Premier Wynne’s Transit Investment Strategy Advisory Panel Releases Discussion Paper 1

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On October 21st, 2013, The Transit Investment Strategy Advisory Panel released its first of three short discussion papers. The discussion papers are being used to demonstrate the Panel’s understanding of the issues around transit. The Panel will be covering the need for transit, how to meet those needs, and how pay for that transit.

The first paper entitled “Hard Truths About Transit in the Toronto Region” covers some basic knowledge that has been shelled out numerous times over the past few years. The Toronto region is ranked as the worst performer in Canada for commuting times , we have some of the lowest investments rates for public transit in the developed world, Toronto’s transit infrastructure is already strained and is only going to get worse with the expected growth in the region during the upcoming years.

The Panel then focuses on breaking the public’s misconception about transit by establishing “Six Hard Truths”:
1) Subways are not the only good form of transit. Matching the right transit mode and technology to the proposed route is what matters.
2) Transit does not automatically drive development. Success depends on the right alignment with economic growth and jobs.
3) The cost of building transit is not the main expense. The long term cost of operating and maintaining transit is far higher.
4) Transit users are not the only beneficiaries of new transit infrastructure. Everyone benefits – economically, socially, and environmentally.
5) Transit expansion in the region is not at a standstill. There is $16 billion worth of transit construction now in progress throughout the GTHA.
6) We can’t pay for the transit we need by cutting waste in government alone. The necessary funds cannot be found from savings and efficiencies alone.

It is the Panel’s belief that the decisions being made on the future of transit in the Region is being supported by inaccurate information, and in order to make the smart choices those influencers must be educated to truths behind the ‘transit myths’.

For a complete copy of the paper put out by the Transit Investment Strategy Advisory Panel follow the following LINK.

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