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  • Introduction | Auditor General of British Columbia
    services click to read Conventional transit serves the general population in urban and suburban settings and offers scheduled bus service that operates on fixed routes Custom transit employs a range of vehicles to provide service for passengers with disabilities who cannot use conventional transit Custom transit systems are operated in many of the same communities that also have conventional transit systems They are operated largely by HandyDart Paratransit serves small town rural and Aboriginal communities as well as some suburban areas with flexible routing and schedules This report focuses on BC Transit TransLink does not fall within the Auditor General s oversight role given it is outside of the government reporting entity Large scale shifts of this nature occur over a significant period of time and generally require changes in at least three main areas which are the focus of our report policy and governance funding and design of transit services Text box B Sustainable ridership growth and mode change A success story from Germany click to read Through the course of our work we came across one detailed example of a city of similar size to Victoria and twice the size of Kelowna that had achieved impressive results in changing public transportation behaviours Beginning in the 1970s the city of Freiburg Germany embarked on a goal to improve the sustainability of all its transport modes Buehler and Pucher 2011 reported that over the last three decades Freiburg s coordinated transport and land use policies have tripled the number of trips by bicycle doubled transit ridership and reduced the share of trips by car from 38 percent to 32 percent In addition by successfully developing the transit ridership market Freiburg s public transit is said to cover 90 percent of its operating budget with fare revenues This Buehler and Pucher state makes Freiburg s transit system one of the most financially sustainable in Germany While we have not audited these claims Freiburg s transit success could provide valuable pointers for future plans in British Columbia Some of the most significant success factors are summarized below With respect to launching a new direction for public transportation the Provincial Transit Plan represents an initial stage of the transformation that could occur if British Columbia were to attain results similar to those in Freiburg Germany Freiburg s success has been reported to be the result of various aspects of their approach and the actions they took to implement their vision These include 1 Implementation of Controversial Policies in Stages Freiburg implemented most of its policies in stages often choosing projects everybody agreed upon first 2 Plans are Flexible and Adaptable over Time to Changing Conditions Freiburg phased and adjusted its policies and goals gradually over time For example the initial decision to reverse the plan to abandon the trolley system was made in the late 1960s In the early 1970s the city council approved the extension of the light rail system which finally opened in 1983 3 Policies are Multi Modal and Include

    Original URL path: http://www.bcauditor.com/online/pubs/812/813 (2016-02-12)
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  • Shaping the Future: Policy and Governance | Auditor General of British Columbia
    stakeholders BC Transit s objectives Decision making on transit policy Organizational structure Policy and Governance Questions for key stakeholders to consider Overview up Multiple stakeholders Printer friendly version Shaping Transit s Future in British Columbia Auditor General Comments Response from BC Transit and Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure Introduction Shaping the Future Policy and Governance Multiple stakeholders BC Transit s objectives Decision making on transit policy Organizational structure Policy and

    Original URL path: http://www.bcauditor.com/online/pubs/812/816 (2016-02-12)
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  • Shaping the Future: Funding | Auditor General of British Columbia
    Future Funding photo courtesy of BC Transit Experiences in the transit industry suggest that major change in transportation behaviour people switching from cars to transit and transit systems requires initial substantial investment and takes place over long timelines such as 20 years During that period funding formulas often have to evolve to remain successful and sustainable BC Transit funding sources Costs and trends of transit funding Funding challenges of long term transit planning Transit funding as a tool to achieve goals Funding Questions for key stakeholders to consider Policy and Governance Questions for key stakeholders to consider up BC Transit funding sources Printer friendly version Shaping Transit s Future in British Columbia Auditor General Comments Response from BC Transit and Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure Introduction Shaping the Future Policy and Governance Shaping the Future Funding BC Transit funding sources Costs and trends of transit funding Funding challenges of long term transit planning Transit funding as a tool to achieve goals Funding Questions for key stakeholders to consider Shaping the Future Design of Public Transit Services Looking Ahead Questions for Key Stakeholders to Consider Subscribe to alerts Notify me of new reports Notify me of new job postings I agree

    Original URL path: http://www.bcauditor.com/online/pubs/812/821 (2016-02-12)
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  • Shaping the Future: Design of Public Transit Services | Auditor General of British Columbia
