Thank you, Chair.
You know, the federal government absolutely understands the importance of transit for its economic benefit, for its economic engine, for the fact as we move forward it will reduce pollution, and for the health of Canadians. In our budget 2015 we announced a public transit fund that addresses this issue. I think it's music to the ears of most municipalities when we say that when we put money into public transit, we are looking at the objective of sustainable, long-term funding.
However, let me point something out. Take the example of Vancouver, which I have some experience with. In 1986 I was on the team to help build the Expo Line. At that time, the average cost per kilometre was $25 million. I understand from my colleagues now that to build this new transit line, you're looking in the neighbourhood of about $300 million. This means over a 30-year period there was a 12-fold increase, or about a 400% increase per decade, 40% per year.
This clearly is something that is not sustainable. As we build more transit systems, our gas revenues, with hopefully reduced car use, will be decreasing, yet our expenses are increasing with public transit systems. I want to hear from the transit operators: in order to maintain that sustainability, what other models or other ways of funding do you have in mind?
I'll give you some example of what I'm thinking about. Are there changes to intensification? Are there changes to a transit property issuing debentures? Are there indications of transit stops with developers to leverage a higher value out of those development properties? I'd like to hear your opinion on how you are going to move forward with the new transit funding model and its respective sustainability.