Bike lanes and other infrastructure for cycling should be eligible for funding through the federal gas tax transfer

Metro Vancouver wants bulging gas tax fund to aid cycling

Fuel tax transfers from Ottawa have stacked up faster than TransLink can spend the money

More than $280 million in federal gas tax that is supposed to flow to TransLink is sitting unused and Metro Vancouver politicians now want some of it to go to building bike lanes.

Since 2005, Ottawa has handed back to TransLink at least half of the 10 cents a litre of gas tax it collects within the Metro region and the money has helped finance hundreds of new and replacement buses and SkyTrain cars.

But TransLink is only allowed to spend the resulting fund on certain types of projects – mainly vehicles – and with its capital spending constrained, the transferred federal gas tax money is stacking up faster than it can be spent.

An extra $122 million will flow in this year, lifting the total to more than $400 million.

“We want to be able to spend that money reducing our carbon footprints with cycling infrastructure around the region,” Burnaby Mayor Derek Corrigan said.

But the federal government two years ago removed bike-related projects as an allowed use of the gas tax transfers.

Metro’s regional planning committee voted Friday to urge area cities to lobby Ottawa to reinstate that use.

“It’s more consistent with the green agenda for the gas tax dollars,” Corrigan said.

TransLink strategic planning and public affairs vice-president Bob Paddon said it was unfortunate the federal government disallowed cycling spending.

But he rejected suggestions the gas tax money will go to waste, noting it is carried over each year and TransLink has more eligible spending in the works.

This year TransLink is applying to use $123 million from the fund to replace hundreds of older buses, community shuttles and HandyDarts over the next three years.

The federal gas tax transfer is separate from the 17 cents a litre in tax that TransLink directly levies on each litre of fuel sold in Metro Vancouver.

TransLink’s currently proposed three-year base plan would pare back the amount of money going to cycling upgrades around the region.


Just Posted

Pedestrian in critical condition after South Surrey crash identified

RCMP said they have been in contact with the woman’s family

Search and rescue vessel missing from Agassiz storage site

The eight-metre Spirit of Harrison rescue vessel was believed to be stolen Friday night

Tourism report gives White Rock high marks

Surveys indicate parking, walkability and restaurants are priorities for visitors

Beach House Theatre auditioning for 2018 season

Summer lineup a Neil Simon farce and an ‘electric’ adventure for children

Finding Success: It’s not Delta’s students, it’s the system

The Delta School District is re-examining what it can do to support its Indigenous students

VIDEO: Climber ‘catches the sunrise’ over city atop B.C. crane

Police warn ‘rooftopping’ poses risk to climber, public and first responders

BCHL Today: Wenatchee Wild goaltenders a cause for concern

BCHL Today is a (near) daily look at what’s going on around the league and the junior A world.

Canadian survivors, supporters rally against proposed ’60s Scoop settlement

Some have accused the government of underestimating the number of survivors

Nordic athlete Arendz to be Canada’s flagbearer at Paralympic closing ceremony

The biathlete and cross-country skier from Hartsville has raced to five medals in Pyeongchang

VIDEO: ‘Big time disappointment’ as Vancouver Giants fall to undermanned Kelowna Rockets

Head coach Jason McKee very unhappy with effort in Giants’ regular season home finale

B.C. community cheers on Natalie Wilkie as she wins first gold medal

Local skier tops the podium in 7.5km race at the PyeongChang Paralympics

Experts: Society has a role in trying to prevent domestic violence

Experts are speaking out following the murder of a woman and her son in Ontario

Progress on fixing Phoenix pay system backlog could be short-lived: Ottawa

Feds have said they won’t try to recover money overpaid until all outstanding issues are fixed

Northern lights chasers in Canada discover new type named ‘Steve’

Phenomenon linked to a powerful current created by charged particles in Earth’s upper atmosphere

Most Read