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New transit taxes on agenda

TransLink is proposing a new tax on cars and a region-wide road pricing scheme to help pay for the next 10 years of transit expansion in the Lower Mainland.

TransLink's board of directors unanimously recommends local mayors approve its proposal to adopt a 10-year-plan that will cost an extra $450 million each year.

The plan includes 300 new buses, a 37 per cent increase in service hours, new SkyTrain cars, millions more in road infrastructure and funding for Evergreen Line.

But it also means TransLink will have to look at new ways of raising cash. It's proposing a new version of a vehicle levy. Times have changed since the unpopular levy was proposed--then axed--a decade ago.

A vehicle levy, along with increased fares and fuel taxes, would raise an extra $275 million a year, enough to maintain the current system but not expand it. TransLink is also proposing region-wide road pricing based on usage, which could include tolls.

Irwin Loy reports for Vancouver 24 Hours

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