org
GVTA, 1998Feb5 Transportation, Governance and Funding Consultation Report, www.gvrd.bc.ca
GVTA, 1997May Recommended Agreement on Transportation Governance and Funding for Greater Vancouver, www.translink.bc.ca
Hage, Eva, 1998Jan05 Review of Transportation Costs and Revenues to be assumed by the Greater Vancouver Transportation Authority, www.translink.bc.ca
Litman, Todd, 2000May31 Shifting Gears, Transportation Demand Management in the Vancouver Region, www.vtpi.org
Litman, Todd, 2000May31 TDM Encyclopedia, www.vtpi.org
Litman, Todd, 1999Dec02 Evaluating Public Transit Benefits and Costs, www.vtpi.org
Love, Jean/Cos, Wendell, 1991Oct17False Dreams and Broken Promises, www.cato.org
GVTA, 1999Jul12 Greater Vancouver Transportation Authority Act Chapter 30, www.translink.bc.ca
Price, Gordon, 1999Dec A Local Politicians Guide To Urban Transportation, www.vtpi.org
Province of BC, 1998Oct01 Motor Fuel Tax Act, www.gov.bc.ca
Taxi2000, 2000 Taxi2000 System Overview, www.taxi2000.com
The Province, 2000Jul20 Gas Tax Revolt
TransLink, 2000Apr TransLink Strategic Transportation Plan 2000-2005, www.translink.bc.ca
TransLink, 2000Apr TransLink Strategic Transportation Plan 2000-2005 Appendixes , www.translink.bc.ca
TransLink, 1999Sep18 Future Search, www.translink.bc.ca
TransLink, 1999 TransLink Budget, www.translink.bc.ca
TransLink, 2000May TransLink and The Major Road Network, TransLink flyer
Weyrich, Paul M./Lind, William S., 1999May Does Transit Work, www.apta.com

30. REVISION HISTORY
2000Aug30 First draft copy, 17 pages, 17 illustrations
2000Sep21 Second draft copy, 17 pages, 17 illustrations. Changed about 25% of text and corrected small errors.
2000Oct11 Final copy, corrected small errors.
2001Mar24 Major changes to beginning and end sections.

COPYRIGHT 1999-2014 All rights reserved
Ben Wiens Consulting Inc. Metro Vancouver BC Canada