Category: Transportation

Not on time, not on budget

Since actual annual payments are almost 3x the contractual obligation, it looks like the $400 million Sea to Sky Highway improvement project will involve payments to the private partner of $1.5 billion. And remember, the province financed one third of the project’s construction cost while the P3 financed two thirds…

Politics outranks good policy

After banking large contributions from taxi owners, governing BC Liberals had declined to change provincial rules to allow ride hailing. They also failed to ensure adequate expansion of fleet sizes. Decades of government protection of the taxi industry resulted in value of a Vancouver taxi license being worth up to $1 million. Now in opposition, Wilkinson’s Liberals, supported by BC Greens, are keen to open the market to Uber and Lyft. In my view, the non-governing parties are mistaken. In most cases, facilitating the gig economy is not good public policy. Opening doors to Uber and Lyft means traffic congestion will worsen, transit use will lessen, large sums will flow to overseas tax havens, and government revenues will reduce…

Port Mann losses “unsustainable”

Since toll revenue at Port Mann has covered only 39% of operating costs, the BC Government needs to explain how it will finance existing and future shortfalls on Port Mann/Highway 1. These are growing by about $5 million a month and paying for an even more costly tunnel replacement will demand a solution. One possibility was proposed in the original Gateway Program. It contemplated: “…tolling of all bridges connecting to the Burrard Peninsula, including the Lions Gate, Ironworkers Memorial, Pitt River, Port Mann, Pattullo, Alex Fraser, Knight Street, Oak Street and Arthur Laing bridges…”

Fluid mechanics

A 2-inch pipe between 1/2-inch pipes will not increase flow but will increase costs. #bcpoli #RichmondBC #surreybc — Norm Farrell (@Norm_Farrell) December 19, 2015 H/T: RobS   More lanes, less congestion? […]