Stephen Rees's blog

Thoughts about the relationships between transport and the urban area it serves

Archive for March 18th, 2009

$700/year for TransLink

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Abby News

Jeff Nagel calculates that

two-car family in Langley could soon be paying close to $700 a year more than their neighbours to the east in Abbotsford.

Due in part to the proposed vehicle levy. But also to the gas tax

Motorists already drive east out of Metro Vancouver to avoid the 12-cent gas tax that funds TransLink

But are gas prices 12c a litre cheaper? My recent experience suggests that the difference between GVRD gas pumps and Abbotsford is usually much less than 12 cents. But that of course is anecdotal so I checked on the gas price web page. They get gas prices from the – and the difference  when I looked was not 12c a litre but around 4c.

It seems to me – based on this unscientific survey – that gas stations in Abbotsford are doing very well out of the 12 c difference!

UPDATE March 30

I should have pointed this out when Ken Hardie posted a riposte. While Translink gets the product of 12c/litre from the gas tax, half of that is a transfer of the provincial collection. So the net effect is that gas tax is really 6c per litre higher inside Metro than most of the rest of BC

Written by Stephen Rees

March 18, 2009 at 8:01 pm

Posted in Transportation

Greens Nominate Stephen Rees as Candidate for Provincial Election in Richmond East

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Immediate Release

March 18, 2009

Greens Nominate Stephen Rees as Candidate for Provincial Election in Richmond East

Richmond, BC – Green Party of BC leader, Jane Sterk announced today that resident of Richmond East, Stephen Rees will be the Green Party candidate in the upcoming spring provincial election.

Stephen Rees has been involved at the community level in Greater Vancouver for five years as a member of the Livable Region Coalition, campaigning against the Gateway programme and in favour of Rail for the Valley. He was recently voted No 1 political blogger in BC (

“We are pleased to announce candidates of Stephen’s caliber,” said Green Part Leader, Jane Sterk. “Stephen will also be the Green Party of BC spokesperson on transportation issues.”

Trained as a Regional Planner at the London School of Economics, Stephen worked for the former Greater London Council and the UK Department of Transport. He came to Canada in 1988 and worked as a consultant economist in a number of Canadian cities as well as overseas. He arrived in BC in 1994 when he was recruited by the Ministry of Energy to work on transportation issues and BC’s first Greenhouse Gas Action Plan. He then went to BC Transit which became Translink, where he was Program Manager for Transportation Policy. He left Translink in 2004 and a few years later began his blog ( which is a critical examination of how we currently plan transport and land use in Metro Vancouver. He has appeared frequently on local radio and is often quoted by local media on transportation issues.

“The Green movement represents the world’s future, as without sustainability we have no future,” said Rees. “I know that I can be an active agent for change and am proud to represent a platform that wisely combines sustainability and environmental protection with economic reality. Integral to the comprehensive platform that I will be supporting will be much better planning of land use and transportation. If elected I will be visible, accessible and vocal on behalf of my constituents.”

“Stephen Rees represents a unique blend of social activist and environmental awareness,” says Green party leader, Jane Sterk. “The Green Party of BC believes that this riding is ready to approach the big questions with a view to long term sustainability and fiscal responsibility. Stephen Rees is a great candidate for the job and has the leadership skills and vision to carry us into the legislature.”


About the Green Party of BC The Green Party of BC is part of the global green movement for economic, social and ecological responsibility. As the third largest political party in the province, Greens have consistently polled as the preferred choice of one in six decided voters. Jane Sterk was elected leader of the BC Green Party in October 2007.

Further information at

Written by Stephen Rees

March 18, 2009 at 5:50 pm

Posted in Transportation