The Alex Fraser Bridge was one of the most congested in Metro Vancouver, the Independent Mobility Pricing Commission found. (Katya Slepian/Black Press)

Most Metro Vancouver residents support mobility pricing: report

Bridges and tunnels are congestion hot spots, says the independent Mobility Pricing Commission

Most people in Metro Vancouver support or are neutral towards introducing mobility pricing, a report for the region’s mayors has found.

The survey, released Wednesday, was compiled for the Independent Mobility Pricing Commission, a group formed by the mayor’s council on regional transportation as part of the mayors’ years-long efforts to find ways to fund much-needed transit and transportation projects.

READ: ‘Less traffic, more funding’ goal of mobility pricing commission

According to the survey, 53 per cent of residents believed that mobility pricing would be more fair because they would only use what they pay for.

Nine out of 10 people surveyed said they were frustrated by traffic delays, while eight out of 10 said they were frustrated with the unpredictability of travel times and that delays cost them time every week.

“It’s time to have a conversation about new ways of approaching [congestion], and our research shows Metro Vancouver residents are open to new ideas,” said commission chair Allan Seckel. “The fact is, we already pay some forms of mobility pricing – such as gas taxes or transit fares – but those charges are not always applied in a fair and strategic way to help reduce congestion on our roads.”

People living south of the Fraser River were more irked by the condition of roads and accident delays, the survey said.

Vancouver, Burnaby and New Westminster residents were more frustrated by crowding on transit.

North Shore residents were the most aggravated by accident delays. The District of North Vancouver had proposed a way to streamline how fast minor crashes were cleared at the Union of B.C. Municipalities last month, but their motion was defeated.

Congestion worse in the afternoon than morning: report

The commission already released a report outlining the biggest roadblocks to clearing up the region’s roads.

Congestion is worse in the afternoon than during the morning rush, it found, and that it’s the worst on Thursday and Friday afternoons. This was likely due to less flexible arrival times in the morning.

“Morning trips tend to be directly from home to work or school,” the report said, “Evening trip patterns are often more complex, including stops for shopping, visiting relatives or beginning evening activities.”

The average person who drives during rush hour spends 30 per cent of their time sitting in traffic. That’s expected to grow to 40 per cent by 2045.

The bridges and tunnels that cross the Fraser River were the worst congested of major arterial routes, particularly northbound in the morning and southbound in the afternoon. The congestion was often worse on the approaches to the crossings, rather than on the crossings themselves.

The commission was launched in June to work out a road pricing system for drivers. A final report is expected in April.


@katslepian

katya.slepian@bpdigital.ca

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