The question: Federal Gas Tax Revenues were traditionally split 30% to Transit 70% to Roads. A previous Council cut Transit share to 20%. Will you support increasing transit’s share of federal gas-tax revenues?
The answers, by position:
James Kerr: Given that the 2019 Council only restored 5% of the original 10% during a time that you have termed “an ongoing climate emergency” I would have to ask the question, why was the 5% held back and what was it used for? What I can say is that, in my first 90 days, I will be using my skills from Corporate Finance and as an Accountant to review the financial condition of Burlington with heads of the various Finance Departments so I can better understand the answer to these and other important questions.
Anne Marsden: Response not received in time for our deadline.
Marianne Meed Ward: I am supportive of increasing the share of federal gas tax for transit, as well as increasing general operating budget allocations. This council has made new investments every budget year in transit, including for new buses and drivers for conventional and handivan buses. Council also recently approved a pilot project to begin procuring electric buses, with roll out in 2024.
Steve Rieck: Don’t know history so cannot comment other than saying this. In the end, it gets paid by the taxpayer one way or the other. Budget passing back and forth from department to department wastes time and money each time. Simplifying budgets is a challenge I will issue to staff.
William Tuck: Response not received in time for our deadline.
Council, Ward 1:
Kelvin Galbraith: I cannot recall the reasons why the federal transit funds were reduced but I would like to see a budget for this and to see funds restored.
Robert Radway: Response not received in time for our deadline.
Council, Ward 2:
Keith Demoe: Absolutely!! I’m big supporter of transit and seeing transit grow to offer more availability to riders. Keep more cars off street. I have a car and still use transit for rides to GO or Walmart – from downtown.
Lisa Kearns: I am proud to be on the Council that restored previous funding I will continue to strike the right balance between transit needs and closing the City’s widening infrastructure gap. We still need safe roads in good repair for smooth and comfortable transit rides as well as increased cycling usage.
Tim O’Brien: This is an excellent question. We MUST move from the North American Car Culture to more of the European model, where public transit has no stigmatism attached.
Council, Ward 3:
Jennifer Hounslow: Response not received in time for our deadline.
Luke McEachern: Yes.
Rory Nisan: This sounds great. I would like to evaluate further and hear from staff but it seems highly logical and reasonable.
Council, Ward 4:
Tony Brecknock: Editor’s note: Although we did not receive a written response from Tony Brecknock (possibly due to technical problems) the candidate did request a meeting and verbally expressed support for Burlington Transit and BFAST’s positions.
Olivia Duke: Restoring the traditional share and exploring an increase should be considered, especially as we look to explore other service models to support the residents in our city.
Shawna Stolte: Yes. I believe that that it is a very appropriate use of the federal gas tax to fund and support our public transit system. I strongly support restoring and increasing transit’s share of the federal gas-tax revenues as this would go a long way to reaching the goal of creating the quality public transit system that the residents of Burlington need in order to be convinced to leave their cars at home and commit to taking public transit.
Eden Wood: Response not received in time for our deadline.
Council, Ward 5
Andrew Hall: Response not received in time for our deadline.
Denny Pirzas: Yes, if possible I would like the city to allocate even more to transit in the coming years. We need to expand the transit system in Burlington.
Guy D’Alesio: Allocation of the federal gas-tax revenues must reflect immediate and long range needs. While, public transit is one area that helps to address climate emergencies, there will be other opportunities such Bike share programs, road improvements, carpool lots and others that require resource allocation. In order to use those funds effectively allocations will change from year to year. I support restoring the transit share of this revenue to traditional levels as a long-term policy, and support the increase of that share to address specific needs or investment opportunities. As ridership increases, I would support a more permanent increase of resource share for transit.
Paul Sharman: Response not received in time for our deadline.
Council, Ward 6
Angelo Bentivegna: I will advocate to get the funding back to 30%
Rick Greenspoon: I am unable to complete your survey in the time you have allotted. Although as a statement, I do support Burlington for Accessible Sustainable Transit, I do not have enough information and background data to answer all of your questions.
Renato Velocci: Response not received in time for our deadline.