Updated on February 28, 2013
Should transit-hungry communities be able to buy extra service?
Should communities or municipalities seeking more transit service be able to deliver it themselves, by raising their own taxes?
Maybe, says transit consultant Jarrett Walker, because regional services like Translink have to provide “equitable” service — generally about the same level — over the whole region, regardless of demand and ridership. That’s especially so when the tax burden, by definition, is equal across the region.
(That’s not quite so in Metro Vancouver, where only Vancouver and YVR, for example, contribute parking sales tax because they provide paid parking. That revenue doesn’t come from suburban malls, that don’t charge.)
But the downside of locally-funded transit could be uneven service, with more service in wealthier or denser neighbourhoods and none in the community next door.