Let’s get Toronto (and area) transit back on track

I’ve written a few blogs about transit in the Toronto region – both about how it could be so much better and how it won’t be free.
The next two weeks are critical for this how-do-we-pay-for-transit debate as Metrolinx (the GTHA regional transportation authority) is set to make their revenue-tool recommendations to the Ontario government on May 27.

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© Michael Buckley / WWF-Canada

This is a conversation that will certainly result in new taxes, tolls or fees for GTHA residents. While new fees are tough to swallow, hopefully we all agree that the prospect of transit expansion and improvement makes them worth it.
Now is the time to tell our elected officials that we’re prepared to pay for the transit we want.
If you agree, there’s no need to read further. Click here, pledge your support and while you’re at it, tell your councilor, mayor, MPP and MP how you feel.
If, on the other hand, you’re not convinced, here are some examples of how other cities have paid for transit (hint – there are zero examples where funding solely comes from the fare box or where a revenue tool wasn’t needed).
Vancouver revenue tools:

  • Gas Tax (17 cents/litre)
  • Parking tax (21%)
  • Bridge Toll
  • Property tax

Montreal revenue tools:

  • Gas Tax (3 cents/litre)
  • Vehicle registration tax ($30 – $75/year)
  • Property tax

New York revenue tools:

  • Sales tax (0.25%)
  • Corporate tax (17%)
  • Mortgage tax
  • Bridge and tunnel tolls
  • Payroll tax

These cities have already had the tough debates and have determined how they will choose to pay for transit – now it is the Toronto region’s turn. Show your support for the conversation!