Get OnBoard is a new campaign seeking sustainable and equitable transit funding for Metro Vancouver. The campaign aims to make regional transit a provincial election issue.
At this point, it’s unclear who is behind Get OnBoard BC. The organization is described on the website as a “partnership-driven coalition of residents, students, workers, businesses and academics who all believe in a better future for Metro Vancouver’s public transit infrastructure.” Hopefully, for the sake of transparency, more information about the organizers of Get OnBoard BC will be made available in the coming days.
The campaign is founded on the following principles:
Rapid transit cannot move forward in Metro Vancouver without sustainable and equitable funding mechanisms: TransLink’s current limited funding options, combined with a decline in revenue from taxes, cannot support the future economic and demographic growth of the region. To see the construction of regional rapid transit, we need new solutions, including potential road use tolling and reallocations from current municipal and provincial taxes. Equally as important, any new funding mechanisms must be equitable, so that dollars raised in a region be targeted to the transit infrastructure of that specific region.
Municipalities and regional entities need to be given the power of choice: In the past, BC’s provincial government has not always provided an adequate level of support to regional officials with regards to instituting new funding mechanisms to maintain and develop rapid transit. Those who represent the residents of Metro Vancouver should be able to decide freely whether and how to fund rapid transit solutions, rather than be forced to wait for decisions made on their behalf in Victoria.