On Tuesday morning, Metrolinx, the provincial transit agency, will announce revenue tools that will be considered to build The Big Move, our regional transit plan. These options have been short-listed from several that were discussed during their region-wide public consultation process. Metrolinx's report on funding mechanisms to support The Big Move is expected to go to Queen's Park in June of this year.
As I reported to you a few weeks ago, Metrolinx has already announced that construction on the Downtown Relief Line (DRL) will be accelerated by 10 years. The DRL is desperately needed to take the pressure off the already over-crowded Yonge line. This is great news for the entire Greater Toronto Hamilton Area (GTHA) and Ward 22 residents who routinely wait 2 or 3 trains in the morning before getting on at Eglinton, Davisville, St. Clair or Summerhill.
For a long time I have been advocating for a regional plan for transit improvement and expansion, including working in collaboration with advocacy groups such as the Greater Toronto Civic Action Alliance and Toronto Region Board of Trade and others. I also successfully affirmed the City of Toronto's support of prioritizing a Downtown Relief Subway Line and an extension of the Eglinton Crosstown to Toronto Pearson International Airport (along with the premium Union-Pearson Express Rail) in the motion Council passed in February, 2012 by ensuring these items' inclusion.
I believe this regional transit approach will better reflect how people truly move across municipal boundaries everyday and, if the entire region is to benefit from better transit, then residents from Toronto and the GTHA should share in the responsibility for paying for it.
After decades of false starts and political gridlock, I believe its finally time our governments take action and build a transit system that will meet the needs of this, and future generations living and working in our growing region.
To read more about the work I've been doing to see this vision through to fruition, please click here.