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  #1001  
Old Posted Mar 29, 2010, 12:28 AM
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Originally Posted by cornholio View Post
In my case if it gets even more expensive to drive downtown then I simply wont go downtown and I will bring my dollars elsewhere, so simple. I dont have infinit time to waste on Transit, transit is virtually useless for 90% of the people. I will not waste 45min to get to say Robson and Denman from my new place at Main and Broadway when I can make the same trip in 10-15min by car. If you charge a 5 dollar toll I will gladly head elsewhere, almost everything that is downtown is everywhere else.

just my view on tolls and I think most people out there will share it.

If you want to tax something then implement a gass tax, but be prepared to offset costs to businesses that do business here by choice.
If the toll went towards making downtown more accessible for you by offsetting the cost of streetcar and transit lines (bringing a 45 minute trip down to a 20-25 minute trip), would you be willing to use it then?
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  #1002  
Old Posted Mar 29, 2010, 1:07 AM
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Originally Posted by Alex Mackinnon View Post
What's this burgeoning amount of transit users tied to? The streetcar? The UBC skytrain line? This argument is going downhill fast.
There isn't much to argue about at this point; my contribution is more of a brainstorming session. My idea is that any tolling infrastructure, in order to be justifiable, would have to occur in concert with providing better rapid transit to downtown and/or False Creek. Whether that's in the form of a streetcar (most likely) or a Hastings LRT or Skytrain line (least likely) is anyone's guess, and entirely speculative at this point.

Intelligent tolling would a) put a semi-permanent end to concerns about tearing down the viaducts, which so many on this forum are quite attached to (not me, however), by investing them with a 100% tangible economic value; and b) give the city a revenue source to fund first-class Skytrain and streetcar transit into and out of downtown. It's a win-win for all.

If the toll amount fluctuates according to usage (much like our current transit fees), it would seem less like a tax and more like a (reasonably priced) user fee, and also ensure that businesses downtown do not take a significant hit from too much reduced evening and weekend customer traffic.
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  #1003  
Old Posted Mar 29, 2010, 1:17 AM
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Originally Posted by geoff's two cents View Post
Of course, tolls could be designed to be extremely low outside of rush hour, which would help offset your $5 toll concerns.

However, even if, for all the reasons you point out, tolling isn't considered for the immediate future, my hunch is that, 10 or 20 years from now, city businesses would be able to afford losing the business of the occasional disgruntled driver, all the better to serve a burgeoning influx of transit riders on more effective, partially toll-funded rapid transit infrastructure.
I already barely go to downtown(and I live right next to it), especially since they extended parking meter hours till 10 and 7 days a week. Sure there is plenty of meters I can use a old card on and park for free but I perfer not to especially when its much easier to just go do what I want to do outside of downtwon since jut about everything that is offered downtown is offered outside of downtown. I dont have money and time to waste, even if its a small toll.

Like I said if you want to raise revenue then raise the gass tax and even the playing field for local businesses and residents, after give incentives to international busineses to offset their additional costs and keep the region competetive.
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  #1004  
Old Posted Mar 29, 2010, 6:31 AM
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Originally Posted by cornholio View Post
I already barely go to downtown(and I live right next to it), especially since they extended parking meter hours till 10 and 7 days a week. Sure there is plenty of meters I can use a old card on and park for free but I perfer not to especially when its much easier to just go do what I want to do outside of downtwon since jut about everything that is offered downtown is offered outside of downtown. I dont have money and time to waste, even if its a small toll.

Like I said if you want to raise revenue then raise the gass tax and even the playing field for local businesses and residents, after give incentives to international busineses to offset their additional costs and keep the region competetive.
But wouldn't a raise in the gas taxes hurt you even more than a toll to enter downtown or a increase in the parking tax.

If the gas tax raises. You would have to pay it whether you drove downtown to shop or you drove to another part of the city to shop.

If the parking tax is raised. You or anyone else would be hit only if your destination is downtown. Of course you could cheat the system as you said. But chances are that gimmick will slowly die as more parking meters are hooked online.

If a toll is brought up. Disregarding the initial cost of implementing it. This not would target those who are actually going downtown like the parking tax and also those who are going through downtown.
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  #1005  
Old Posted Mar 29, 2010, 6:02 PM
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Originally Posted by cabotp View Post
What is the difference between someone paying at $5 toll to drive into downtown versus them having to pay $5 more for a parking stall. If in both cases their destination is downtown.

A toll of course would punish those who are driving through downtown where as a parking fee would not.
There is a big difference, because taxing the parking stall increases the price on people who are commuting downtown and does not increase it much for people who stay short periods.

