Projects underscore need for new ways to raise money to improve people's daily lives
TORONTO, Nov. 29, 2012 /CNW/ - Mitzie Hunter, CEO of the Greater Toronto CivicAction Alliance (CivicAction) responds to the speech that Metrolinx President and CEO Bruce McCuaig gave at the Toronto Board of Trade today where he unveiled the next wave of regional transportation projects planned for the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area (GTHA).
"It's great that the regional plan is well underway with $16 billion in dedicated funding for transportation improvements. The next wave of priority projects announced today will get us a long way to the seamless, affordable, accessible system we so urgently need to make it easier for people and goods to move across the entire region. The GTHA aspires to be world class, and our transportation system needs to reflect that.
We applaud the announcement of the master agreement between Metrolinx and the TTC for four new Light Rapid Transit lines in Toronto, and that the next wave of proposed investment extends beyond major rapid transit projects to local transit, roads, active transportation and other strategic transportation initiatives.
But we won't see or benefit from any of these projects if we don't figure out how to raise money that's dedicated to building out and delivering the plan. Everyone needs to be part of the conversation - road and transit users, taxpayers, businesses, students.
With a commute time amongst the worst in North America, our transportation system is not working, and we do not have to accept it the way it is. It can be so much better - on average commuters will save 32 minutes each day if The Big Move regional, multi-modal transportation plan is funded and built in the next 25 years.*
Through CivicAction's 'What would you do with 32?' campaign, residents have a voice in saying how important it is to invest in a better system and what difference a better system will make in their day-to-day lives."
To participate in CivicAction's campaign:
a. Visit www.your32.com and tell us "What would you do with 32?"
b. Share the link with friends
c. Be a local champion - sign up through the site to lead a conversation about this with your own community.
Regional Transportation is a top priority for CivicAction, and was one of the key issues CivicAction focused on leading up to and at the 2011 Greater Toronto Summit, attended by close to 1000 regional leaders. The post-Summit report, Breaking Boundaries, Time to Think and Act Like a Region, called for broadening public awareness of the need to implement The Big Move and galvanizing support for an acceptable mix of sustainable sources to fund its implementation, based on the conclusions of CivicAction's 2010 report Time to Get Serious: Reliable Funding for GTHA Transit and Transportation prepared by IBI Group's Neal Irwin and Andrew Bevan, Executive Director of Sustainable Prosperity at the time of the report.
For information on CivicAction's regional transportation initiative, please visit www.civicaction.ca/regional-transportation
For the past 10 years, the Greater Toronto CivicAction Alliance (CivicAction) has brought together senior and rising leaders from all sectors to tackle some of our region's toughest social, economic, and environmental challenges. Led by a Board of Directors and a 75-leader Steering Committee, CivicAction sets a non-partisan agenda, builds strategic partnerships, and launches campaigns, programs and organizations that drive our region's prosperity. For 2012-2013, CivicAction is acting on three priorities: accelerating regional transportation; enhancing the region's economic performance; and fostering inclusion and resilience.
* 32 represents the number of minutes per day, on average, that you'll save on your commute once The Big Move is fully realized. It is the difference between the average commute time if The Big Move is funded and built over the next 25 years (77 minutes), and the commute time if no comprehensive system is put in place over the same time (109 minutes). That's eight days a year or about two years over the course of your life. Source: Metrolinx.