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“Pay-ving” the Road Ahead: Financing Transportation Infrastructure in Calgary, Alberta

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Author: Lau, Quentin
This study explores ways to finance the City of Calgary’s transportation system. The city is currently experiencing difficulties in financing planned and approved transportation projects, resulting in a $1.9 billion shortfall. This funding gap is the result of unsustainable financing methods employed by the city. An examination of three jurisdictions is used to identify successful characteristics in financing an urban transportation system. Three policy options are born from these characteristics, and are evaluated on their ability to meet four criteria. Results indicate that a flexible transportation tax can help close the funding gap in Calgary’s transportation system, and improve the system as a whole for the foreseeable future. I recommend that Calgary implement a flexible transportation tax through its existing property tax structure to create a more sustainable and effective transportation system.
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