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

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.

Just Posted

B.C. premier says Greyhound replacement news could come shortly

Province is working with the private sector to find a solution, says premier

Okanagan-Shuswap weather: mix of sun and clouds

Environment Canada is calling for a chance of rain and risk of thunderstorms across the Okanagan tonight

Mellalieu running for Greens again in Central-Okanagan-Similkameen-Nicola

Robert Mellalieu ran for federal Green Party in 2015 election and provincial Greens in 2017

Short notice for Keremeos residents for Highway 3 paving

The Village of Keremeos is advising residents today because of the short notice

Premier releases details on Keremeos affordable housing project

The proposed project will be designed to include one-, two- and three-bedroom units

Astronaut David Saint-Jacques returns to Earth, sets Canadian space record

Native of Saint-Lambert, Que., set a record for longest single spaceflight by a Canadian at 204 days

Vancouver Aquarium drops cetacean ban lawsuit in new lease agreement

Ocean Wise CEO Lasse Gustavsson called the updated lease an exciting new chapter for the aquarium

New river channel shuttle service in the South Okanagan

Company launches this Friday and offers services within City of Penticton limits

Okanagan RCMP bike patrol rolls up on alleged stolen vehicle from Burnaby

The driver, a 30-year-old Kelowna man, has been held in custody and is facing possible charges of possession of stolen property and obstructing a police officer

Trail Alliance to oversee Sicamous-to-Armstrong rail trail planning

Regional district relies on non-profit organization’s expertise on trail projects

Thieves steal two $40K chairs featuring gold serpents from Vancouver furniture store

Chairs believed to be the only two of its kind in Canada, police said

Okanagan businessowner challenges community to display Pride

“A huge reason why I made this challenge for other business was to offer LGBTQ+ community a safe place to eat, chat, shop, and get your haircut”

Okanagan bylaw officer best in B.C.

Al Harrison named Bylaw Officer of the Year at annual association conference

Poll: Rising gas prices force B.C. residents rethink summer road trips

63 per cent of respondents reported gas prices are impacting their day-to-day finances

Most Read