Input sought for light rapid transit funding

The public has until Feb. 5 to suggest funding options for the Victoria Regional Rapid Transit Project.

The public has until Feb. 5 to fill out a survey at lrtlocalfunding.ca and have a chance to be selected for a focus group to help find funding options for the Victoria Regional Rapid Transit Project.

A special task force has been established to investigate potential funding options for the project.

The task force will investigate alternative funding and transit incentive options that could be used to fund the local share of the capital and operating costs of a light rapid transit project that is proposed to connect Victoria to the West Shore.

“We can’t stand still on the transit issue,” said Saanich councillor and Capital Regional District director Judy Brownoff.

“We will be at gridlock in both directions if we stop planning now. We have to try to look at opportunities for LRT and we have to have some way to pay our share.”

Anticipating that LRT costs will be shared between all levels of government, B.C. Transit and CRD boards formed the joint task force to find funding for the local one-third share of the projected $950 million project.

The Victoria regional transit system currently relies on a variety of funding sources including fares, property and fuel taxes, provincial funding and advertising.

Other sources could include a portion of the provincial carbon tax, additional vehicle registration fees, road tolls or a special tax.

CRD staff will contact the focus group participants between Feb. 5 and 9.