If you are going downtown for 8 hours of work, you will pay a lot more in the parking stall tax compared to someone who goes downtown for an hour to drop off their drycleaning, stop at a sushi place for lunch, or have some kind of appointment with a specialist.

A good way to keep people from driving through downtown would be to build the Boundary street bridge, so people from the USA and Surrey to Whistler/Horseshoe bay can go 99/91 -> Boundary -> Hwy 1. Or if you are really big on tolls, just toll the Lions Gate, then if you are driving through downtown, and not too it, you hit a toll point. No need to inflict tolls on people from the city of Vancouver visiting their own downtown.
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  #1006  
Old Posted Mar 29, 2010, 6:09 PM
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Originally Posted by Canadian Mind View Post
That is the better option. But there are many people, me included, that have a bit of a phobia of transit and would much prefer to carpool with a buddy or 2 vice taking the bus. Now if the only benefit is that we split the toll, I'm just gonna drive myself cause it'll only cost an extra 2.50 a day. That's a medium Starbucks price for total independence and freedom vice hitching a ride per day, and an X-large to stay off transit.



For the people that have to drive downtown, they could register that driving downtown is a "requirement" of their job, and as such are either not tolled, or they can receive a tax credit for total dollars lost.

I'd prefer a system where you just aren't tolled if you register though. Imagine if your job required you to drive into and out of downtown several times daily. Would suck having to absorb $500 a month because you are on-off the peninsula 5 times per day, even if you do get $6 000 back later at some point during the year.
That sounds like a pretty complex system.

Most complex systems don't work.

I'm not for or against a downtown car toll, but you will find far less resistance against increased parking rates.

It's a perception thing. Charging for something that was once free ( especially without any additional perceived value ) will get very stiff opposition.

Bridges work because they're expensive, people know that, and they're getting increased service. People will grumble, but accept it.

Parking and Gas tax is a consumption tax. The more you use, the more you pay... and you can regulate that.

A toll for entry puts Vancouver on par with parking structures, amusements parks, etc.

In the end, though, I think we should look at creative ways of reducing costs ( not just in Translink ) before we add additional burdens.

The province has much more ability to do something like this. They seem to like having Translink under their thumb... why not put pressure on them for additional funding for the privilege of not allowing the region's Transportation authority any... authority.

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Originally Posted by BCPhil View Post
Or if you are really big on tolls, just toll the Lions Gate, then if you are driving through downtown, and not too it, you hit a toll point. No need to inflict tolls on people from the city of Vancouver visiting their own downtown.
True that. West Vancouver and North Vancouver are separate cities with direct access to Downtown. Paying for the easy access isn't out of the question.
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  #1007  
Old Posted Mar 29, 2010, 6:21 PM
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Originally Posted by cornholio View Post
I already barely go to downtown(and I live right next to it), especially since they extended parking meter hours till 10 and 7 days a week. Sure there is plenty of meters I can use a old card on and park for free but I perfer not to especially when its much easier to just go do what I want to do outside of downtwon since jut about everything that is offered downtown is offered outside of downtown. I dont have money and time to waste, even if its a small toll.

Like I said if you want to raise revenue then raise the gass tax and even the playing field for local businesses and residents, after give incentives to international busineses to offset their additional costs and keep the region competetive.
If you barely go downtown as it is anyway - and are comfortable getting your services elsewhere - then why in the world would planners consider your opinion when they decide to toll the viaducts? It's not like you use them when they're free.
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  #1008  
Old Posted Mar 29, 2010, 7:32 PM
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Originally Posted by twoNeurons View Post
That sounds like a pretty complex system.

Most complex systems don't work.

I'm not for or against a downtown car toll, but you will find far less resistance against increased parking rates.

It's a perception thing. Charging for something that was once free ( especially without any additional perceived value ) will get very stiff opposition.

Bridges work because they're expensive, people know that, and they're getting increased service. People will grumble, but accept it.

Parking and Gas tax is a consumption tax. The more you use, the more you pay... and you can regulate that.

A toll for entry puts Vancouver on par with parking structures, amusements parks, etc.

In the end, though, I think we should look at creative ways of reducing costs ( not just in Translink ) before we add additional burdens.

The province has much more ability to do something like this. They seem to like having Translink under their thumb... why not put pressure on them for additional funding for the privilege of not allowing the region's Transportation authority any... authority.



True that. West Vancouver and North Vancouver are separate cities with direct access to Downtown. Paying for the easy access isn't out of the question.
I have no doubt that it would be a perception thing on raising the parking or gas taxes versus a new toll.