    the Future Design of Public Transit Services photo courtesy of BC Transit To attract new customers to switch from cars to transit while maintaining existing customers public transit systems typically have to understand their potential customers and diversify their services to appeal to different market segments Measuring and monitoring progress are key aspects of managing the change in the design of transit services BC Transit s measurement and monitoring of progress Transit s performance results Strategies to achieve goals Customer satisfaction with BC Transit services Design Questions for key stakeholders to consider Funding Questions for key stakeholders to consider up BC Transit s measurement and monitoring of progress Printer friendly version Shaping Transit s Future in British Columbia Auditor General Comments Response from BC Transit and Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure Introduction Shaping the Future Policy and Governance Shaping the Future Funding Shaping the Future Design of Public Transit Services BC Transit s measurement and monitoring of progress Transit s performance results Strategies to achieve goals Customer satisfaction with BC Transit services Design Questions for key stakeholders to consider Looking Ahead Questions for Key Stakeholders to Consider Subscribe to alerts Notify me of new reports Notify me of new job

    Original URL path: http://www.bcauditor.com/online/pubs/812/826 (2016-02-12)
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  • Looking Ahead | Auditor General of British Columbia
    three recent reports on BC Transit Local governments are working with BC Transit on developing Transit Future Plans as well as developing or implementing their Transportation Master Plans and Official Community Plans Together these plans set the vision for transportation and sustainability in their communities BC Transit is working with all partners on performance reporting long term budgeting and other items related to recent report recommendations and their own strategic plan vision It is important that decision makers continue to consider the long term policy questions as they make plans and decisions in the short term keeping in mind the vision for improved environmental economic and social sustainability in the transportation sector Our Office may follow up on the progress of the various stakeholders in the future and will follow up in 2014 on the recommendations in our December 2012 summary report on the performance audit of BC Transit s ridership Design Questions for key stakeholders to consider up Questions for Key Stakeholders to Consider Printer friendly version Shaping Transit s Future in British Columbia Auditor General Comments Response from BC Transit and Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure Introduction Shaping the Future Policy and Governance Shaping the Future Funding Shaping

    Original URL path: http://www.bcauditor.com/online/pubs/812/837 (2016-02-12)
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  • Questions for Key Stakeholders to Consider | Auditor General of British Columbia
    ensure effective implementation of transit plans 7 How can transit and land use planning processes effectively be integrated 8 How are transit goals integrated into the overall vision for transportation in B C 9 What are the potential impacts of other government initiatives and activities on the achievement of transit objectives If these may have a negative impact how can conflicting priorities be reconciled 10 What capacity does each partner require people skills knowledge and resources to deliver their required contributions and what organizational structure is most appropriate Funding 1 What is the most appropriate funding model for BC Transit to meet long term transit goals and objectives 2 Are existing funding commitments and sources sustainable given the long term objectives and timeframes targeted 3 What long term funding commitments are required to facilitate effective and efficient long term planning 4 What is the capacity of the transit supply industry to produce additional buses or respond to demand for different types of buses to meet transit expansion plans 5 How can transit funding sources be designed to achieve the greatest positive influence on transportation behaviour Design 1 What measurements are best suited for monitoring progress toward meeting the government s ultimate goals for public transit 2 Given that changes in the transport system and travel behaviour take time have reasonable timelines been set to achieve targets and outcomes Can the strategies developed to achieve objectives be sustained over time 3 Do we fully understand the important factors that influence British Columbians satisfaction with transit services and their travel mode choices this may differ by region and community 4 Which of these factors are within the control of BC Transit The Ministry Local governments 5 Are the benefits greater than the costs of the option s being considered to change transportation

    Original URL path: http://www.bcauditor.com/online/pubs/812/838 (2016-02-12)
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  • Shaping Transit's Future in British Columbia
    need for road expansion   Economic goals include improving access to employment opportunities by moving people efficiently to work reducing travel time and congestion delays for businesses and employees enhancing regional development opportunities reducing need for costly road expansion and creating local employment in the transit industry Social goals include improving mobility for people without access to other transportation options such as seniors people with disabilities youth people on low incomes connecting people to health social services and recreational facilities to improve quality of life and enhancing community livability by creating synergies with active transportation modes such as walking and cycling Public transit is generally the safest mode of travel Injuries and deaths aboard transit vehicles are a small fraction of those sustained in private motor vehicles or while cycling or walking There are both economic and social benefits to reducing the number of accidents in passenger transportation and having people use public transit is one way to do this Different communities have different transit goals BC Transit partners with local governments to run a wide range of transit systems from small systems where just one or two bus routes operate to medium and larger systems with high frequency service for commuters Some of the smaller systems are focused primarily on social goals while larger systems are often more focused on economic and environmental goals To