In 1993, the GVRD (now Metro) and Transport 2021, published the study, “The Cost of Transporting People in the BC Lower Mainland” and for the first time the annual SkyTrain subsidy was mentioned. In 1991, SkyTrain was subsidized to the tune of$157.6 million, more than half of the total subsidy paid for public transit in the Lower Mainland. BC Transit then, as TransLink does today, ignores this vast sum of taxpayer’s dollars subsidizing the metro and make erroneous statements that SkyTrain pays its operating costs, etc.
The portion of the SkyTrain subsidy is thus:
Gas tax – $17.8 mil. out of $47.4 mil. collected
Hydro Levy – $4.7 mil. out of $12.6 mil. collected
Property Tax – $9 mil. out of $24 mil. collected
Property Tax – $5.2 mil. out of $14 mil collected
Government – $120.9 mil. out of $196.8 mil. paid
Total – $157.6 out of $294.8 paid
With the opening of the Millennium Line, SkyTrain’s annual subsidy increased past $200 million and with the RAV/Canada Line metro, again this subsidy will once again increase.
What is interesting to note, just one years worth of SkyTrain’s annual subsidy could fund a basic Vancouver to Chilliwack Interurban demonstration service; two years worth of SkyTrain’s annual subsidy could fund a hourly or better Vancouver to Chilliwack Interurban service!
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