Will Translink fuel tax generate enough revenue to pay for Evergreen expansion?

Translink’s skyrocketing ridership, now five percent higher than the 2010 Olympics surge, is pushing up fare revenue even as fuel tax revenue declines.

But it’s a two cents a litre lift in fuel tax which is the key to funding transit expansion, including construction of the Evergreen Line. Will fuel tax deliver the cash, or will drivers shift to cheaper and greener alternatives — like moving downtown — that don’t produce tax revenues to build transit?

Victoria transit analyst Todd Littman argues that assumptions about fuel tax, tolls and the like  need to be challenged. As incomes stagnate and demographics shift, small increases in fuel tax can produce larger shifts in consumption.

So a new tax may be very effective in reducing congestion, he argues, but not produce sufficient income to fund new roads . . . or transit.