consider  When different transit objectives cannot be pursued simultaneously how should they be prioritized  Decision making on transit policy Key policy decisions that affect the likely success of transit are made by a variety of stakeholders at different levels To consider  What collaboration is required from each partner to ensure effective implementation of transit plans For example Land Use Land use policy and planning is a crucial tool for transforming transit usage in a financially sustainable way conversely if land use planning does not consider transit it can make it more difficult for transit to be financially viable Local governments in British Columbia currently make many of the key decisions in land use planning Provincial government decisions also influence land use and development Text box F  Transit and land use click to read Various land use factors can affect travel behaviour These factors include population density regional accessibility mix of land use types and the connections between walkways and roads see table below This information can be used for planning land use development and transportation decisions as well as achieving objectives such as reducing greenhouse gases improving community livability and reducing travel costs i Generally residents of urban neighbourhoods tend to walk and take public transit more than residents of sprawled locations ii  Increased vehicle congestion or parking fees may affect peopleâ s travel behavior by causing them to consolidate trips use local services more and shift to alternative modes i From Litman Todd 2012 â Land Use Impacts on Transport How Land Use Factors Affect Travel Behaviorâ Victoria Transport Policy Institute ii From Litman 2012 p 8  Land Use Factor  Definition  Travel Impacts Population density The number of people or jobs per unit of land Reduces vehicle ownership and travel and increases use of alternative modes Mix of land use types The mixture of housing commercial and institutional land use Greater mix tends to reduce vehicle travel and increase use of alternative modes especially walking E g a neighbourhood with housing only results in more people using cars to get to shops and facilities compared with a neighbourhood where these shops and facilities exist together with housing Regional accessibility The location of development relative to a regional urban centre This reduces per capity vehicle mileage The further a resident or employee is from the centre the more they tend to drive Connections between walkways and roads The degree to which walkways and roads are connected Increased roadway connectivity can reduce vehicle travel and improved walkway connectivity increases non motorized travel Lack of connectivity in suburban streets cul de sac development typically designed to reduce through traffic makes these developments impossible to serve efficiently by public transit Parking supply and management Number of parking spaces per building unit or acre and how parking is managed and priced Putting an end to free parking  tends to reduce vehicle ownership and use and increase use of alternative modes Site design Oriented for auto or multi modal accessibility More multi modal site design can reduce automobile trips E g a building with a main entrance directly accessible from a sidewalk and or bus stop encourages walking or transit more than a building whose main entrance is accessible through a parking lot Text box G  Transit oriented development click to read Transit Oriented Development TOD refers to residential and commercial areas designed to maximize transit access and use Studies indicate that people who live and work in TODs tend to own fewer vehicles drive less and rely more on alternative modes of transportation than they would in more automobile dependent locations The concept of â location efficiencyâ looks at the combined household spending on housing and transportation With rising energy costs the higher land cost of living in a transit friendly neighbourhood can actually make for a more affordable cost of living by reducing the cost of transportation Not needing a second vehicle or even a first vehicle can greatly increase the affordability of urban living even in moderately sized communities  To consider  How can transit and land use planning processes effectively be integrated Transportation Broader transportation policies such as the location and size of highways and bridges parking fees or road regulations also affect transitâ s financial and environmental success Transit services often cross jurisdictional boundaries and therefore require collaboration between different jurisdictions and levels of government to run smoothly and consistently For example the proposed rapid transit project for Victoria would run through five municipalities and on a highway that is under provincial jurisdiction To consider How are transit goals integrated into the overall vision for the overall vision for transportation in B C Economic Government economic policies and other decisions beyond the transportation arena can also influence the success and financial viability of transit servicesâ for example tax policies such as a carbon tax or tax deductions for a bus pass  or regional development policies Energy policy also has a direct influence on transit when consumers feel gas prices are low they may maintain or increase single occupancy vehicle use rather than choosing more energy efficient transportation such as public transit To consider  What are the potential impacts of other government initiatives and activities on the achievement of transit objectives  If these may have a negative impact how can conflicting priorities be reconciled  Other important decisions that influence transit success at the local level include the location fares and level of transit service to be provided These choices are closely linked to funding decisions Many of these decisions are made by local governments or local governments in partnership with provincial government and or BC Transit â see Transit roles and responsibilities  and the BC Transit funding sources section The Provincial Transit Plan provided transit authorities and local governments with a vision that could inspire