A changing climate, emerging technologies, and the post-pandemic “new disorder” mean there will be no shortage of issues and uncertainty in the coming years. Good Roads and its members are looking for a trusted partner to help navigate these waters.
As we continue to transition to a net-zero future, zero-emission vehicles will become the norm. While this is necessary and welcome the unintended consequence for municipalities is the effect this will have on the gas tax. The provincial gas tax program helps to fund municipal transit systems, no matter its size. Good Roads members will need a partner who will commit to making up this funding shortfall as public transit is inarguably one of the most efficient ways to lower carbon emissions.
Recommendation: That the province commit to working with municipalities to fund municipal transit across the province as gas tax revenues begin to decline.
The way we get around continues to change. From e-scooters and e-bikes to connected and autonomous vehicles, municipalities have had to rely on the province to create a framework for how these new modes can safely operate. As these mobility options continue to proliferate, municipalities will need to continue relying on their provincial partners.
Recommendation: That the province continue to work with municipalities on safely integrating new mobility options.
The COVID-19 pandemic brought intense disruption to the status quo. While many had hoped that life would quickly return to normal it has become increasingly evident that the post-COVID world is one of intense uncertainty and disorder. Where people live, how they work, and the effect this has had on travel patterns appears to be outliving the pandemic. Furthermore, inflation not seen in over 30 years has impacted both municipal operations and capital budgets. These problems are larger than any municipality can tackle on their own.
Recommendation: That the province work with municipalities in navigating through the “new disorder”.