Increased transit funding of $100 million per year would benefit Toronto and Region|
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Long-term commitment to funding needed from federal government
City of Toronto Budget Chair David Shiner emphasized today that increased
funding for transit would ensure a better, more liveable city and a stronger
GTA. A long-term financial commitment to transit based on one third cost
sharing between the City of Toronto, provincial and federal governments is
required now to meet the needs of Torontonians and the additional million
people who come into the city every day.
The current TTC funding needs of $3.8 billion over 10 years is only sufficient
to maintain the condition of the system and replace existing assets, it does
not build any new track or add bus routes. The federal government has yet to
confirm its long-term commitment to fund one third of this basic need.
At the Budget Advisory Committee's initial review of the TTC's budget, Budget
Chair Shiner said, "The federal government needs to join the City and the
province and commit to a long-term funding partnership based on one third cost
sharing of at least an additional $100 million a year, in addition to the
outstanding request for funding of their share of the TTC basic needs."
He added, "The Sheppard subway line is a good example of the return on an
investment in transit. The new subway line cost $930 million to build but has
already generated $2.3 billion in investment in new home, office and retail
construction. In addition, the federal government has received more than $400
million in sales and income taxes from the building of the line; the province
has received more than $300 million."
Toronto's new Official Plan projects the city's population to grow by up to one
million over the next 30 years and highlights expanded public transit as the
basis for accommodating this growth and protecting our environment.
Councillor Betty Disero, Chair of the Toronto Transit Commission (TTC) stated,
"We greatly appreciate the current commitments from the province and the
federal government, but we need to fund expansion to meet the increased need
for public transit." she said. "We look forward to an agreement that ensures
the TTC can grow as the City grows."
Both councillors pointed out that expanding the transit system in Canada's
largest city would also significantly help meet the standards agreed to by the
federal government in the Kyoto protocol.
Building public transit creates jobs and supports the economic goals of the
City while reducing harmful emissions. The recently completed Sheppard subway
line created more than 50,000 person years of employment. If the Spadina line
were extended to York University, it could potentially take 53,000 cars off the
road every hour - the equivalent of the 400, 401 and 403 highways combined.
Long-term predictable funding for transit will keep Toronto an excellent place
to live, conduct business and visit. It's time that the federal government
joined the City in making that commitment.
For more information on the 2003 City Budget, go to the City of Toronto Web
site, http://www.toronto.ca and click on the City Budget link.