transportation decisions in support of the above mentioned goals BC Transitâ s ability to implement the goals and objectives of the Provincial Transit Plan are dependent upon how transit decisions are made As local governments have the responsibility to make decisions regarding transit service levels BC Transitâ s ability to control or influence decisions is limited by the realities of local government affordability and its own local goals and objectives for transit BC Transit advised us that the world economic crisis which occurred subsequent to the release of the Provincial Transit Plan put further pressure on local governments ability to achieve and support Provincial Transit Plan goals and objectives and in many cases simply maintaining current transit service levels has proven to be a challenge Organizational structure Doubling ridership and substantially increasing mode share is likely to require transformational shifts in transit operations Experience in other jurisdictions suggests that such a shift may require significant change in organizational structure knowledge and approach for the main stakeholders involved In British Columbia the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure created a Transit Branch subsequent to the launch of the Provincial Transit Plan to focus on this aspect of transportation To consider  What capacity does each partner require people skills knowledge and resources  to deliver their required contributions and what organizational structure is most appropriate Policy and Governance Questions for key stakeholders to consider 1 Does the current governance model allow for the most efficient and effective allocation of roles and responsibilities to meet the long term sustainable transportation goals 2 How should the varying objectives for transit be reflected in legislation 3 How should all of the various plans that relate to transit fit together 4 When different transit objectives cannot be pursued simultaneously how should they be prioritized 5 Where does B C stand in relation to the evolving development of public transit in the Pacific Northwest in Canada and worldwide  6 What collaboration is required from each partner to ensure effective implementation of transit plans 7 How can transit and land use planning processes effectively be integrated 8 How are transit goals integrated into the overall vision for transportation in B C  9 What are the potential impacts of other government initiatives and activities on the achievement of transit objectives If these may have a negative impact how can conflicting priorities be reconciled  10 What capacity does each partner require people skills knowledge and resources to deliver their required contributions and what organizational structure is most appropriate   Shaping the Future Funding photo courtesy of  BC Transit Experiences in the transit industry suggest that major change in transportation behaviour people switching from cars to transit and transit systems requires initial substantial investment and takes place over long timelines such as 20 years During that period funding formulas often have to evolve to remain successful and sustainable BC Transit funding sources The two main sources of funding for BC Transit are government provincial and municipal and passenger fares The federal government also contributes funding for capital infrastructure  Figure 8 Sources of funding for BC Transit click image to enlarge  Funding for transit comes from these main sources in most of BC Transitâ s service area provincial government municipal government passenger fare revenues plus a small contribution from advertising and investment income In the Victoria Regional Transit System fuel tax is an additional source of funding The federal government also contributes to some transit capital projects  Text box H How transit service levels and budgets are set click image to enlarge Passenger fares offset the amount municipal governments fund This means that if passenger revenues increase municipal governments have to cover less of their transit costs through other sources such as property taxes Provincial and municipal funding are tied to each other through a legislated cost sharing formula The formula requires that each party pay a specific proportion of transit costs each year therefore if one funding partner wishes to expand transit services the other partner has to pay their portion of the associated costs Provincial funding levels are set based on a formula in the Transit Act regulations The formula requires the following cost sharing  Figure 9 Transit cost sharing formula click image to enlarge For an explanation of different types of transit see Text Box A Victoriaâ s conventional transit system receives a lower provincial share because there is a fuel tax that supplements funding for the system Over the past five years since the announcement of the Provincial Transit Plan transit expansion has been impacted by the ability of either the Province or local governments to fund its share of a proposed transit expansion Overall the provincial governmentâ s proportion of transit funding has generally increased since 2008  Figure 10 Changes in BC Transit funding sources click image to enlarge  British Columbiaâ s provincial government is above the Canadian average in its contributions to transit operating revenues  Text box I Transit funding sources  Comparison of British Columbia to the Canadian average click to read  Transit funding is fairly complex and varies greatly across the country making it challenging to develop clear comparisons between transit agencies in different provinces Nonetheless some comparisons have been made that can provide insight into differences between provincial approaches  British Columbiaâ s government is one of five Canadian provinces and territories that provides operating funding for conventional transit From the chart we see that the provincial contribution in B C is higher than the Canadian average while the proportion provided by municipal contribution is roughly similar and the proportion covered by passenger fares is lower in B C than the average  Text box I a Source of transit operating revenues click image to enlarge    If we look at