New mix of funding sources, phased-in over time, can build the highest
priority transit projects in the GTHA
TORONTO, Dec. 12, 2013 /CNW/ - The Transit Investment Strategy Advisory
Panel today announced its recommendations to the Province on how to
fund transit expansion across the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area
(GTHA). The Panel's report, Making the Move: Choices and Consequences, presents a viable, fair, and accountable strategy to fund the region's
highest priority projects through a mix of new revenue, existing
government revenue, and modest debt, with a dedicated fund and rigorous
accountability to taxpayers.
"Our plan is simple and it works: The recommended revenue tools will
lever a reasonable amount of debt to unlock the billions of dollars
needed. It calls for a fair and balanced contribution from all
stakeholders, without asking too much of any one group," says Anne
Golden, Chair of the Transit Investment Strategy Advisory Panel.
The proposed funding strategy, when fully implemented, will provide for
between $1.7 and $1.8 billion annually for the GTHA. Of this amount,
$400 to $440 million will be distributed for local transit projects
along with a two-year Kick-start Program to fund tangible, immediate
The impact on an average GTHA household from an increase in gasoline tax
would be about $80 in year one, and just $260 per household after eight
years. By comparison, sitting in traffic for an additional 32 minutes
every day - which has been predicted without transit expansion - could
cost a driver over $700 a year.
The Transit Investment Strategy Advisory Panel also recommends that the
Government of Ontario establish a dedicated stand-alone fund where all
new revenue will be held. Projects would be monitored and tracked
against spending, and results would be published to ensure
accountability and transparency to taxpayers.
"We hope that the fact that 13 citizens from across the political
spectrum have unanimously agreed to the recommendations in this report
will give comfort and courage to the Government of Ontario to act,"
says Paul Bedford, Vice-Chair of the Transit Investment Strategy
The Panel's report, along with infographics and a video are available at
About the Transit Investment Strategy Advisory Panel
Ontario's Transit Investment Strategy Advisory Panel was established by
Premier Kathleen Wynne on September 18, 2013 with a mandate to advise
the Province on how to respond to the Metrolinx Investment Strategy and
to engage with the public to determine whether the Metrolinx
recommendations are the right ones. The Panel comprises 13 citizens
with diverse backgrounds who bring relevant expertise and experience
from across the region.
The Panel conducted a comprehensive review and consultation process. It
heard from stakeholders, the public, and business through private and
public meetings, an online survey and through social media
(#TransitPanel). The Panel also studied Metrolinx's proposed Investment
Strategy, as well as best practices in transit globally.
For more information, please visit www.transitpanel.ca.
SOURCE: Transit Investment Strategy Advisory Panel (TISAP)