With by-elections just announced and the provincial election just a year away, it seems like Premier Clark may be greatly overestimating the political risk of supporting funding for transit. Sure, there is a very vocal anti-tax minority who clog the airways and Internet but it certainly appears as if the average voter supports transit. The large majority of mayors who championed funding for transit just before the elections won by landslides.
The last Premier who rejected a vehicle levy approved by regional politicians, Ujjal Dosanjh, faired very poorly, losing by a landslide. Rejecting transit funding certainly appears to be a bad political move.
Giving people transportation choices by improving transit and cycling is good for everyone. Reductions in motor vehicle traffic reduces collisions and the associated health care and insurance costs. The economic cost of motor vehicle collisions is around 3% of GDP costing the regional economy billions of dollars a year. Congestion is also reduced meaning drivers can get where they need to go faster. For only $30 dollars a year, it seems a bargain.
Cycling and transit are also affordable transportation options that help cushion the high cost of housing in the region.