Metro Vancouver is growing, bringing more opportunities to the people who live here – and to those who are coming here. That growth brings challenges, but the impacts of a falling population or a stalling economy would be a far bigger threat to everyone’s quality of life. One of the things we need to do to ensure everyone can benefit from the opportunities of growth is to provide an efficient, affordable, and sustainable transportation system for people and goods to get around. Traffic congestion is getting in the way of that. It impacts our quality of life, health, safety, and regional economy. Building our way out of our traffic woes is increasingly expensive and doesn’t support our region’s goal to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. And the ways we currently pay for mobility could be better integrated and structured to help us meet our region’s vision for livability and sustainability. Innovations in mobility through electrification, automation and vehicle sharing are bringing new possibilities, but will also require new forms of coordination to achieve mobility goals. The mobility sector is going to change, and the way public authorities manage mobility to ensure equitable, sustainable outcomes will need to change along with it. The Mobility Pricing Independent Commission was set up by the Metro Vancouver Mayors’ Council on Regional Transportation and the TransLink Board of Directors to investigate how a more coordinated way of paying for mobility – mobility pricing – could help to address these challenges. The Commission was specifically asked to look at how paying for road use – decongestion charging – could play a role in such a strategy.
This report summarizes the findings and recommendations for how a comprehensive mobility pricing policy, that includes a decongestion charge, could support our region’s growth.
How different forms of transportation and mobility are priced sends a signal which can have an impact on people’s behaviour in the long term (where we choose to work and live) and short term (what time we make a trip or by what mode). Getting those signals right can lead to positive outcomes for everyone. Getting them wrong will cause multiple problems. These recommendations on how to get the mobility pricing signals right stem from an intensive eight-month research and public engagement project called It’s Time, launched in October 2017 by the Mobility Pricing Independent Commission. In this period, we established baseline research, analyzed policy and lessons learned from other jurisdictions, conducted multiple rounds of modelling and evaluation, completed two rounds of education and engagement with public, stakeholders, and government officials, and explored pathways to implementation.
Mobility Pricing Independent Commission – May 2018.