Transit: Toronto Needs a Plan – and Funding

Rising Commute Times in GTA: Olivia Chow Reiterates Call for Federal Funding

January 16, 2013

TORONTO – Cosmopolitan, diverse and creative – that’s the Toronto we love. But it’s also the city of traffic jams, crumbling bridges and roads and a transit network that has long been outgrown. To tackle our mobility challenges, we need long-term planning and funding from all levels of government.

The Toronto area continues to grow – and so do commute times. Office space in the GTA is ten times as much as it was 50 years ago. Every decade, one million more people live in the metropolitan area. 150 condo towers are planned or under construction in Toronto – more than in the other top 5 North American real estate markets combined.

Transit operators throughout the GTA want to build better public transport and expand, but more than $3.2 billion in funding is missing for the next three years. Through 2022, the TTC is planning on investments of $11 billion, but roughly half of this unfunded.

The City of Toronto is already struggling to find the funds to repair its roads and bridges – let alone transit. And the federal government? Absent: no money has been committed towards repairing the Gardiner. Likewise, all 2012 applications for the federal Community Infrastructure Investment Fund were rejected by Ottawa.

It is clear that we need long-term collaboration between all three levels of government and dedicated, predictable funding to meet the challenges before us. One important tool will be the establishment of a National Transit Strategy with dedicated transit funding.

Along with mayor, city councils and transit operators across the country, I have been working hard to get Canada a National Transit Strategy. Please visit www.nationaltransitstrategy.ca for more details.

One thing is clear for the GTA: without proper funding, direly needed investments will remain elusive – and Torontonians stuck in traffic.

 

 

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