More than 40 per cent of GTHA’s transit plan still unfunded: report
A tunnel-boring machine sits at the site of the Eglinton-Scarborough Crosstown LRT construction project.
Chris Herhalt, CP24.com
Published Tuesday, August 16, 2016 10:18AM EDT
A new report says that more than 40 per cent of the transit projects originally earmarked for Toronto, Hamilton and the GTA between now and 2033 are still not funded.
The report says capital costs for a group of rapid transit projects that includes the Scarborough Subway Extension, Hurontario LRT, Hamilton LRT and the York-Spadina Subway Extension and numerous bus rapid transit ways throughout the region, will amount to $68.1 billion.
Of that, funding has been found for $39.3 billion, the report says.
Committed funding will allow about 519 kilometres of new transit to be built.
Unfunded projects include numerous express bus routes throughout the region and expansions of GO train service, totaling 763 kilometres of new transit.
The report’s authors call for new taxes and fees to cover the transit capital cost gap.
“Numerous expert studies and reports have identified revenue tools that have good potential, including an increase to the HST dedicated for transportation, an increased gas tax dedicated to transportation, a new parking space levy, or broadly-based pricing like is being tested in the USA today.”
The report uses the list of rapid transit projects found in the Big Move, a 2008 document that outlined the transportation needs of the region looking 25 years in the future.
Of the $39.3 billion in committed transit funding, $30.9 billion comes from the province, $6.5 billion comes from the federal government and $1.9 billion comes from area municipalities.
But with all the new transit being built, maintenance costs are sure to climb.
The report says that if all proposed projects were built, the full menu of transit projects in the Big Move would cost an additional $4.6 billion to operate, maintain and refurbish by 2042.
The report was commissioned by Move the GTHA, a group supported by environmental groups, transit advocates and public agencies such as Toronto Public Health and the Toronto Atmospheric Fund.