Road improvements costly to taxpayers

Re: Transit ridership up, what about cost?, Letters, July 28.

To the Editor,

Re: Transit ridership up, what about cost?, Letters, July 28.

Randy O’Donnell rightly points out that the regional transit system is subsidized by property owners and the province, but then asks how well or poorly this “business” is run.

Actually, very well. When compared to other regional systems of similar size in B.C., ours comes out on top. Amazing when one considers our low population density.

While it may seem expensive to run this enterprise, I invite readers to consider the cost of operating Nanaimo’s roads – or any other, for that matter. Close to 40 per cent of our city’s budget is devoted to our roads. Almost all of this comes from property taxes.

Widening Bowen Road will accommodate the ever-increasing number of motor vehicles. That project alone is costing about half of this year’s property tax increase.

By subsidising transit, adding cycling and walking paths, and encouraging carsharing and carpooling, our governments can reduce the huge tax increases we are saddled with while greatly reducing the annual $8,000 to $10,000 cost of owning/operating our own motor vehicles.

Now that is a sound business model.

Ian Gartshore

Nanaimo