Are We There Yet?
While good progress has been made, serious challenges remain with respect to funding our planned transit expansions in the GTHA.
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Collective Impact in Motion:
Lessons from the Move the GTHA Collaborative
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Move the GTHA represents a diverse group of civic-minded organizations working together to build support for increased public investment in transit and active transportation in the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area. The group has been working together since June of 2012, functioning as a “collective impact” project.
Congestion in the region is worsening, creating costs to business productivity and quality of life. Transportation-related emissions also account for approximately half of Toronto’s greenhouse gas emissions and are a major source of local air pollution. To help reverse this trend, we need convenient, cost-effective travel options, including expanding and improving local transit, building out the network of regional commuter services like GO Transit and adding more bike lanes and pedestrian-friendly infrastructure such as walkways.
According to the Toronto Region Board of Trade, chronic gridlock in the GTHA already costs $6 billion annually in productivity losses, a figure that is predicted to rise to $15 billion annually by 2031. Toronto Public Health supports an increase in active transportation options so that people are healthier and the instances of diseases related to obesity and inactivity are reduced.
The Big Move, a regional transportation plan developed by Metrolinx in 2008, would cost $2 billion annually over 25 years. In June 2014, the Province of Ontario made a $15B, 10-year funding commitment to support implementation of The Big Move through allocation of existing provincial resources. Even so, new sources of revenue – new taxes, road tolls – will likely be required to pay for the remaining projects over the next 10 to15 years, and to support operating costs.
Because of the many benefits of better transit and active transportation systems, many different civic groups are adding their voices to the debate. Since 2012, Move the GTHA has provided a space for these groups to build common ground, share resources and ideas, strategize and create useful and consistent public messages to deliver through their networks.
The core groups that established Move the GTHA are Evergreen CityWorks, CivicAction, Toronto Atmospheric Fund, Pembina Institute, CodeRedTO, the Ontario Chamber of Commerce, the Registered Nurses Association of Ontario, Toronto Public Health, Toronto Centre for Active Transportation, Transport Action Ontario, Toronto Region Board of Trade and Toronto Environmental Alliance. The initiative is facilitated by Evergreen CityWorks and funded by TAF and Metrolinx.
Move the GTHA continues to promote increased transportation funding that is dedicated, efficient, transparent and accountable, regional, fair and sustainable over the long term.
For more information about Move the GTHA contact Michelle German, Senior Manager, Policy and Partnerhships, Evergreen CityWorks, at email@example.com