April 08, 2009
Gas Tax: Langley to see Translink benefits
The federal government announced that federal gas tax transfers to the provinces and territories for municipal infrastructure will double to $2 billion annually.
“Our government has also accelerated the payment of the first installment of Gas Tax Fund, making up to $1 billion available to municipalities almost three months early,” says Langley MP Mark Warawa.
The Gas Tax Fund (GTF) will remain at that level beyond 2014, when the government makes it a permanent measure.
“As a former municipal councilor, the 1990’s were a very difficult time for local government because of a decade of cutting by the then Liberal governments,” he says.
“That was a decade when the federal Liberals cut all participation in funding municipal infrastructure. When we became government that ended and we have been providing a portion of the federal gas tax to municipalities for infrastructure funding.
“Municipalities need a lot of infrastructure funding and it has to be sustainable. We are doubling the gas tax allocation and making it permanent – to provide predictable, stable funding that local governments desperately need, and we are accelerating the arrival of those funds by three months,” says Warawa. “This is a great day, a great win for local governments.”
Langley City and Township, as members of the GVRD, have their portion of the Federal Gas Tax contributed to Translink infrastructure for the 2009-2010 year. The GVRD Federal Gas Tax allocation has gone from $61.4 million last year, to $122.8 million in 2009-2010.
According to Translink, there are several Langley-related transit improvements that have been supported in part by the Federal Gas Tax transfer program:
• 23 buses added to South of Fraser transit service in 2008 – based on average boardings per bus, this represented a lift of 3 million rides in the region.
• 30 new buses will be added into South of Fraser service in 2009.
• SkyTrain service to the South of Fraser will improve with the addition of 48 new SkyTrain cars, the first of which is scheduled to be on the line within weeks.
• #364 – a new service linking Langley Centre with the Scottsdale Exchange in Surrey.
• #388 – a new service connecting Walnut Grove with the 22nd Street SkyTrain Station.
• New #595 route from Langley Centre to Haney Place via TransLink’s Golden Ears Bridge begins in June or July.
• Seven new cars are on order for the West Coast Express, which will be accessible to Langley Commuters via the #595 service over the Golden Ears Bridge.
• Improvements to the #502 linking Langley Centre with the Surrey Central SkyTrain Station along the Fraser Highway, including a connection with Valley MAX transit's Aldergrove Connector #21 in Aldergrove. The Aldergrove #502 bus will be improved as of April 20 with half-hourly service.