Toronto – October 17th, 2013
CAA funded Report “Where the Rubber Meets the Road” is about correcting government policy that has caused gridlock across the GTHA
The Toronto Transit Alliance asserts that the need for dedicated transit funding is a critical step to unlocking the gridlock that is placing a huge but somewhat hidden tax on our people, our communities and our industry. This hidden gridlock tax is estimated to cost between 6 Billion/year (Board of Trade) to $12 Billion/year (CD Howe Institute) in lost productivity.
The report “Where the Rubber Meets the Road” – issued by the Conference Board of Canada and funded by the CAA – covers the somewhat false assumption that road users don’t cover the costs of road infrastructure, and attempts to prove that this assumption is false. While they may be accused of setting up a straw man then knocking it down, there is much more to this report that should be acknowledged.
The report clarifies that the issue of road congestion will not be solved by pointing fingers and asserting claims that one group of people is paying more, or not paying their fair share. What is most impressive in the report is that it affirms the need for dedicated funding to go into dedicated accounts instead of into general revenues at all levels of government. This is a direct affront to the Ministry of Finance at both the Provincial and Federal level. They have historically enjoyed an outrageous level of freedom in how and where they spend our tax dollars, a freedom that has directly impacted the quality of life in communities across the GTHA that are burdened by gridlock.
Another interesting finding in the report is that the Federal Government collects a hefty portion of the fees and costs paid by road users yet provides just a small fraction of that amount back to road and transit infrastructure. The report establishes that the huge imbalance in transfer of funds from the Federal Government to infrastructure and transit is causing a financial gridlock that is at the root of the gridlock impacting the GTHA .
A brave way to point out the flaws of current government policy and the need for dedicated funding to go directly to road and transit infrastructure.