06/15/2007

The Ontario government announced the launch of “MoveOntario 2020” - a $17.5 billion rapid transit action plan for the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) and Hamilton that will be built over 12 years and financed over 50 years.
Announcement:

“MoveOntario 2020” will build 902 kilometres of new or improved rapid transit, starting in 2008. It is estimated that the initiative will contribute to significant job creation during construction and ultimately deliver 52 rapid transit projects.

Background:

The Ontario Government estimates that the economic cost of congestion in the GTA is around $2.2 billion per year. By 2031, it is predicted that this figure will rise to nearly $4.1 billion if action is not taken now.

According to the government announcement, the rapid transit action plan aims to create a sustainable transportation system that will help reduce congestion by getting people out of their cars and onto transit, and contribute to the environment by reducing carbon dioxide emissions.  

The rapid transit action plan calls for 66 per cent of the projects to be completed by 2015, and 95 per cent to be completed by 2020. It will result in 800 million new transit trips per year, with a view to taking 300 million car trips off GTA roads. If successful, by 2020, this initiative will contribute to a reduction in carbon dioxide emissions in the region by 10 megatonnes.

The Provincial government is contributing up to $11.5 billion and is calling upon the federal government to pay a minimum of 35 per cent of the costs of construction over the life of the projects, for a total of $6 billion. The Province will cover the balance of the capital costs out of existing provincial revenue streams and continue to share operating costs with municipalities through the existing Provincial Gas Tax program. The new capital funding program does not require a municipal capital contribution.

The government will work with the Greater Toronto Transportation Authority (GTTA) to implement the plan. The GTTA will report back to the Province in early 2008 on a detailed plan for moving forward.

Action:

This new funding responds to one key component of Ontario’s municipal infrastructure deficit. AMO continues to advocate for additional provincial infrastructure investment and sustainable funding for roads and bridges, water and wastewater, recreation and other key infrastructure areas.