Pembina reacts to Metrolinx investment strategy

May 27, 2013

TORONTOCherise Burda, Ontario policy director at the Pembina Institute, made the following comments today in response to the transit investment strategy announced by Metrolinx for the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area (GTHA):

“Stakeholders across the political spectrum are calling for new sources of revenue to fund transit in the GTHA. It’s no longer a question of ‘if’ we need revenue tools. It’s a question of how political leaders can work together to implement them in a fair and effective way.

“A broad consensus has formed on the options to fund transit expansion. Metrolinx’s investment strategy is in line with recent proposals from the Toronto Region Board of Trade, the Ontario Chamber of Commerce and the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives, as well as the results of polling and public consultations by the City of Toronto.

“We are particularly happy to see that Metrolinx’s proposal includes a mobility tax credit to address income equity, and also a dedicated transportation trust fund to ensure that new revenues go exclusively to the Big Move.

“The reality is that municipalities can’t finance a project on the scale of the Big Move, which requires $2 billion per year, from current revenue sources. Nor can the provincial government, given its current fiscal constraints. Without substantial investment in transit, the congestion in North America’s fourth-largest city will only get worse as the region’s population grows.

“The details of implementing the revenue tools will be a crucial next step. As the Pembina Institute has explained, development charges need to be reformed to ensure that they encourage better urban planning.

“The investment strategy unveiled today by Metrolinx is a balanced and effective way to fund transportation infrastructure and address the crippling gridlock in the GTHA.”



Cherise Burda
Ontario Policy Director

Bernard Rudny
Communications Lead


Chart showing support for revenue options to fund the Big Move

The chart above summarizes declared support by stakeholders for various revenue tools. High-occupancy toll lanes, along with paid parking at transit stations and land value capture, are included as supplementary revenue tools in the Metrolinx investment strategy.

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