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  • Policy and Governance: Questions for key stakeholders to consider
    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

    Original URL path: http://www.bcauditor.com/book/export/html/831 (2016-02-12)
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  • Costs and trends of transit funding
    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

    Original URL path: http://www.bcauditor.com/book/export/html/823 (2016-02-12)
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  • Funding challenges of long-term transit planning
    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

    Original URL path: http://www.bcauditor.com/book/export/html/824 (2016-02-12)
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  • Transit funding as a tool to achieve goals
    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

    Original URL path: http://www.bcauditor.com/book/export/html/825 (2016-02-12)
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  • Funding: Questions for key stakeholders to consider
    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

    Original URL path: http://www.bcauditor.com/book/export/html/832 (2016-02-12)
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  • Transit's performance results
    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 Transitâ 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 Transitâ 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

    Original URL path: http://www.bcauditor.com/book/export/html/828 (2016-02-12)
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  • Strategies to achieve goals
    population without access to a vehicle for commuting to work or school with 10 11 percent in this â captiveâ population group Connected with this trend is that Victorians Whistlerites and those living in Tier 3 communities have fewer cars per household 1 8 or 1 9 cars than others in the province 2 cars Potential â choiceâ and â captiveâ populations in the Capital Regional District â 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 â choiceâ in that a vehicle was available to the traveler For the remaining two thirds a vehicle was not available so that traveler was â captiveâ to transit walking or cycling  This suggests that there is a fairly large pool of potential â captiveâ population that could ride transit in Victoria It helps to explain that 11 percent of Victoriaâ 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

    Original URL path: http://www.bcauditor.com/book/export/html/829 (2016-02-12)
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  • BC Transit’s measurement and monitoring of progress | Auditor General of British Columbia
    which of these scenarios is accurate just by measuring the increase in transit trips Other measurements are necessary to tell if traffic congestion and greenhouse gas emissions are being reduced Mode Share Another measurement that transportation agencies use to monitor the reduction in the use of single occupant vehicles is transit mode share Transit mode share refers to the proportion of the total trips people take by transit in a given area For example in Victoria the transit mode share was last measured by the Capital Regional District CRD in its travel survey in 2011 and it was 6 3 percent see Figure 16 which was a slight decrease from the mode share of 6 4 percent in 2006 The Provincial Transit Plan includes targets for increasing transit mode share by 2020 See Figure 3 However BC Transit and the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure do not include mode share targets in their respective service plans Mode share is typically calculated by estimating the total number of trips people take within a region and dividing this by the number of trips taken by each mode of travel The most reliable method to measure mode share is through a large scale population survey Large scale surveys are costly therefore mode share is not measured very frequently In the CRD the main travel survey is conducted every five years In the rest of BC Transit s service areas mode share is measured through the national census every five years However the census only captures how people travel to work whereas the CRD s study includes all trips made in a day In the CRD trips for travelling to work made up only 16 percent of the total trips made in a day An additional measurement challenge is that transit mode share can increase but if total trip length and or the number of total trips also increases there may not be a reduction in greenhouse gas emissions Take the following hypothetical example click image to enlarge In Smalltown in 2010 the transit mode share was 6 percent and the single occupant vehicle share was 60 percent If the people of Smalltown took 100 trips a day this means that six trips were taken by transit and 60 trips by single occupant vehicle The rest of the trips were made by walking taxi ride etc In 2011 the Smalltown transit mode share increased to 6 5 percent and the single occupant vehicle share decreased to 59 5 percent However the total number of trips also increased to 150 per day This means that 9 75 trips were taken by transit and 89 25 trips were taken by single occupancy vehicle With this increase in the total number of trips neither traffic congestion nor greenhouse gas emissions were reduced despite the improvement in transit mode share Given that other stakeholders have different objectives for transit other measurements of success may be required For example municipalities may be interested in monitoring the efficiency of transit

    Original URL path: http://www.bcauditor.com/online/pubs/812/827 (2016-02-12)
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