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Transit

As you know, given the fact that almost as many people commute from Toronto, as they do going in to our city on a daily basis, I have been advocating for a regional approach to building a transit network. Implementing a regional sales tax, tolls or other tools across the Greater Golden Horseshoe (GGH) would create new, and dependable, revenue streams paid into by everyone in our region rather than have any one city cover capital expenses through their property tax base.

 

Tolls or a regional sales tax would also offset the current burden on transit riders to pay for the preponderance of transit costs solely through the fare box. My motion for Toronto and GGH municipalities to enter into negotiations with Metrolinx (the provincially mandated transit planning body for Toronto and the GGH) was recently adopted at Executive Committee and will come to full Council in July. This motion requests the City Manager to work with Metrolinx to explore a variety of regional funding mechanisms with officials from across the GGH to move forward with a regional transit funding plan. Any funding initiative should be done on a regional basis to mitigate unintended consequences including job loss and consumer avoidance. Ultimately, we want the City of Toronto to have a leading seat at the table with its partners as Metrolinx's process moves closer to fruition.

 

Metrolinx has stated that it will deliver a $40 billion transit funding plan to support the Big Move Plan early next year that will include all the municipalities in the GGH. I believe it may be prudent to read this report, and consider a shared and regional system, before Toronto offers to assume a OneCity approach.


I will continue working with Council to create a transit funding model that delivers on the priorities that matter most to residents. Moreover, I submit that while we debate how best to expand our transit system, we must always keep in mind that addressing the current, unacceptable overcrowding on the Yonge subway line during rush hours, and state of good repair, must be our top priority while we introduce more riders to the system. The new transit lines already approved by Council, and supported by Metrolinx, are moving forward including Finch Avenue, Sheppard Avenue and the Eglinton Crosstown. These projects will be paid for by a "one-time" funding allocation from the provincial government.


Your feedback is very important to me and I will continue to keep you informed as this discussion progresses. I am committed to creating an efficient, reliable and accessible rapid transit system that helps reduce gridlock and connects our region, neighbourhoods and residents. The path we take must be both visionary and evidence-based, fully funded and fiscally responsible.

 

Ultimately, I am pleased that we are now debating how exactly we should fund transit expansion- rather than whether there's a need to have a plan at all.

Sincerely,

Josh Matlow
Toronto City Councillor
Ward 22-St.Paul's
www.joshmatlow.ca

Councillor Matlow on a Downtown Relief Subway line and Transit Funding Tools, October 1, 2012

 

Exec committee asks staff to work with Metrolinx and other GTA cities on transit funding

From Openfile.ca

http://www.openfile.ca/toronto/blog/2012/exec-committee-asks-staff-work-metrolinx-and-other-gta-cities-transit-funding

 

Exec committee asks staff to work with Metrolinx and other GTA cities on transit funding

Posted by John Michael McGrath on Wednesday, June 13, 2012

 

For months now, Josh Matlow (Ward 22, St. Paul's) has been pushing for a more intelligent conversation on transit funding. Matlow, to his credit, has been willing to raise road tolls as an idea to fund transit, and yesterday had a motion before Rob Ford's Executive Committee with a request:

City Council request the City Manager 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 bodies to provide input into the preparation of a funding strategy for the Metrolinx regional transit plan.

Metrolinx's "funding strategy" is what we've all been waiting for, as the provincial transit planner figures out how to raise the billions of dollars it needs for future expansion. It also needs to raise that money without simply getting the province to pay for it, since Queen's Park has been trying to keep costs down lately.

 

Matlow's motion passed through Executive Committee yesterday and will presumably be approved by City Council in July. Somewhat surprisingly, the Mayor's team even shot down a motion by Denzil Minnan-Wong (Ward 34, Don Valley East) that would have excluded any sales tax, as well as any road tolls that were not applied regionally, from staff consideration.

 

Since a sales tax is one of the most important tools to funding transit in other cities, it would have been silly to try to start a working group by ruling it out at the very beginning. At the very least it should at least be looked at.

 

Road tolls, however, don't have a lot of political backers, at least when we're talking about adding new ones to existing roads. Minnan-Wong's move may very well be redundant on that count.

