TransLink gets 15 cents in tax on every litre of gas sold in Metro Vancouver.

TransLink feeling its own pain at the pumps

Gas tax slump offset by higher transit revenue

A jump in transit ridership is helping TransLink make up for lower-than-expected gas tax revenues.

The drop in gasoline sales in the region means less cash for TransLink, which gets 15 cents on every litre sold.

Second quarter financial numbers show the gas tax take is running five per cent below what TransLink budgeted.

Spokesman Ken Hardie said more people are taking transit – ridership is running at least six per cent above last year – so reduced vehicle use may account for some of the drop in gas sales.

But he also agreed many shoppers are heading regularly to the U.S. to take advantage of the strong Canadian dollar and gas up for less, or filling up in the Fraser Valley, where TransLink gas tax doesn’t apply.

“It could very easily be there are enough people going across into other jurisdictions to buy fuel,” Hardie said.

Lower tourism visits and an ongoing trend to buying more fuel efficient vehicles may also be contributing factors, he said.

TransLink managed to keep its second-quarter costs almost five per cent under budget at $469 million, while delivering more service than budgeted, partly to meet higher transit demand during the Vancouver Canucks’ playoff run.

Transit revenue was $8.7 million higher than planned because of higher ridership, including higher sales of pre-paid tickets and monthly passes.

Golden Ears Bridge tolls were $2 million under budget at $15.7 million in the first six months, less than half what it needs to start breaking even.

“It’s not generating as much revenue as we hoped,” Hardie said. “We’d prefer it to be better.”

But he noted the 4.6 million trips over the toll bridge so far this year was 14 per cent higher than the first six months of 2010.

TransLink cut tolls by 30 per cent on evenings and weekends for six weeks this spring to test a new discounting strategy but has not yet unveiled a permanent variable pricing model to attempt to attract more bridge users.

Overall, the transportation authority now projects it will run a $40.2-million deficit this year, less than the $59.1-million deficit that was budgeted.

It was expected that TransLink would draw from its accumulated surplus this year.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

John Horgan meets with candidates Pam Alexis and Preet Rai and local citizens in Abbotsford on Wednesday afternoon. (Submitted)
NDP Leader John Hordan campaigns in Abbotsford with local candidates

Horgan meets with hopefuls Pam Alexis and Preet Rai on Wednesday afternoon

This 2020 electron microscope image made available by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases shows a Novel Coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 particle isolated from a patient, in a laboratory in Fort Detrick, Md. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-NIAID/NIH via AP
COVID case confirmed at Fort Langley Seniors Community

One of five new cases reported by Fraser health Authority

John Horgan brought the NDP campaign to Langley on Wednesday, Oct. 21, just three days before the B.C. vote (Matthew Claxton/Langley Advance Times)
Horgan brings NDP campaign to Langley

Predicts gains, says people are looking at the party ‘differently’ after three years

Police tape is shown in Toronto Tuesday, May 2, 2017. (Graeme Roy/The Canadian Press)
CRIME STOPPERS: ‘Most wanted’ for the week of Oct. 18

Crime Stoppers’ weekly list based on information provided by police investigators

Mary Foote (right) took part in the Gutsy Walk in August 2020 at the age of 104. She was joined by son in-law Clarence and daughter Edith Olson. (family photo)
Langley woman turns 105 on Oct. 25

In August, Mary Foote took part in the Gutsy Walk to battle Crohn’s and Colitis

RCMP. (Phil McLachlan - Black Press Media)
British Columbia man dies during ski trip near glacier west of Calgary

Kananaskis Public Safety and Alpine Helicopters responded around 2:30 p.m.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau arrives on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on Monday, Oct. 19, 2020, following a week-long break for the House of Commons. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
One crisis after another for Trudeau since last federal election one year ago

It has been a year of unprecedented calamity and crisis

Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Rio Tinto Alcan’s aluminum smelter at Kitimat competes against producers in the Middle East and Russia that have no carbon tax. (Rio Tinto)
B.C. carbon tax highest in Canada, export industries unprotected

B.C. NDP, B.C. Liberals say they’re looking at exemptions

In this file photo, snow is seen falling along the Coquihalla Highway. (Liam Harrap/Revelstoke Review)
Weather statement issued for Coquihalla, Hwy 3, as arctic front approaches

The early season snowfall expected to hit Fraser Valley, Friday, Oct. 23

(Pixabay)
Vancouver teacher suspended after swearing, touching students and complimenting underwear

McCabe touched students, including rubbing their backs and necks, touching their hair and hugging them

Most Read