President of the BC Trucking Association Paul Landry doesn’t like the idea of Translink raising money from “road users”–that is, presumably, vehicle levies and tolls.  His reasons are, to put it politely, confused:

So it shouldn’t be a tax-road-users-and-convince-them-to-use-public-transit-because-transit-is-better proposition. The public debate should be centred on a more basic question: How have TransLink’s solutions improved the lives of Metro Vancouver residents in the past 10 years and why should we believe that continuing to give them money is actually going to result in a positive change?

Why does Landry think this these two things are mutually exclusive?  Translink has improved the lives of metro Vancouver residents in the past ten years, and it’s got a solid plan for how to continue improving the lives of metro Vancouver residents in the ten years to come.  It’s a transportation planning agency, so it improves lives by figuring out how to move more people around the region faster and cheaper, while reducing carbon emmissions and road congestion.  And the way it does that is by “taxing-road-users-to-convince-them-to-use-public-transit,” and then using the money to build more and better transit for them to use.  At least, that’s how I see it.  How does Landry see it?

If Translink’s proposed levy makes it harder for truckers to do their jobs, then it’d be easy to tweak the levy to give commercial truckers a break.  After all, we all need truckers to move goods around the region.  They’re not really the ones we want off the road anyway.  Commuters are.  And ultimately, moving commuters off road would benefit the members of the BC Truckers’ Association as much as anyone else.  Less traffic on the roads means they can do their jobs faster, more efficiently, and with less stress.

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