As for looking at ways to reduce costs. While that maybe possible. I don't think you would find all that much to save. Or at least not enough to make a huge difference.

My view on tolls is they don't even have to be for downtown. They could be for the bridges in the region which is starting to happen now that the GEB is tolled and the new Port Mann is tolled. I also see the region eventually having more tolls. Whether you or I like it or not.
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  #1009  
Old Posted Mar 30, 2010, 6:11 AM
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For all of you that think driving is essential for a healthy economy, you might want to take a look at:

Scorecard on Prosperity – 2010
http://www.votetoronto2010.com/wp-co...rd_final_2.pdf
On page 38, it features Paris which scores 1 or 2 on several of the economic indicators and 2 on the percentage of people who don't drive to work (75%). They are proposing to ban non-resident vehicles from the city centre by 2012.

Now certainly, their transit is better, but for the City of Vancouver at least, just over 50% of people drove to work in 2007. With the Canada Line, other transit improvements, new housing near downtown and cycling improvements, we may be under 50% of people driving to work now.
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  #1010  
Old Posted Mar 30, 2010, 7:27 PM
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Originally Posted by racc View Post
For all of you that think driving is essential for a healthy economy, you might want to take a look at:

Scorecard on Prosperity – 2010
http://www.votetoronto2010.com/wp-co...rd_final_2.pdf
On page 38, it features Paris which scores 1 or 2 on several of the economic indicators and 2 on the percentage of people who don't drive to work (75%). They are proposing to ban non-resident vehicles from the city centre by 2012.

Now certainly, their transit is better, but for the City of Vancouver at least, just over 50% of people drove to work in 2007. With the Canada Line, other transit improvements, new housing near downtown and cycling improvements, we may be under 50% of people driving to work now.
Yes, but even as transit's share grows past 50% of people heading downtown and the share of driving shrinks, that does not mean that the number of drivers is shrinking. Our population is still expanding very rapidly and the number of jobs located downtown is ever increasing. Even as the percentage of drivers drops, the volume does or can increase. By 2025, even if 75% of all trips downtown are made by transit, the actual number of drivers can be the same or even more.

In Paris, if 25% of people are driving to work, that's still more people in cars than the entire population of Metro Vancouver. And to top it all off, Metro Vancouver's land area is larger than that of Urban Paris. So imagine if the entire population of Metro Vancouver decided to get in their car and drive around the City of Vancouver, that's what Paris is dealing with... and you want to remove road capacity?
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  #1011  
Old Posted Mar 30, 2010, 8:14 PM
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So, haters... where should drivers show up to pick up their gold star to wear conspicuously?
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  #1012  
Old Posted Mar 30, 2010, 8:19 PM
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Yes, but even as transit's share grows past 50% of people heading downtown and the share of driving shrinks, that does not mean that the number of drivers is shrinking. Our population is still expanding very rapidly and the number of jobs located downtown is ever increasing. Even as the percentage of drivers drops, the volume does or can increase. By 2025, even if 75% of all trips downtown are made by transit, the actual number of drivers can be the same or even more.

In Paris, if 25% of people are driving to work, that's still more people in cars than the entire population of Metro Vancouver. And to top it all off, Metro Vancouver's land area is larger than that of Urban Paris. So imagine if the entire population of Metro Vancouver decided to get in their car and drive around the City of Vancouver, that's what Paris is dealing with... and you want to remove road capacity?
Only 30% of the Metro's land area is developed urban area, the rest is ALR. So while I agree with you that dedicated attempts to reduce already existing capacity is stupid, you're going about it the wrong way.

Should compare the surface area of the streets in Paris to the surface area of streets in Vancouver, width of main thoroughfares, etc.

Trofiren would be one to talk to reference Paris traffic conditions, road network, etc.
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  #1013  
Old Posted Mar 31, 2010, 1:16 AM
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To add to the tolling argument, GPS tolling is on its way!

http://www.skymetercorp.com

I worked for Skymeter a year ago and they are developing technology so that vehicles can be tolled based on when they drive, how much they drive and what roads they drive on.

The idea is that roads are like any other utility (like electricity) and that you should pay based on consumption. Currently, we all pay for roads through taxes, regardless of whether and how much we actually we use them. This kind of road pricing would eliminate the current incentive to drive and encourage more sustainable transportation use.

