Metrolinx, an Ontario provincial agency created to coordinate all modes of transportation in the greater Toronto/Hamilton area, recommends creating a trust fund supported by a 1% sales-tax increase, 5-cent-per-liter fuel tax and other new revenue sources to continue investing in over 400 km of new and enhanced transit, along with improvements to roads and highways.
"Congestion is getting worse every day. It's having an increasingly negative impact on both our quality of life and our region's economy," said Robert Prichard, Chair of the Metrolinx Board. "The $16 billion of new transit being built today will deliver real results for commuters, but we cannot stand still. We need to continue to invest in The Big Move and get the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area (GTHA) moving again."
The Big Move's Next Wave of projects will transform the region by building new light rapid transit in Mississauga, Brampton and Hamilton; new bus rapid transit in Halton, Peel, Toronto and Durham; subway expansion with the Relief Line and the Yonge Subway Extension into York Region; major enhancements to GO Transit as well as improvements to municipal transit projects, roads and highways, and active transportation options.
This Investment Strategy is designed to support a set of transit and transportation projects that comprise the Next Wave of The Big Move. The Investment Strategy is made up of four parts, with 24 accompanying recommendations:
- Integrating transportation, growth, and land-use planning
- Maximizing the value of public infrastructure investment
- Optimizing system and network efficiency
- Dedicating new revenue sources for transit and transportation
Based upon the principles of dedication of funding, fairness, equity and accountability, and informed by consultation throughout greater Toronto and Hamilton, Metrolinx is recommending the following investment tools:
- One percentage point increase to the harmonized sales tax
- Regional fuel and gasoline tax of 5 cents per litre
- Business parking levy
- Development charges amendments
- High occupancy toll lanes
- Pay for parking at transit stations
- Land value capture
"Metrolinx is recommending that we have dedicated funds" said Bruce McCuaig, Metrolinx president and CEO. "We are also recommending that these funds be placed into a transportation trust fund to create certainty that The Big Move projects are delivered and to provide the accountability and transparency GTHA residents demand and deserve."
Metrolinx is required by legislation to report to the Ontario Minister of Transportation and heads of municipal council by June 1, 2013 on an investment Strategy in support of The Big Move.
Metrolinx is working to provide residents and businesses in the GTHA with a transportation system that is modern, efficient and integrated. Find out more about The Big Move at www.bigmove.ca.