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Transit funding shifted to infrastructure

Burlington transit bus terminalAt our budget meetings in March, council voted to shift an additional percent of gas tax funding from transit to roads. Council amended the federal gas tax split from 70% roads and 30% transit, to 80% roads and 20% transit. This provides an additional $500,000 for roadways resurfacing infrastructure.

The gas tax money is for intended for transit capital costs (for example, new buses) and does not affect operating funds. In making the vote, council heard that the capital dollars are not needed till 2021.

At the budget meeting, council heard from a number of residents who expressed concern about taking money out of transit to fund roads.

What do you think? What is the best split in gas tax funding for roads and transit – the new one, the previous one, or some other ratio? Please comment below or email your thoughts to me meedwardm@burlington.ca.

My Take: I’m a big believer in transit – it’s an investment in our community and a greener future.  However, I did support the shift as a temporary measure to inject much-needed funds into our growing infrastructure gap – and buses use roads as well. We will have an opportunity to review the gas tax ratio at next year’s budget. By that time, we will have the results of the Transit Master Plan review which will provide necessary information on capital needs going forward.

Written by Marianne Meed Ward

I was inspired to seek public office because I believe, like so many of you, “I can do something about that” on the issues we face. As councilor, my role is to take a stand on what’s best for residents and go to bat for it. Pushback is inevitable from those who don’t have the community’s interests at heart. I will stand with you and for you, to achieve the best interests of our city, without caving to unacceptable compromise in the name of consensus.

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