the funding sources on a per capita basis however the figures suggest that British Columbiaâ s municipalities are among the lowest contributors in Canada This emphasizes the high level of provincial funding for operating costs in British Columbia  Text box I b Municipal operating contributions across Canadian provinces click image to enlarge  This high level of provincial funding enables BC Transit to provide transit services in a wider range of communities than in much of the rest of Canada including communities that would normally be considered too small to afford public transit This wider scope of communities with transit can contribute towards meeting the social goal of improving mobility But at the same time passenger fares do not cover transit costs due to lower ridership  To consider What is the most appropriate funding model for BC Transit to meet long term transit goals and objectives  Costs and trends of transit funding The Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure and BC Transit projected that achieving transit growth would require an injection of financial resources for capital projects such as rapid transit infrastructure new buses and building or expanding transit exchanges bus garages and maintenance facilities In addition to the cost of expanding transit to achieve the growth targets there are substantial capital costs just to maintain existing services For example fleet replacement costs were 75 percent of BC Transitâ s capital budget during the period from 2007 08 to 2011 12 Along with capital investment expanding transit services also entails an increase in operating funds at least until the time when ridership growth is significant enough that passenger fares cover the costs of transit services Text box J  Can increasing transit ridership eventually pay for transit growth click to read There are several ways of looking at the costs of public transit From one perspective public transit should aim to cover as much of its costs through its own revenues as possible thereby decreasing its reliance on government subsidies Transit agencies can achieve this goal by reducing costs through efficiency measures and ensuring their transit system encourages high ridership and therefore higher revenue Achieving this depends on a number of factors including land use patterns and policies that make transit use more appealing to potential riders than driving Some transit systems have been successful in recovering a large portion of their costs through revenues Freiburg Germany recovers 90 percent of its costs through revenues Read their story Worldwide the ratio of fares to operating costs is highest in places with high urban population densities such as Hong Kong Taipei and Singapore where the transit systems even generate a profit In Canada Toronto has the highest fare recovery ratio with Go Transit 82 2 percent and the Toronto Transit Commission 71 3 percent followed by Montreal with 57 percent and Vancouver at 52 percent In the United States there are three systems with a 60 65 percent fare box recovery ratio San Francisco Washington DC and Philadelphia New Jersey Another perspective on transit costs is that as travel shifts from cars to transit the increase in transit use can reduce both direct building and maintaining the infrastructure and indirect costs of land needed for parking road congestion or traffic safety costs associated with highway and road infrastructure Transit can stimulate economic benefits as well It is labour intensive and therefore transit expenditures tend to stimulate more jobs and local business activity than most other transportation investments Research suggests that a typical transit investments creates 19 percent more jobs than the same amount spent on a typical set of road and bridge projects Another source of potential financial payoffs from transit investment can be found in the correlation between some of the worldâ s most affluent city regions and their well developed public transit systems This relationship exists at several levels of urban scale from mega cities such as Singapore Hong Kong and Tokyo to smaller cities such as Zurich Geneva and Copenhagen Therefore if all of the direct and indirect costs and benefits of transit as compared with road investments are taken into account the calculation would likely favour transit in a way that means transit investments would eventually pay for themselves In 2007 the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructureâ s estimate was that to achieve their goals of increased transit usage by 2020 capital and operating costs would amount to approximately 2 6 billion  Figure 11  Projected costs of transit expansion MInistry of Transportation and Infrastructure projections 2007 click to read In 2007 when the government was preparing the Provincial Transit Plan it developed several possible scenarios for the future of transit with a focus on Greater Victoria as the system with the greatest potential for transit increase One scenario was simply to maintain the existing transit market share also referred to as â transit mode shareâ The second scenario was to increase transitâ s market share in Victoria by approximately 5 percent and the third scenario was to increase it by 8 percent The Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure developed projections for how much it would cost to achieve each of these three scenarios When the Provincial Transit Plan was produced in 2008 the targets from Scenario 2 and 3 were not used Instead the goal set for increased market share was 2 5 percent for Victoria and 1 percent for the rest of B C see Figure 3 There was no estimate for total costs required to achieve this goal for BC Transit as the total costs for the Provincial Transit Plan were provided only at the province wide level putting together the costs for TransLink and BC Transit to meet their goals Nonetheless we can get a sense for the costs of this transit expansion because the market share targets set were half way between the targets in Scenarios 1 and 2 Therefore the costs associated with achieving these targets could be expected to be approximately half way between Scenario 1 and 2 Although transit costs are not normally linear for