 

image via Metrolinx.

   

Shop Local. Shop Eglinton.

Welcome!

 

 

Eglinton Avenue connects Toronto- running east to west through each of the former cities and borough. In Ward 22, it also hosts some of city's best cafes, galleries, restaurants, shops and small businesses of every kind. During the upcoming construction of the Eglinton Crosstown LRT, which will run underground through midtown, it will be more important than ever for our community to support our local businesses and protect the vibrancy of our neighbourhoods' main street.

 

Buying local helps grow other businesses and the local tax base. One recent study shows that locally owned businesses generate a premium in enhanced economic impact. For every $100 spent at a locally owned business, $45 goes right back into the community, compared to only $14 at a chain store.

 

Locally owned businesses are more likely to hire architects, tradesmen, accountants and other ancillary service providers from the neighbourhood as chain stores generally keep those functions in house.

 

Independent stores make a retail strip a community main street. Along with being an important part of our local neighbourhoods, Torontonians come from all across the city to visit the Eglinton Way and Mt. Pleasant BIAs because of unique destinations such as the Mad Bean, Phipps Bakery, The Healthy Butcher and more.

 

While a new Eglinton Avenue rapid transit line will be a remarkable asset to our community and city, to be candid, like any construction project I expect there will be some challenges. While most of the tunnel boring work will not affect at-grade activities, at intersections where the new underground stations will be built, there will be cuts to the street and some temporary lane closures. To simply put it, there will be frustrating periods for all of us during construction.

 

To avoid increased lane closures and traffic disruptions, the TTC property (former bus depot) near the southwest corner of Yonge and Eglinton will be used as an off-street staging ground. After The Crosstown construction is completed, this site will be redeveloped and will include a new public square. In the meantime, I’ve asked the TTC for some aesthetic improvements to the periphery of the site- it’s been left as a derelict eyesore for far too many years.

 

Please be assured that I will be working closely with our community and the Eglinton Way Business Improvement Area in an effort to mitigate adverse construction impacts of the work being underground and at the station locations. There must be a plan to support local businesses and to assist local residents when they need immediate questions answered.

 

I'd like to share with you some information from Metrolinx and the TTC about The Crosstown, to give you a sense of what you can expect.

 

Construction of The Crosstown has already begun and the tunneling from Black Creek Drive to Laird Drive is scheduled to begin this summer. The entire line will run from Jane Street to Kennedy Road, a distance of 25km and include 25 stations and stops, and riders will be able to transfer to the Yonge/University/ Spadina subway at Eglinton and Eglinton West stations and at Kennedy station riders will be able to connect to the Scarborough RT, the Bloor/Danforth subway, and the GO train. The Crosstown is scheduled to be operational in 2020.

 

Detailed information on The Crosstown can be found at the project's website: www.thecrosstown.ca. As well, you can contact Metrolinx, the provincial organization responsible for the project, at 416.874.5900 and the TTC at 416.393.3030, and visit their websites at www.metrolinx.ca and www.ttc.ca.

 

Together, we were successful at ensuring The Crosstown would be built. This line will help connect our city and relieve overcrowding on the current subway line. It is a project, in my opinion, which is frankly a generation overdue.

 

However, now that the project has begun, we must challenge Metrolinx and the TTC to do it well - on time, within budget, and working closely with local residents and businesses and to learn from past mistakes. Let's begin by supporting our local small businesses. Shop Local. Shop Eglinton.

 

Sincerely,

 

Josh

 

Stay tuned as we continue to roll out Councillor Josh Matlow's Shop Local, Shop Eglinton Campaign in Ward 22.

 

Please also visit our partnership websites:


Eglinton-Lawrence MPP Mike Colle Shop Eglinton campaign

 

Eglinton 2020

 

Eglinton 2020 has been formed to bring together the diverse community groups, businesses and people who are concerned about the overall impact of the Eglinton Crosstown LRT on community and commercial life along the Eglinton corridor.

Considering the needs of all people in the surrounding neighbourhoods, we want to advocate strongly to ensure that Eglinton Avenue becomes safe, sustainable, environmentally responsible and business-friendly.


