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Metro Vancouver's Mobility Pricing Independent Commission to launch public engagement

Jennifer Saltman

Joy MacPhail and Allan Seckel, vice-chair and chair of the independent mobility pricing commission, address media in June. (Jennifer Saltman/Postmedia/Files)

Joy MacPhail and Allan Seckel, vice-chair and chair of the independent mobility pricing commission, address media in June. (Jennifer Saltman/Postmedia/Files)

The commission that is examining the possibility of introducing mobility pricing in Metro Vancouver will begin its public engagement process on Wednesday.

The Mobility Pricing Independent Commission has scheduled a media briefing to provide details about how it will carry out research and invite feedback from the public and stakeholders during the next few months.

The commission will also release its first research report on local traffic and transportation and the findings of a public opinion poll on traffic congestion and mobility pricing.

Mobility pricing refers to usage charges associated with using transportation services, including road usage charges, transit fares and parking fees. It has been proposed that mobility pricing could pay for transit and transportation improvements in the region.

In November 2016, members of TransLink’s board of directors and the Mayors’ Council on Regional Transportation formed a joint mobility pricing steering committee to develop regional objectives for mobility pricing and oversee the establishment of the mobility pricing commission.

In June, the Mayors’ Council and TransLink board announced that Allan Seckel would chair the commission, and former NDP MLA Joy MacPhail would be vice-chair. There are 12 other people on the commission, who come from across the Lower Mainland and from a variety of backgrounds, including former politicians, a consultant, a union leader, a student and the owner of a freight business.

Daniel Firth, who worked on introducing congestion taxes in Stockholm and London, is the executive-director of the commission.

Mobility pricing has been a hot topic in the region, particularly since the provincial NDP government followed through on its election campaign promise to remove tolls from the Port Mann and Golden Ears bridges in June. The toll removal resulted in significant shifts in traffic patterns and congestion on and around routes across the Fraser River.

The commission is expected to make a final recommendation to TransLink’s board of directors in spring 2018.

jensaltman@postmedia.com

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