simplicity we have assumed the costs associated with achieving these targets would be approximately half way between Scenario 1 and 2 Figure 11 Projected costs of transit expansion Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure projections 2007  click image to enlarge These figures show that just to maintain transitâ s existing market share was projected to require 2 411 million from 2007 to 2020 To increase transitâ s market share in Victoria by five percent and then eight percent would require an additional 14 percent and 39 percent increase in expenditure respectively To achieve the Provincial Transit Plan target which was half way between Scenarios 1 and 2 the projected cost would be approximately 2 678 million This translates to an average annual increase of 4 1 percent The provincial government put forward a vision for and commitment to public transit in the province in the Provincial Transit Plan and called upon its government partners at federal and municipal levels to join in the vision BC Transit has worked towards achieving the goals of the Provincial Transit Plan through its partnerships with local governments and relies strongly on their support to meet the targets Actual total expenditures from 2007 08 to 2012 13 have increased by an annual average of 9 percent This increase is higher than what the ministry initially projected would be required but lower than what BC Transit anticipated in its service plans during the first three years after the launch of the Provincial Transit Plan BC Transit considers that the economic downturn has been a constraint on the availability of funding for transit expansion Figure 12 Expenditure trends for transit provision from 2007 08 click image to enlarge   Total expenditures are comprised of capital and operating expenditures and the trends have been different for each type Actual capital expenditures from 2007 08 to 2012 13 are lower than projected assuming an even distribution to 2020 Operating expenditures are higher than what the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure originally projected would be required to meet their goals for 2020 However BC Transitâ s projection from its service plans anticipated higher operating expenditures than what was actually spent for four of the five years since the plan was launched Figure 13  Funding commitments in the Provincial Transit Plan compared with actual expenditures click to read By the end of the 2012 13 fiscal year approximately five years had passed since the announcement of the Provincial Transit Plan The PTP targets were to be achieved by 2020 which means that this period represents just over one third of the total Therefore a basic expectation would be that the provincial government would have spent approximately 33 3 percent of the projected budget for the Provincial Transit Plan However it should be noted that expenditures often do not follow a smooth growth pattern and therefore this estimate is very approximate It is used to give a basic sense of where things are at by this point in time in relation to the overall expectations for the planâ s implementation  Capital funding  Figure 13 a Projected versus actual fleet expenditures to 2012 13 click image to enlarge   The above chart shows that the number of buses purchased to the end of the 2012 13 fiscal year was 93 percent of the projected Provincial Transit Plan total for BC Transit while the cost of the bus purchases was 42 percent of the anticipated total This suggests that the cost for bus replacement and expansion has been lower per bus than was expected  Total capital expenditures includes BC Transit and TransLink Expected costs PTP Total capital expenditures for PTP expansion to 2012 13 BC Transit and TransLink Total capital expenditures for PTP Expansion to 2012 13 BC Transit only BC Transit s proportion of total PTP capital expenditures to 2012 13 Provincial expenditures on PTP capital projects to 2012 13 compared with PTP estimate 4750 million 441 88 million 49 81 million 11 9           In addition to the amounts in the table the provincial government has contributed over 151 million toward asset replacement for BC Transit largely to replace obsolete buses Source OAG calculations from Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure and BC Transit information The above table suggests that total capital expenditure towards the Provincial Transit Plan goals has been lower than the 33 3 percent that would expected by the end of 2012 13 if a third of the money were to be spent by this point However the expectation was that the expenditures would not be distributed evenly across the period of implementing the plan Instead 13 percent was to be spent in the first four years and 53 percent in the final four years Two of the largest rapid transit projects within TransLinkâ s area of operation were not expected to begin until after 2015 16 Municipal and federal governments also contribute to capital expenditures municipal governments make their contribution through debt service payment 47 63 million was the total capital expenditure for BC Transit for 2012 13 The amounts contributed by the different parties are determined on a project by project basis Therefore each year the provincial and local government proportions would be different In 2012 13 the proportions contributed by each partner are shown in the pie chart below  Figure 13 b  Share of capital expenditures 2012 13 click image to enlarge Operating Funding There was no specific commitment in the Provincial Transit Plan with respect to operating funding costs to support the anticipated expansion of transit services It is possible to compare however the projections for operating costs by the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure in the scenarios it developed in 2007 08  and the projections set by BC Transit in its service plans with the actual operation expenditures annually since 2007 08  Figure 13 c Projected versus actual operating funding click image to enlarge  A large proportion of operating expenditures is the delivery of transit service hoursâ that is the number of hours the buses are on the road The number of transit service hours delivered during the period since the