The Ontario government is asking for public input into Budget 2020. Transport Action Ontario has made the following submission, focussing on the public transportation sector.
- Provide funding to implement the Ontario Northland and Metrolinx study on passenger train and bus renewal in Northern Ontario
- Work with
the federal government to save the Huron Central Railway, ideally under Ontario
funding to initiate firm steps to implement some of the Action in the recently
released draft transportation master plan. Particularly important are
concrete steps on Actions 6 to 8, which deal with improving passenger rail on
existing rail corridors owned by freight rail companies. Work needs to be
initiated with the freight rail companies and with VIA Rail.
the gas tax share directed to urban transit. This had been promised by
the Ford government during the election campaign, but was not kept.
- Initiate a
study to permit Ontario municipalities to use new revenue tools, such as a
piece of the provincial sales tax, a land-transfer tax, or authority for road
tolls, to fund critical infrastructure such as public transit or roads.
- Develop a
program to subsidize transit fare integration in the Greater Toronto and
Hamilton Areas in order to reduce two-fare walls between agencies like TTC-GO
and TTC-York Region Transit.
- Include environmental and climate change considerations when reviewing transportation modal options. Any provincial transportation proposals are then more likely to meet with broader public approval.
- Expand the highly-successful Community Transportation Grant Program and improve regional coordination/planning/oversight and shared service models. See our letter to Jeff Yurek (Minister of Transportation at the time) of February 4, 2019 and re-sent to Minister Mulroney in July.
- Expand the
HOT lane program on Ontario expressways.
Photo: Daniel Vorndran