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Transportation advocates say road pricing could come to Vancouver

It’s a question that’s been tossed around this week: could congestion pricing work in Metro Vancouver?

Some say it’s worth a shot.

“I would suggest, and what they’ve done in other areas, is say, OK, for a few months period let’s introduce this congestion fee,” said Nathan Pachal, a lower mainland transit blogger.

Experts say in order to convince commuters congestion fees are worth it, people need to see where the money is going, perhaps even using it to help reduce the gas tax.

Deron Lovaas, a senior policy advisor with the National Resources Defense Council, points to London as an example, where fees have been spent on improving public transit.

“What London has done is to take the revenue and fund more capacity in the tube and to put more double-decker busses on the streets so that people have other options readily available,” said Lovaas.

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WATCH: Peter Fassbender, The Minister responsible for TransLink, joins Global News to talk about a new report suggesting road pricing for busy city roads.

However, congestion pricing hasn’t received a warm welcome in some North American cities. Back in 2007, Mayor Michael Bloomberg tried to introduce a similar plan in New York City.

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It never happened, for a number of reasons. One of the challenges was New Yorkers didn’t have much faith in their transit authority and convincing them the money collected would be well spent was a tough sell.

Pachal agrees that’s likely a challenge officials here would also face. He believes the provincial government should re-evaluate its position on referendums for transit funding.

Transit plebiscite results: No side wins with 62 per cent

“I think that the mayors really have to look at their line in the sand on property tax,” said Pachal. “I think the province needs to look at their line in the sand on referendums for all new funding in our region otherwise, I think we’re just going to be going back and forth like we have for the last decade.”

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But some believe, love it or hate it, congestion pricing is coming.

“Based on projections for cities, including Vancouver, eventually I think everyone’s going to have to adopt this policy,” said Lovaas.

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