Transit fares will be under scrutiny by the Mobility Pricing Independent Commission, but it’s only one of many issues the commission will examine. (James Smith photo)

Commission examining Lower Mainland transportation pricing set to begin its work

Group looking at mobility pricing to help reduce congestion, promote fairness and support investment

TransLink has named the members of its new commission to look into how pricing could potentially solve key transportation challenges the Lower Mainland.

A dozen residents from across Metro Vancouver have been named to TransLink’s new Mobility Pricing Independent Commission.

The commission was launched by the Mayors’ Council and TransLink in early June, with former deputy B.C. attorney general and former head of the B.C. Public Service Allan P. Seckel named as chair and former B.C. MLA Joy MacPhail as vice-chair.

“We’re eager to engage the public and get their input as we explore ways we might address the serious and growing issue of congestion in our region,” Seckel said in a release to media. “The commission staff is already hard at work putting together a plan for its research and public engagement, and we expect to begin the first round of engagement in the fall.”

The commission members are: Allan P. Seckel (Vancouver), Joy MacPhail (Vancouver ), Iain J.S. Black (Coquitlam), Jennifer Clarke (Vancouver), Harj Dhaliwal (Surrey), Paul R. Landry (Langley), Graham McCargar (Maple Ridge), Lori MacDonald (Vancouver), Gavin McGarrigle (Surrey), Michael McKnight (North Vancouver), Elizabeth Model (Burnaby), Bruce Rozenhart (Richmond), Philip (Pip) Steele (Delta) and Grace H. Wong (Vancouver).

“We’re pleased to announce these new members who are from cities spread right across our region. They are a diverse group, and their backgrounds in business, education, social service, labour and industry will provide high value for the commission as it progresses through its work. Their unique views and perspectives are what this commission needs in order to be successful,” said TransLink board chair and co-chair of its Joint Mobility Pricing Steering Committee, Lorraine Cunningham.

According to TransLink’s website, mobility pricing refers to the range of fees and charges for using everyday transportation services, including things like road usage charges (tolls, fuel sales tax, or vehicle permit and insurance fees), transit fares, and charges for using shared use services like taxis, bike sharing, car sharing or ride hailing.

Members of the commission are being asked to evaluate mobility pricing options for Metro Vancouver based on the following objectives: reducing traffic congestion on roads and bridges across the region, promoting fairness to address concerns around the long-standing approach to tolling some roads and bridges but not others, and supporting transportation investment to improve the current transportation system in Metro Vancouver.

The commission will deliver recommendations to the TransLink board and the Mayors’ Council by spring 2018.

The full list of commission members, and their bios, can be found here.

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