TransLink CEO Kevin Desmond says there needs to be a discussion around tolling for Metro Vancouver.
He’s telling the Surrey Board of Trade the question needs to be asked: can and should we use tolling, mobility pricing, or congestion pricing to raise the money necessary for infrastructure?
“Should that kind of pricing regime be used to help manage the capacity of the system, like dynamic pricing? And how do we do that that’s viewed as being fair, for everybody.”
Desmond says so-called “dynamic pricing” needs to be looked at too, which is varying toll rates to encourage drivers to use crossings at off peak times when it’s cheaper.
Last fall, a study by Canada’s Ecofiscal Commission suggested major cities like Vancouver should implement regional street and bridge tolls to reduce gridlock.
However Premier Christy Clark has said municipalities would have to hold another referendum if mayors want to move towards road pricing or universal tolling.
Desmond also says Lower Mainland roads are not well-suited for heavy duty freight movement, and he wants to find a solution.
He says TransLink’s board of directors will be looking at a so-called regional goods movement strategy to create a more unified approach throughout Metro Vancouver on how freight moves on all different roadways.
He says it’ll be a big challenge.
“The rightway network here is not necessarily well-suited for heavy duty freight movement and we need to figure out, I think, more logical ways to satisfy all the competing demands on the roadways.”
Desmond says freight movement and local traffic interests are often at odds.