The Crosstown website

 

The Eglinton Way BIA

 

The Mount Pleasant Village BIA

 

 

The Crosstown, Eye on Business: www.thecrosstown.ca/eye-on-business

 

Metrolinx Crosstown website: http://www.metrolinx.com/en/projectsandprograms/transitexpansionprojects/crosstownproject.aspx

   

Let's move forward with a regional transit plan

Dear Residents,

On June 27, TTC Chair Karen Stintz and Councillor Glenn De Baeremaeker released "OneCity" which is proposed to be a $30 billion, 30 year transit plan. The package includes many priorities that I agree with, and have been advocating for including a relief subway line and rapid transit connection to Pearson International Airport (these two lines have in fact already been approved by council as priorities and are part of the Big Move regional transit plan).

I applaud Councillors Stintz and De Baeremaeker for contributing to our important conversation about funding rapid transit expansion. Unlike unrealistic claims of that subways can be built without a capital funding plan, their proposal recognizes that we will have to pay to improve public transportation. However, I do have some significant concerns about the specific funding model my colleagues have suggested to support their forward-thinking plan.

Under their proposed funding mechanism, the Current Value Assessment (CVA) Uplift (a regulatory change that would need provincial approval) would eliminate the cap that ties assessment increases to the rate of inflation. The City would capture a portion of annual property-value increases for a dedicated transit fund which would amount to a gradual tax increase of $180 a year per average household by 2016. This increase would raise $272-million per year after the four-year phase-in. However, this plan would not be equitable throughout Toronto due to varying property assessments.

 

For example, in Ward 22, it is estimated that the average household would pay closer to $400 per year. Moreover, this tax increase does not take into account the regular, annual inflationary property tax increases council typically approves to fund its many other services and priorities such as childcare, housing, parks and libraries.



As you know, given the fact that almost as many people commute from Toronto, as they do going in to our city on a daily basis, I have been advocating for a regional approach to building a transit network. Implementing a regional sales tax, tolls or other tools across the Greater Golden Horseshoe (GGH) would create new, and dependable, revenue streams paid into by everyone in our region rather than have any one city cover capital expenses through their property tax base. The OneCity proposal does not take into account how to cover the large cost of ongoing operating needs.

 

Tolls or a regional sales tax would also offset the current burden on transit riders to pay for the preponderance of transit costs solely through the fare box. My motion for Toronto and GGH municipalities to enter into negotiations with Metrolinx (the provincially mandated transit planning body for Toronto and the GGH) was recently adopted at Executive Committee and will come to full Council in July. This motion requests the City Manager to work with Metrolinx to explore a variety of regional funding mechanisms with officials from across the GGH to move forward with a regional transit funding plan. Any funding initiative should be done on a regional basis to mitigate unintended consequences including job loss and consumer avoidance. Ultimately, we want the City of Toronto to have a leading seat at the table with its partners as Metrolinx's process moves closer to fruition.

Metrolinx has stated that it will deliver a $40 billion transit funding plan to support the Big Move Plan early next year that will include all the municipalities in the GGH. I believe it may be prudent to read this report, and consider a shared and regional system, before Toronto offers to assume a OneCity approach.


I will continue working with Council to create a transit funding model that delivers on the priorities that matter most to residents. Moreover, I submit that while we debate how best to expand our transit system, we must always keep in mind that addressing the current, unacceptable overcrowding on the Yonge subway line during rush hours, and state of good repair, must be our top priority while we introduce more riders to the system. The new transit lines already approved by Council, and supported by Metrolinx, are moving forward including Finch Avenue, Sheppard Avenue and the Eglinton Crosstown. These projects will be paid for by a "one-time" funding allocation from the provincial government.

Your feedback is very important to me and I will continue to keep you informed as this discussion progresses. I am committed to creating an efficient, reliable and accessible rapid transit system that helps reduce gridlock and connects our region, neighbourhoods and residents. The path we take must be both visionary and evidence-based, fully funded and fiscally responsible.

