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  • Costs and trends of transit funding | Auditor General of British Columbia
    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 Transit 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 plan 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

    Original URL path: http://www.bcauditor.com/online/pubs/812/823 (2016-02-12)
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  • Funding challenges of long-term transit planning | Auditor General of British Columbia
    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 Costs and trends of transit funding up Transit funding as a tool to achieve goals 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

    Original URL path: http://www.bcauditor.com/online/pubs/812/824 (2016-02-12)
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  • Transit funding as a tool to achieve goals | Auditor General of British Columbia
    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 they 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 free i Litman Todd 2012 Transit Price Elasticities and Cross Elasticities Victoria Transport Policy Institute ii Litman Todd 2011 London Congestion Pricing Implications for Other Cities 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 BC Transit Victoria Raising the cost of gasoline tends to reduce consumer use encouraging people to use alternative transportation methods such as transit

    Original URL path: http://www.bcauditor.com/online/pubs/812/825 (2016-02-12)
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  • Funding: Questions for key stakeholders to consider | Auditor General of British Columbia
    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 Transit funding as a tool to achieve goals up Shaping the Future Design of Public Transit Services 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

    Original URL path: http://www.bcauditor.com/online/pubs/812/832 (2016-02-12)
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  • Shaping the Future: Funding
    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

    Original URL path: http://www.bcauditor.com/book/export/html/821 (2016-02-12)
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  • Transit's performance results | Auditor General of British Columbia
    complete In 2012 the Office of the Auditor General completed an Audit of BC Transit s Ridership Growth Since the Launch of the 2008 Provincial Transit Plan We found that BC Transit s ridership growth during this period was 27 percent lower than it projected needing to meet the Provincial Transit Plan target by 2020 In 2012 13 there was a drop in ridership which BC Transit attributes to service reductions in a number of communities across the province as well as a labour disruption in Victoria during the last half of the year This translated to BC Transit s ridership growth being 40 percent lower than it projected needing to meet the Provincial Transit Plan target by 2020 Moving forward BC Transit has adjusted their forecasts to anticipate a lower growth trend for the next three years leaving a gap of 46 percent by 2015 Figure 15 BC Transit ridership targets and forecasts versus actual results click image to enlarge Given the lower forecast for ridership BC Transit will be challenged to meet the 2020 milestone As a consequence it will also take longer to realize the sustainability outcomes associated with a mode share shift from automobile to transit While BC Transit is not measuring mode share the Capital Regional District s travel survey results show that there was a slight decrease in transit riders between the last survey in 2006 and the most recent one in 2011 Nonetheless there was an increase in sustainable transportation modes overall due to an increase in walking which led to a slight decrease in automobile use Figure 16 Victoria travel mode shares 2006 and 2011 click image to enlarge To consider Given that changes in the transport system and travel behaviour take time have reasonable timelines been set to achieve targets and

    Original URL path: http://www.bcauditor.com/online/pubs/812/828 (2016-02-12)
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  • Strategies to achieve goals | Auditor General of British Columbia
    cars than others in the province 2 cars Potential choice and captive populations in the Capital Regional District beyond commuting Looking beyond commuting travel and considering all trips taken the picture is quite different Within the Capital Regional District area according to the Origin and Destination Study 2011 just over one third of all non vehicle trips were taken by choice in that a vehicle was available to the traveler For the remaining two thirds a vehicle was not available so that traveler was captive to transit walking or cycling This suggests that there is a fairly large pool of potential captive population that could ride transit in Victoria It helps to explain that 11 percent of Victoria s survey respondents take transit for their non commuting travel and another 22 percent cycle walk or use a variety of transportation modes Future growth would likely have to come from choice riders Figure 17 b Profile of regular riders vs non riders click image to enlarge In some communities ridership will likely increase by expanding transit services into areas where an existing demand for services is not currently being met In other communities where transit services largely meet existing demand more significant change will need to occur to shift people from automobiles to transit Transit systems will need to be seen as a better alternative to personal vehicles and consumers will need to change their travel behaviour Text box Q Factors encouraging ridership growth click image to enlarge For example in Victoria there are plans to introduce rapid transit to achieve a substantial shift in transportation choices for commuters Text box R Rapid transit in the Victoria Regional Transit System click to read Over the past four years the Victoria Regional Transit System has been challenged to grow ridership at the same rate as it has been increasing its transit service hours This results in diminishing returns on investment in part because the transit system is generally able to meet existing demand but it is more difficult to attract new riders without innovation or change It is in this context that the Victoria Regional Transit System is considering options for rapid transit Rapid transit is seen as a way to address the increasing traffic congestion between the rapidly growing western communities and downtown Victoria Rapid transit is intended to provide an attractive convenient integrated environmentally responsible sustainable and affordable alternative to single occupancy vehicles Rapid transit is designed to operate in an exclusive right of way thereby bypassing traffic congestion and arriving faster than a bus stuck in traffic or than a person driving their own car in congestion The Victoria Regional Rapid Transit project is still in the planning phase A local funding taskforce has been established to consider funding for the longer term project which includes the option of rail based rapid transit In the shorter term plans are being considered for actions to give transit priority in some key travel corridors This is intended to allow transit to

    Original URL path: http://www.bcauditor.com/online/pubs/812/829 (2016-02-12)
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  • Customer satisfaction with BC Transit services | Auditor General of British Columbia
    medium sized conventional transit systems Tier 2 average satisfaction was slightly lower than the provincial average while in the smallest conventional transit systems Tier 3 satisfaction was higher than the provincial average Figure 19 Customer satisfaction with transit service click to read Figure 19 a Customer satisfaction with BC Transit services 2012 13 click image to enlarge Figure 19 b perceptions of how the local bus system has changed over the past year 2012 13 click image to enlarge These figures present a slightly different picture from the overall satisfaction scores In this view the Tier 3 communities had the highest proportion who felt the local bus system had improved in the past year followed closely by Kamloops and the Tier 2 systems Whistler had the highest proportion who felt the system became worse which may be related to cuts to transit services levels by the municipality Non riders express lowest satisfaction compared with occasional riders and regular riders To consider If demand increases as a result of policy disincentives to automobile use or other transit incentives or motivating factors will the quantity quality and affordability of transit services be sufficient to meet and sustain demand In 2012 13 BC Transit used their customer survey to find out how British Columbians feel about the importance of transit in their communities The result was very interesting It shows that while only 33 percent of people used transit in the past year on average 84 percent of people feel transit is important or very important to their community This was up to 92 and 93 percent in Victoria and Whistler respectively See data on the Figure 4 map for more details Strategies to achieve goals up Design Questions for key stakeholders to consider Printer friendly version Shaping Transit s Future in British

    Original URL path: http://www.bcauditor.com/online/pubs/812/830 (2016-02-12)
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