Caught in the traffic jam of information from Tuesday’s provincial budget was one nugget that could get south Island engines revving.
The province is introducing a small increase to the gas tax in Victoria that will benefit local transit riders in the region.
The province has agreed to implement a two cent per litre increase requested by the Victoria Regional Transit Commission (VRTC) that will come into effect on April 1. This would be the first gas tax increase in a decade for Greater Victoria, although the VRTC has been lobbying for an increase to the tax each year since 2013 in order to fund transit improvements.
They received formal endorsements for the idea in 2016 from local governments and business who wrote letters to the Minister of Finance and Minister of Transportation showing their support.
“The decision from the Province to increase the gas tax allows the VRTC to move forward with long needed service and transit infrastructure improvements,” said Susan Brice, VRTC Board Chair. “The Commission applauds the commitment of the Province to support transit services and sustainable transportation solutions in the Victoria region.”
A two cent per litre gas tax is expected to raise around $7 million for transit funding each year, and is just one of the ways the VRTC funds transit, in addition to property taxes and transit fares.