 

Ultimately, I am pleased that we are now debating how exactly we should fund transit expansion- rather than whether there's a need to have a plan at all.

Sincerely,

Josh Matlow
Toronto City Councillor
Ward 22-St.Paul's
www.joshmatlow.ca

   

Let's move forward with a regional transit plan

Dear Residents,

On June 27, TTC Chair Karen Stintz and Councillor Glenn De Baeremaeker released "OneCity" which is proposed to be a $30 billion, 30 year transit plan. The package includes many priorities that I agree with, and have been advocating for including a relief subway line and rapid transit connection to Pearson International Airport (these two lines have in fact already been approved by council as priorities and are part of the Big Move regional transit plan).

I applaud Councillors Stintz and De Baeremaeker for contributing to our important conversation about funding rapid transit expansion. Unlike unrealistic claims of that subways can be built without a capital funding plan, their proposal recognizes that we will have to pay to improve public transportation. However, I do have some significant concerns about the specific funding model my colleagues have suggested to support their forward-thinking plan.

Under their proposed funding mechanism, the Current Value Assessment (CVA) Uplift (a regulatory change that would need provincial approval) would eliminate the cap that ties assessment increases to the rate of inflation. The City would capture a portion of annual property-value increases for a dedicated transit fund which would amount to a gradual tax increase of $180 a year per average household by 2016. This increase would raise $272-million per year after the four-year phase-in. However, this plan would not be equitable throughout Toronto due to varying property assessments.

 

For example, in Ward 22, it is estimated that the average household would pay closer to $400 per year. Moreover, this tax increase does not take into account the regular, annual inflationary property tax increases council typically approves to fund its many other services and priorities such as childcare, housing, parks and libraries.



As you know, given the fact that almost as many people commute from Toronto, as they do going in to our city on a daily basis, I have been advocating for a regional approach to building a transit network. Implementing a regional sales tax, tolls or other tools across the Greater Golden Horseshoe (GGH) would create new, and dependable, revenue streams paid into by everyone in our region rather than have any one city cover capital expenses through their property tax base. The OneCity proposal does not take into account how to cover the large cost of ongoing operating needs.

 

Tolls or a regional sales tax would also offset the current burden on transit riders to pay for the preponderance of transit costs solely through the fare box. My motion for Toronto and GGH municipalities to enter into negotiations with Metrolinx (the provincially mandated transit planning body for Toronto and the GGH) was recently adopted at Executive Committee and will come to full Council in July. This motion requests the City Manager to work with Metrolinx to explore a variety of regional funding mechanisms with officials from across the GGH to move forward with a regional transit funding plan. Any funding initiative should be done on a regional basis to mitigate unintended consequences including job loss and consumer avoidance. Ultimately, we want the City of Toronto to have a leading seat at the table with its partners as Metrolinx's process moves closer to fruition.

Metrolinx has stated that it will deliver a $40 billion transit funding plan to support the Big Move Plan early next year that will include all the municipalities in the GGH. I believe it may be prudent to read this report, and consider a shared and regional system, before Toronto offers to assume a OneCity approach.


I will continue working with Council to create a transit funding model that delivers on the priorities that matter most to residents. Moreover, I submit that while we debate how best to expand our transit system, we must always keep in mind that addressing the current, unacceptable overcrowding on the Yonge subway line during rush hours, and state of good repair, must be our top priority while we introduce more riders to the system. The new transit lines already approved by Council, and supported by Metrolinx, are moving forward including Finch Avenue, Sheppard Avenue and the Eglinton Crosstown. These projects will be paid for by a "one-time" funding allocation from the provincial government.

Your feedback is very important to me and I will continue to keep you informed as this discussion progresses. I am committed to creating an efficient, reliable and accessible rapid transit system that helps reduce gridlock and connects our region, neighbourhoods and residents. The path we take must be both visionary and evidence-based, fully funded and fiscally responsible.

 

Ultimately, I am pleased that we are now debating how exactly we should fund transit expansion- rather than whether there's a need to have a plan at all.

Sincerely,

Josh Matlow
Toronto City Councillor
Ward 22-St.Paul's
www.joshmatlow.ca

   

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