Nov 26

Move the GTHA: Submission to Provincial Transit Investment Strategy Advisory Panel

By Transport Action Ontario | Urban Transit

 

In September, the Ontario government announced the formation of a Transit Investment Strategy Advisory Panel, tasked to review and advise the government on its response to the Metrolinx Investment Strategy, and to potentially consider additional funding options.   The Panel was to report back to government by December, 2013.   The Panel was chaired by Anne Golden, Past President & CEO of The Conference Board of Canada, and Distinguished Visiting Scholar and Special Advisor at Ryerson University.

 

The Move the GTHA collaborative, including Transport Action Ontario, met with the Panel in November, and subsequently made a formal submission to the Panel on November 26, signed by over 30 non government organizations.

 

The text of the submission can be read here:  Move-the-GTHA-Transit-Panel-Submission

 

 

 

Nov 22

Toronto Billy Bishop Airport Expansion – Unanswered Questions for Transport Canada

By Transport Action Ontario | Aviation

 

Transport Action Ontario has reviewed the reports prepared for Porter Airlines by Airbiz and LPS Avia Consulting.  We find that they specifically ask Transport Canada and other agencies to review and make decisions on certain issues relating to the proposed runway expansion.   There are over two dozen places where major outstanding questions were identified.   The outstanding questions are documented in our report: Toronto Island Airport -Questions for TC2013-11-22

 

Transport Action Ontario recommends that the City of Toronto defer approval of the airport expansion until Transport Canada have reviewed these questions, presented their review and answers, allowed sufficient public debate about them and approved the proposed design.

 

Nov 18

Deputation to Toronto Transit Commission regarding Subsidized Transit Pass for Working Poor

By Transport Action Ontario | Press Releases and Open Letters , Urban Transit

 

Transport Action Ontario made a deputation to the Toronto Transit Commission on this topic on November 18, 2013.  It noted that much of the controversy for transit fare increases concerns the affordability for the working poor, and recommends that TTC study an Affordable Transit Pass Program, similar to what is offered by Hamilton Street Railway.

 

The deputation can be viewed here: TAO-TTC Deputation 2013-11-18

 

 

Nov 14

Southwest Economic Alliance – Presentation on Passenger Rail

By Transport Action Ontario | Intercity Rail and Bus

 

The Southwest Economic Alliance (SWEA) is an association of municipalities, businesses and other stakeholders in Southwestern Ontario striving to improve economic activity.  SWEA has recognized that the region is losing its passenger transportation capacity at an alarming rate, including cutbacks in VIA Rail services.  SWEA is launching an advocacy campaign to spur planning and reinvestment in passenger transportation across the region.

 

SWEA held a Passenger Transportation Summit in London, ON on November 14.   Transport Action Ontario presented a paper entitled “Improving Inter-Urban Passenger Rail in Ontario”.

 

The paper can be viewed here: TAO-SWEApresentation 2013-11-14

 

 

Nov 09

Rail-Property Co-Development: Capital Financing for GTHA Transit Infrastructure

By Transport Action Ontario | Major Reports , Urban Transit

 

Decades of underinvestment have left the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area (GTHA) with an inadequate transportation network and one of the longest average commute times in North America – reducing the region’s economic competitiveness, impairing our health and environment, and limiting the amount of time we spend with families and friends.

 

In May, 2013, Metrolinx released its investment strategy “Investing in our Region” that recommended new revenue generation tools to fund GTHA transportation investment.   The Province subsequently formed the Transit Investment Strategy Advisory Panel to support it in the review of, and response to, the recommendations in the Metrolinx strategy.  The Panel is due to complete its work by December 15, 2013.

 

Transport Action Ontario has made a submission to the Panel urging that Rail-Property Co-Development be included as a revenue source in its final recommendations.    This approach essentially partners with the private sector to co-develop provincially and municipally-owned lands near rapid transit stations across the GTHA.   The approach is similar to the business approach of Build Toronto and Waterfront Toronto, and can raise significant capital financing for rail-based transit infrastructure.  It also has the following benefits:

  • anticipated to have little public opposition, as it is not a new tax or fee
  • anticipated to have all-party political support
  • furthers transit-oriented development and quality of urban environment

 

The full submission can be viewed from this link:  TAO-RailPropCoDev

 

 

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