The Future Of Toronto Public Transit
By Bob Chiarelli, Ontario Minister of Transportation
(TORONTO, ON) – Earlier today, City Council met to debate the future of public transit in the City of Toronto. As a former Regional Chair and Mayor, I have always respected the will of council, as a whole, to come to a position regarding public transit priorities.
Over the past few weeks, Torontonians have been party to a healthy debate about the future of public transit. For many, public transit is a necessity – it’s how employees get to and from work, how seniors get to and from their appointments and how students commute to school.
Throughout the debate, the McGuinty government has maintained a clear stance–we wanted the City to come to a common position so that we all could focus on building much-needed transit infrastructure.
Now that Council has endorsed a position, we have asked Metrolinx to consider the impacts on current transit planning and report back to us as quickly as possible.
As time is of the essence, we look to the Mayor and Council to move forward together and help us build public transit, in accordance with the five principles that reflect the public interest and the mandate given to Metrolinx as previously outlined. These principles are as follows:
- Any project paid for by the Province must achieve sound regional transportation objectives.
- Provincial funding for rapid transit projects in Toronto is fixed at $8.4 billion (2010$). The Province and Metrolinx need to demonstrate ownership and control in accordance with provincial accounting rules, in order to amortize the investment.
- Any penalties related to contractual commitments or the loss of investments that result from changes sought by the City are the City’s responsibility.
- Costs related to delay must be assumed by the City.
- The plan should minimize impacts on traffic to the extent reasonably possible.
Now is the time to move forward. What matters most to Torontonians is that we get shovels in the ground and deliver transit in Toronto.
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