July 2012 Update: Moving Forward on a Regional Transit Strategy Approved at Council
Council was united this week in declaring that a regional approach is the best chance we have to build and fund the transit that Torontonians need and deserve. My motion, Moving Forward: Improving Public Transit and Relieving Traffic Congestion through a Regional Funding Strategy, was passed unanimously by my colleagues.
To fund public transportation and relieve traffic congestion for Toronto and the Greater Golden Horseshoe (GGH), it is imperative to move forward with a regional funding strategy. Implementing a sales tax, tolls or other tools across the GGH would create new, and dependable, revenue streams paid into by everyone in our region rather than have Toronto cover capital expenses through our property tax base.
We need these tools to move forward with a Downtown Relief Line to ease overcrowding on the Yonge Line, to finally build a rapid transit link to Pearson airport and to connect our city and region.
This fall, Metrolinx will begin a public discussion on transit funding while Toronto Council will discuss local funding and route requests. My hope is that these two initiatives find a common path to see a connective and fully funded plan through to fruition.
June 1012 UPDATE: I am pleased to inform you that with your support, my motion to move forward with a regional transit funding strategy for Toronto and the Greater Golden Horseshoe was (amazingly) approved on June 12th by the Mayor's Executive Committee. I would like to offer my sincere gratitude to everyone of you who signed the petition, wrote emails, and made deputations including representatives from the Toronto Board of Trade, the Toronto Environmental Alliance and Paul Bedford, former City of Toronto Chief Planner.
** Action Alert **
Moving Forward: Improving Public Transit and Relieving Traffic Congestion through a Regional Funding Strategy: Coming to the City of Toronto's Executive Committee on June 12th, 2012
I'm writing to you because I need your support, and action now, to finally create a realistic, and fully funded transit plan for our city and region.
Toronto and Greater Golden Horseshoe (GGH) residents want a fast, reliable and accessible public transportation system. To fund public transportation and relieve traffic congestion for Toronto and the GGH, it is imperative that we move forward with a regional funding strategy. Our transit needs, whether it be decongesting our current subway lines and improving existing service, connecting to Toronto Pearson International Airport, or expanding our transit system to communities in need of access, are too urgent to continue relying on one-time provincial funding. Gridlock has become so severe that the status quo, traffic congestion that costs the GGH $6 billion a year and which has an adverse impact on our residents' quality of life, is unacceptable. The costs associated with providing an improved transit system should be be shared by Torontonians, and those in the 905, who commute across municipal boundaries every day.
I've brought forward a motion to City Council called Moving Forward: Improving Public Transit and Relieving Traffic Congestion through a Regional Funding Strategy. This motion will be considered at the Executive Committee's upcoming meeting on Tuesday, June 12, 2012 at Toronto City Hall.
It is now crucially important for as many people as possible to register comments with the Executive Committee and make their voices heard. Unless we can influence the Executive Committee, the motion may be significantly weakened or buried.
Please take a few minutes to take the suggested actions below – and encourage your friends and family to do the same!
Toronto City Councillor
Ward 22-St. Paul's
Take Action Now!
One minute action: Sign our petition by clicking here.
I wish to submit to the Executive Committee for distribution at its meeting on June 12 the following comment on the item named Moving Forward: Improving Public Transit and Relieving Traffic Congestion through a Regional Funding Strategy.
I believe that improving and expanding public transit is a priority in need of a realistic funding strategy.
I support the recommendation that the City Manager be requested to engage and participate with Metrolinx in establishing a working group of appropriate officials representing the City of Toronto, Greater Golden Horseshoe municipalities, the Ontario Ministry of Transportation, the Ontario Ministry of Finance, the Ontario Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing, and any other relevant body to provide input into the preparation of a funding strategy for the Metrolinx regional transit plan.
In order to create a fast, reliable, accessible, and regionally integrated public transportation system, Toronto must be involved in discussions at the regional level. And these discussions must honestly consider all options for regional funding mechanisms.
10 minute action: Write your own letter and submit email it to the Executive Committee. Please remember to include your name and address and the following information: "I wish to submit to the Executive Committee for distribution at its meeting on June 12 the following comment on the item named Moving Forward: Improving Public Transit and Relieving Traffic Congestion through a Regional Funding Strategy."
Register to speak and make your voice heard!
Additional information about submitting comments and speaking to committees can be found here: http://www.toronto.ca/legdocs/tmmis/have-your-say.htm.
Let's get Toronto and our region moving again.