Province orders review of BC Transit

The B.C. government is preparing an outside review the operation of BC Transit, after local elections.

Transportation Minister Blair Lekstrom

Transportation Minister Blair Lekstrom

VICTORIA – The B.C. government is preparing an outside review the operation of BC Transit, once the dust settles from this month’s municipal elections.

Transportation Minister Blair Lekstrom announced the review at the B.C. legislature Wednesday, after hearing complaints from municipalities about the way the provincial agency decides to buy property or equipment that has an unexpected impact on local government budgets.

“There were concerns raised about dialogue,” Lekstrom said. “I think we can do a better job with BC Transit, whether it’s on the capital planning side and how our service is delivered.”

Lekstrom vowed to work with municipal leaders on the terms of the review, once local elections are completed Nov. 19 and new councils begin their three-year terms.

BC Transit operates bus services in communities outside Metro Vancouver, with financing from a province-wide gasoline tax. It receives funding from 58 local governments, and had a budget of $249 million last year.

Current legislation has the province paying 47 per cent of costs for regional transit systems, with the rest raised by local governments. The local share is about half from fare and advertising revenue, and the rest from property tax. The province funds two thirds of handyDART transit services for the disabled.

Greater Victoria municipalities have proposed a regional transit agency similar to Translink, which collects its own fuel taxes and manages the system through a mayors’ council. Translink is currently considering an additional two cents a litre gasoline tax to fund extension of the SkyTrain system from Burnaby to Coquitlam.

Lekstrom said the review won’t deal directly with issues such as different fuel tax rates in different regions. It will consider proposals for greater regional authority over the expansion and operation of transit services.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Last year, the Sharing the Christmas Spirit Hamper Program operated at the old St. Joseph’s Hospital site. File photo
Christmas hamper program finds space in Courtenay

An annual Christmas hamper program in the Comox Valley has found a… Continue reading

During a public hearing in November, a Comox resident proposed the idea of a roundabout at the intersection of Lerwick and McDonald Roads. Google Maps photo
Comox development get the green light

The development - at 2309 McDonald Rd. - received third reading at the most recent council meeting

CSWM is being asked to reconsider statutory holiday closures for solid waste delivery to the regional landfill. Record file photo
Cumberland also asks for landfill stat closure reconsideration

Council follows Comox’s lead in asking waste board to rethink decision

A youth has been arrested in response to yesterday’s threat directed at Lake Trail Middle School. File photo
Youth arrested in connection with threat directed at Courtenay school

A youth has been arrested after the Comox Valley RCMP and School… Continue reading

A woman wears a protective face covering to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 as she walks along the seawall in North Vancouver Wednesday, November 25, 2020.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
911 new COVID-19 cases, 11 deaths as B.C. sees deadliest week since pandemic began

Hospitalizations reach more than 300 across the province

Black Press Media and BraveFace have come together to support children facing life-threatening conditions. Net proceeds from these washable, reusable, three-layer masks go to Make-A-Wish Foundation BC & Yukon.
Put on a BraveFace: Help make children’s wishes come true

Black Press Media, BraveFace host mask fundraiser for Make-A-Wish Foundation

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

A photo from 2017, of Nuchatlaht First Nation members outside court after filing a land title case in B.C. ( Submitted photo/Nuchatlaht First Nation).
Vancouver Island First Nation calls on B.C. to honour UNDRIP in historic title case

Nuchatlaht First Nation says Crown counsel continues to stall the case using the ‘distasteful’ argument that the Nation ‘abandoned’ their land

West Vancouver Island’s Ehattesaht First Nation continues lock down after 9 active cases were reported today after a visitor tested positive last week. (Ehattesaht First Nation/Facebook)
Ehattesaht First Nation’s COVID-19 nightmare: nine active cases, a storm and a power outage

The Vancouver Island First Nation in a lockdown since the first case was reported last week

The Blackberry Lane Children’s Centre outgrown its space in the back of the Denman Island Community Hall. Photo supplied
Denman Island to have new preschool with metal roof

Thanks to a local government grant and community support, the Denman Island… Continue reading

The Ahousaht First Nation confirmed its first case of COVID-19 on Nov. 26, 2020. (Westerly file photo)
Ahousaht First Nation on lockdown over COVID-19

“Emotions are high. The anxiety is high. We want our community to pull through.”

Most Read