Letter: Road pricing will pay for vital infrastructure

Editor: I think Tom Zytaruk missed the point in his opinion piece titled Road pricing is reprehensible.

He indicates that the Mayors Council thinks road pricing is to reduce congestion by discouraging driving up to 25 per cent. This is dreaming in technicolour. The huge increases in the price of gasoline including the useless carbon taxes have not significantly reduced the amount people drive. We all drive because it is our preferred and most convenient way of getting from point ‘A’ to point “B.’

Road pricing will not reduce the amount people drive.

The real purpose of mobility or road pricing is to pay for the transportation infrastructure that the Greater Vancouver and Lower Fraser Valley Region desperately needs. The Patullo Bridge and Massey Tunnel both need replacing. Surrey needs light rail transit as does Langley and we need rapid transit to UBC. All these projects are extremely expensive but must be built and paid for.

I don’t like the thought of paying several thousand dollars a year in mobility pricing, but I want the transportation infrastructure that it will pay for.

Most of us drive much more than we really need to, but we choose to do so and pay the price. I am retired but when I was working I took transit into Vancouver almost every day for work. I chose transit because it was more relaxing and less expensive than driving. Most of my neighbours chose to drive to work even though they also could have taken transit.

If Tom is going to call road pricing “reprehensible” then he needs to promote a better and fairer way to pay for the transportation infrastructure we need.

To my way of thinking, making those who drive the most, pay the most, is the fairest solution to paying for our transportation costs. The “rich” will pay the most because they drive the most.

The real “poor” will not pay at all because they do not drive. The low income single mom, Tom refers to should let her kids walk to school rather than drive them. They could use the exercise. Seniors like me will only pay if we choose to drive instead of walking to McDonald’s to get our daily coffee and muffin. When I do need to drive, such as trips to the doctor or hospital, I will be able to get there, because we will have good roads and bridges.

David Nielsen

Walnut Grove

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