Home › Forums › Bulldog Forum: Ottawa, National And International Debate › What Is Wrong With Bicycle User Fees?
November 14, 2017 at 10:12 AM #739592November 14, 2017 at 3:39 PM #739621
This from the world of fake news that is Twitter.
She is referring to The Bulldog post Kids, Seniors Pay User Fees, Cyclists Don’t.
There was a time when that sort of thing would engender a lawsuit.
Actually that’s still not a bad idea.November 14, 2017 at 5:20 PM #739624
MikeNovember 14, 2017 at 5:22 PM #739626November 14, 2017 at 11:23 PM #739629
It is not so much that bicycle user fees are wrong, it’s that user fees are not a good way to fund a city.
Take water treatment as an example. If absolutely no water was used for a month by any person or business then there would be no user fees collected but most of the expenses would remain.
User fees are a guise, a ruse, a politician’s dream come true.
I would; however, support a bicycle driver test system and accompanying driver’s licence that is subject to the driver losing same for traffic infractions.
ChazNovember 15, 2017 at 11:44 AM #739651
First, a clarification for Mike above: bicycles do fall under the Highway Traffic Act. (You could look it up: http://www.mto.gov.on.ca/english/safety/bicycle-safety.shtml)
So a few practical questions about these user fees:
1. Would the fee be charged per bicycle (vehicle registration) or per rider (a cyclist’s licence), or both?
2. How much would the fees be?
3. Acknowledging that the law currently allows bicycles to take an entire lane when the cyclist feels it necessary for his or her safety, would there be a declaration that since cyclists are now “fee-paying users” of the roads, they are entitled to take a lane with no consequence?
4. How many millions of dollars are spent on cycling infrastructure by the city of Ottawa, and how does that relate to overall roads spending? (I’ll give you some hints: David Reevely reported about $8M in annual cycling spending in 2016; Bikeottawa reported a total investment in “active transportation” in 2017 of about $60M, although it’s a stretch to claim that $21M on the Fifth-Clegg footbridge is a cycling-only expenditure; the 2018 Transportation draft budget identifies $4.1M in cycling expenditures. If we use the 2018 draft, cycling is about $4.1M of $90M in roads capital expenditures, or about 4.5% of the budget)
5. Would the user fee cover operating budgets or capital expenditures or both?
6. Would the user fee be administered by the city of Ottawa or by the province?
7. How much would the system cost to operate?
8. At what age would cyclists begin paying the registration fee?
9. Would family registrations be offered, or quantity registrations for people who own multiple bikes?
10. Would all revenue from the scheme be specifically earmarked for cycling facilities? Would cycling facilities receive any other funding from the city?
11. Would the fee be set at a rate to cover the same proportion of road costs as vehicle registrations do? For example, if we assume 11.7M vehicles in Ontario paying $120 in fees each, that’s $1.4B, but the province spends much more than that on roads each year — about $2B. So would cyclists be expected to generate 70% of the $4M cycling expenditure through registration?
12. Would Gatineau cyclists be required to sport an Ottawa registration?
13. If Ottawa falls along the Ontario average for “cyclists” (defined by Stats Canada as someone who has cycled in the last 12 months), there are about 364K cyclists in Ottawa. To obtain the required 70% of $4M, the fee be $7.69 per bicycle plus, let’s be generous, another $1.52 for a 20% administration fee + HST = $10.40 per cyclist.
14. Would fees be waived for people of a low income who rely on a bicycle because they can’t afford a car?
If a proposal is gonna be made, make it seriously.November 15, 2017 at 11:56 AM #739665
Thank you for all the work here and the thought involved.
My own feeling is that we should address the issue of user fees for bikes or cyclists from a high point. In other words, yes or not to start.
After that we can get into the details.
But I would invite readers to address your points that appeal or not appeal to them.