Provincial Transit Plan was launched was lower than anticipated Text box K  Actual service hours delivered compared with projections from 2007 click to read Transit service hours are considered by BC Transit to be the key factor influencing ridership The more hours of buses on the road the greater capacity to carry riders This works by providing transit where it did not exist previously as well as increasing the frequency Research suggests these two factors are key in enabling people to rely on transit as a regular mode of travel From BC Transitâ s projections in 2007 08 service hours would need to increase annually by 4 8 percent to reach the target for 2020 The Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure projections were slightly lower they projected service hours for BC Transit would need to increase by 3 8 percent annually to achieve a 2 5 percent growth in transit mode share by 2020 with a focus on Victoria but also increasing transit in the rest of the province The actual average annual increase in service hours from 2007 08 to 2012 13 was 3 3 percent This is likely related to an increase in the cost of providing transit services Figure 14  Cost increase to provide transit services click to read Operating costs per service hour increased on average 4 percent annually from 2007 08 to 2012 13 which is approximately 2 percent above the average inflation rate over the same period This increase in costs is connected with a range of factors such as fuel prices wages parts and maintenance etc Figure 14 Increase in cost of transit service provision click image to enlarge Therefore achieving 2020 targets will require even more funding for operating costs than anticipated in the 2008 Provincial Transit Plan To consider  Are existing funding commitments and sources sustainable given the long term objectives and timeframes targeted The understanding and estimation of transit development costs is more advanced than the quantification of transit benefits As the Freiburg example in Text box B has shown there are real economic benefits ranging from higher cost recovery in transit operations to reduced health care costs from safer means of mobility that accrue to society However the distribution of transit costs and benefits is not symmetrical Many of transitâ s benefits will accrue to government departments outside transportation e g health and social services departments while the costs for developing public transportation are concentrated within the transport departmentâ s budget In addition the economic benefits from investing in public transportation often lag behind the costs by a decade or more Funding challenges of long term transit planning In addition to challenges related to annual funding and decision making the funding aspect of long term transit planning can also be difficult For instance government budget commitments are made on 12 month cycles yet it takes approximately 18 months from ordering to receiving a new bus thereby running costs through multiple financial years Given the limited production capacity for transit vehicles in North America if many other transit agencies pursue similar goals of significantly increasing transit ridership the lag time for acquiring the vehicles and other facilities could grow BC Transit is working with its partners to develop processes to address some of the challenges related to long term transit planning Text box L  Changes underway for long term planning click to read BC Transit is working to provide a longer term projection for plans and budgets This includes working with their partners to develop a three year plan This is expected to allow all partners to be better prepared as longer term or larger changes are anticipated This also makes it less likely that any of the partners will be surprised by a sudden increase or decrease in budgets Longer term planning is also important because it takes up to two years to get a new bus on the road BC Transit will be working with local governments to set transit service standards These standards will help guide the development of transit and influence decisions around where transit should be to meet individual community needs To consider  What long term funding commitments are required to facilitate effective and efficient long term planning To consider What is the capacity of the transit supply industry to produce additional buses or respond to demand for different types of buses to meet transit expansion plans Transit funding as a tool to achieve goals Transportation funding can be used as a tool to achieve the goal of increasing transit use and decreasing vehicle use if it is designed to send market signals to customers that influence their travel choices Text box M  Transit funding and its impact on transportation behaviour click to read Transit research has shown that higher fuel prices can cause people to shift from car travel to public transit i Because of this public policy decision makers have sometimes used a tax on fuel to encourage this shift A fuel tax can also generate additional funds to invest in the transit system to ensure service can meet demand This strategy works well at the beginning of a transformative shift although it may cease to be effective after a certain point as raising gas prices through taxation can reduce gas consumption thereby reducing the funding for public transit Such was the case with TransLink in Vancouver Long term strategic thinking will help to ensure such strategies are sustainable as no one funding instrument is guaranteed to work over the long term and adaptation is needed Other pricing policies such as increasing parking charges or implementing congestion pricing can also encourage a shift from cars to public transit In February 2003 the city of London England introduced a fee for driving cars into the city in an attempt to reduce traffic congestion The funds raised by the congestion charge were to be used to improve other modes of transportation The result has been improved bus and taxi service and reduced traffic congestion the city has also raised funds for transportation improvements ii The reduced congestion enabled more efficient bus service by raising the speed of bus travel Not only does this