$39.9 billion has been committed to regional transit in the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area (GTHA), leaving a $28.8 billion gap in funding for capital costs.
With 35% of Ontario’s emissions coming from transportation, TAF has been supporting advocacy for improved regional rapid transit as a funder and member of Move the GTHA since 2011. Building transit is a crucial and strategic investment that will help the Province and local governments reach ambitious GHG targets, build walkable, transit-focused communities with a mix of housing and proximity to jobs and amenities, and help grow our economic centres. But without dedicated and sustainable funding, plans to expand regional transit will never leave the shelf.
Twenty of Move the GTHA’s diverse member organizations recently crunched the numbers to identify just how much money is still required to fund the completion of our badly needed regional rapid transit network. In our new report, Are we there yet? we reveal those numbers for the first time – and they’re daunting. In addition to a capital funding gap of nearly $30 billion, billions more are needed for the operations, maintenance and rehabilitation costs of the network. These costs are currently unaccounted for.
Move the GTHA would like to see all levels of government and transit agencies meet to identify a detailed investment plan that allows us to continue to build the transit our growing region needs. We are calling for a transit summit, particularly to discuss new revenue tools. We need new ways to raise funds for a better transportation network in the GTHA – ways that are dedicated, efficient, transparent and accountable, fair, and sustainable.
Metrolinx has just released a discussion paper to spark a dialogue with stakeholders and the public on the future of mobility in the region over the next 25 years. Recognizing how important new revenue tools will be to implementing the regional rapid transit plans, we encourage others to comment on the need for new investment and share our report. The discussion will be open for comment until Monday, October 31, 2016.