The company is currently doing parking trials in Winnipeg
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  #1014  
Old Posted Mar 31, 2010, 1:34 AM
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So, haters... where should drivers show up to pick up their gold star to wear conspicuously?
Or their pink triangle.
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  #1015  
Old Posted Mar 31, 2010, 1:36 AM
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Yes, but even as transit's share grows past 50% of people heading downtown and the share of driving shrinks, that does not mean that the number of drivers is shrinking. Our population is still expanding very rapidly and the number of jobs located downtown is ever increasing. Even as the percentage of drivers drops, the volume does or can increase. By 2025, even if 75% of all trips downtown are made by transit, the actual number of drivers can be the same or even more.
Actually, from 1997 to 2007, the number of automobile trips entering Vancouver is down by 10% and the number entering downtown is down by 7%. The mode share for automobiles (including passengers)downtown is only 39% while the mode share for trips within downtown is only 10%.

With the Canada Line, increased density, more people living downtown and with cycling improvements, the number of automobile trips will continue to decrease.

http://vancouver.ca/engsvcs/transpor...n-brochure.pdf
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  #1016  
Old Posted Mar 31, 2010, 2:35 AM
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To add to the tolling argument, GPS tolling is on its way!

http://www.skymetercorp.com

I worked for Skymeter a year ago and they are developing technology so that vehicles can be tolled based on when they drive, how much they drive and what roads they drive on.

The idea is that roads are like any other utility (like electricity) and that you should pay based on consumption. Currently, we all pay for roads through taxes, regardless of whether and how much we actually we use them. This kind of road pricing would eliminate the current incentive to drive and encourage more sustainable transportation use.

The company is currently doing parking trials in Winnipeg
Huh, there is an idea. Though I think the "government is watching us" boogey man will come out to bite the project in the ass.

It'd be able to discriminate prices based on location eh? Langley and Surrey are not nearly as well served as Vancouver, Burnaby, and New West, so it would make sense for the tolls to be lower in the South Fraser verses North Fraser.
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  #1017  
Old Posted Mar 31, 2010, 8:45 AM
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Huh, there is an idea. Though I think the "government is watching us" boogey man will come out to bite the project in the ass.

It'd be able to discriminate prices based on location eh? Langley and Surrey are not nearly as well served as Vancouver, Burnaby, and New West, so it would make sense for the tolls to be lower in the South Fraser verses North Fraser.
I was thinking the same thing. With the whole "government is watching us" people.

Although I wonder how they would get people to install the gps device in their vehicle.

I would base the price not on where people live, but on where they are driving. Example someone who is always driving in langely or south surrey might get a lower rate. But if they were to head north and cross the fraser. They would suddenly start to pay a higher rate for driving in that area.
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  #1018  
Old Posted Mar 31, 2010, 3:15 PM
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I was thinking the same thing. With the whole "government is watching us" people.

Although I wonder how they would get people to install the gps device in their vehicle.

I would base the price not on where people live, but on where they are driving. Example someone who is always driving in langely or south surrey might get a lower rate. But if they were to head north and cross the fraser. They would suddenly start to pay a higher rate for driving in that area.
Various water and electric utilities are using pricing based on time of day & include the new meters with the plan. You give up a little of your privacy to save some money, because the utility will know hour-by-hour how much you are using (instead of month-by-month). ie: You pay more for running the dishwasher at 18:00 (along with all your neighbours), but play less if you run it at 21:00. ie: you pay more to water your lawn at 17:00, but less if you water at 6:00

This would operate in a similar way for parking: make it expensive to park at 14:00 in Yaletown, but the same stall at 21:00 would be cheaper.
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  #1019  
Old Posted Mar 31, 2010, 3:41 PM
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I was thinking the same thing. With the whole "government is watching us" people.

Although I wonder how they would get people to install the gps device in their vehicle.

I would base the price not on where people live, but on where they are driving. Example someone who is always driving in langely or south surrey might get a lower rate. But if they were to head north and cross the fraser. They would suddenly start to pay a higher rate for driving in that area.
Thats what I meant. the $/KM ratio would be lower in areas south and east, while as you get closer to the core, or areas with huge amounts of transit, you get charged more.
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  #1020  
Old Posted Mar 31, 2010, 3:51 PM
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Actually, from 1997 to 2007, the number of automobile trips entering Vancouver is down by 10% and the number entering downtown is down by 7%. The mode share for automobiles (including passengers)downtown is only 39% while the mode share for trips within downtown is only 10%.

With the Canada Line, increased density, more people living downtown and with cycling improvements, the number of automobile trips will continue to decrease.

http://vancouver.ca/engsvcs/transpor...n-brochure.pdf
Thank you, Racc, for bringing this up. I was going to look up the survey the other day but was too lazy. Gold star for ya. Just because pop growth occurs does NOT mean that SOV trips increase.
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