make bus travel more attractive since passengers get where theyâ re going faster and more reliably it also allows the same number of buses to make more trips each day because they are moving along their routes more quickly Increasing bus speeds by reducing congestion and increasing signal and traffic priority is one way to get more buses for â freeâ i Litman Todd 2012 â Transit Price Elasticities and Cross Elasticitiesâ Victoria Transport Policy Institute ii Litman Todd 2011 â London Congestion Pricing Implications for Other Citiesâ Victoria Transport Policy Institute p 1 Currently BC Transit has a funding source that is directly linked to transportation behaviour for the Victoria regional transit system which is the gas tax The gas tax is added to the price of gasoline which raises the cost for customers at the pump 3 50 cents dedicated motor fuel tax â BC Transit Victoria Raising the cost of gasoline tends to reduce consumer use encouraging people to use alternative transportation methods such as transit At the same time the money collected from the gas tax goes directly to fund transit  In the rest of the province BC Transitâ s funding comes from property tax and provincial contributions from income taxes To consider  How can transit funding sources be designed to achieve the greatest positive influence on transportation behaviour Funding Questions for key stakeholders to consider 1 What is the most appropriate funding model for BC Transit to meet long term transit goals and objectives 2 Are existing funding commitments and sources sustainable given the long term objectives and timeframes targeted 3 What long term funding commitments are required to facilitate effective and efficient long term planning 4 What is the capacity of the transit supply industry to produce additional buses or respond to demand for different types of buses to meet transit expansion plans 5 How can transit funding sources be designed to achieve the greatest positive influence on transportation behaviour Shaping the Future Design of Public Transit Services photo courtesy of  BC Transit To attract new customers to switch from cars to transit while maintaining existing customers public transit systems typically have to understand their potential customers and diversify their services to appeal to different market segments Measuring and monitoring progress are key aspects of managing the change in the design of transit services BC Transitâ s measurement and monitoring of progress Translating governmentâ s environmental economic and social goals for transit transformation into concrete objectives and then setting measurable targets that allow the public to assess how well the goals have been achieved is challenging BC Transit is focused on measuring ridership Monitoring progress toward the mode share goals has been more difficult  Text box N  Challenges of measuring success for public transit click to read One of the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructureâ s main goals is to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to help achieve the provinceâ s climate action goals The ministry has translated this goal into several objectives and strategies including increasing the use of transit cycling and other alternative modes of transportation and reducing the use of single occupant vehicles  Another important goal is to reduce traffic congestion To assess its success the ministry has one main measurement that it monitors annual public transit ridership in British Columbia Ridership Transit ridership in this definition means the number of transit rides taken in a year Transit ridership is one of the simplest measurements to monitor and is commonly used to assess transit success across public transportation agencies The challenge is that transit ridership can increase without automobile use decreasing therefore  the ultimate goals of reducing congestion and greenhouse gas emissions may not be achieved This can occur because of the phenomenon known as â induced demand â Induced demand is when people increase their total travel because additional transit options are made available to them Take the following hypothetical example Mr Smith habitually takes the bus to get to and from work every day Letâ s assume that he does not have a car and cannot get to the library by bus When a new bus service to the library is introduced he starts to make two extra trips each day Mr Smithâ s transit ridership doubled but there would be no related reduction in traffic congestion or greenhouse gas emissions because this is a new trip that he was not making before On

    Original URL path: http://www.bcauditor.com/book/export/html/812 (2016-02-12)
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  • Planning for School Seismic Safety | Auditor General of British Columbia
    by the Legislative Assembly s Select Standing Committee on Public Accounts on June 9 2010 Report planning school seismic safety pdf Backgrounder planning school seismic safety backgrounder pdf Other Files school seismic safetyministry action plan pdf pages ag follow report 11out 2 pdf seismicsep10 pdf school seismic safety oct 2011 pdf News Release planning school seismic safety news release pdf Find a publication Keywords Start date Year Year 2017 2016 2015 2014 2013 2012 2011 2010 2009 2008 2007 2006 2005 2004 2003 2002 2001 2000 1999 1998 1997 1996 1995 1994 1993 1992 1991 1990 1989 1988 1987 1986 1985 1984 1983 1982 1981 1980 1979 1978 1977 1976 End date Year Year 2017 2016 2015 2014 2013 2012 2011 2010 2009 2008 2007 2006 2005 2004 2003 2002 2001 2000 1999 1998 1997 1996 1995 1994 1993 1992 1991 1990 1989 1988 1987 1986 1985 1984 1983 1982 1981 1980 1979 1978 1977 1976 Subject Any Annual Reports Education Environment Natural Resources Finance Follow up Reports Forestry Governance Accountability Health Information Technology Justice Public Safety Knowledge Management Miscellaneous Procurement Social Services Transportation Publications Resource Centre Quick Links What is a financial audit What is a performance audit Subscribe

    Original URL path: http://www.bcauditor.com/pubs/2008/report12/planning-school-seismic-safety (2016-02-12)
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