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Metrolinx releases list of 11 taxes for transit expansion

Posted by Chris Bateman / April 2, 2013

toronto trafficProvincial transit agency Metrolinx has released a list of 11 potential taxes, tolls, and fees it believes are capable of funding the next wave of transportation projects, including the much-needed Downtown Relief Line and other light rail and bus corridors in the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area.

Several of the tools parallel those released in mid-March by the Toronto Region Board of Trade, including a regional gas tax ($330-840M revenue), high-occupancy toll lanes ($25-45M), a dedicated sales tax ($1-1.6B), and parking space charges ($1.2-1.6B).

The other ideas being considered by Metrolinx to reach the $2 billion annual goal include:

EMPLOYER PAYROLL TAX: A 1% tax added to payrolls in the GTHA, similar to EI and Canada Pension Plan deductions, could pull in around $1.4 billion each year. The tax would apply to all employment income without any caps. A 0.5% tax is projected to yield between $810 million and $920 million by 2021. A similar scheme is used in Paris.

DEVELOPMENT CHARGES: This tax would target construction in the GTHA. A $2-3,000 per-unit charge on select new developments has the potential to deliver in the region of $30-55 million by 2021. The tax could also be flexible, with developers paying more for larger building projects. Development charges are currently being used to fund the Spadina line extension.

PROPERTY TAX: Raising property taxes by 5% based on the value of the building or land would be worth about $870 million a year, a hefty amount close to the value attributed to a payroll tax. Vancouver and London, Ontario are using a property tax to fund transit.

PER-KILOMETRE DRIVER TAX: This one's a little different. By charging drivers a fee based on the number of kilometres travelled within a designated area (the downtown cores, for example) the region could score a whopping $1.6 billion each year. The charge would likely be 3-cents per kilometre and would be tracked by GPS transponder in vehicles. This alternative to a fuel tax is Austria and Germany but is limited to highways.

TRANSIT FARE INCREASE: Also likely to be unpopular, a region-wide transit fare increase of 15-cents per ride would be worth about $50 million each year. There's a chance some of this increase could be mitigated by the introduction of PRESTO to the TTC, which currently charges $2.65 for a ride.

HIGHWAY TOLLS: Charging to use the Gardiner, Don Valley Parkway, 401 and other GTHA highways is also a potential goldmine. A 10-cent per kilometre fee, monitored using transponders like on the 407, is estimated to bring in $1.4 billion annually. These charges are used across North America and Europe.

LAND VALUE CAPTURE: This tax, which is light on details, aims to claim back some of the increases in land values brought about by new transit infrastructure. For example, if a plot of land increased in value by having a subway built nearby, the LVC would take some of that money back.

The final recommendations, which will likely be a combination of several of these tools, will be packaged into a report that will be presented to the province in the summer. In the meantime, Metrolinx will continue to hold public consultations to discuss each of these possible charges.

Which do you think are the most viable? Would a combination of a transit fare increase and a per-kilometre vehicle charge be fair to all travelers? Which of these are the most painless or invisible?

Chris Bateman is a staff writer at blogTO. Follow him on Twitter at @chrisbateman.

Image: MrDanMofo/blogTO Flickr pool.



407fu / April 2, 2013 at 12:28 pm

"A 10-cent per kilometre fee, monitored using transponders like on the 427, is estimated to bring in $1.4 billion annually."
You mean 407.

The 407 that f*ckface Mike Harris sold for $3 billion in 2004 - with a NINETY NINE YEAR LEASE.

The 407 that, since 2004, has brought in far, far more than 3.1 billion into the pockets of - not us.

mezimeen / April 2, 2013 at 12:30 pm
Between the employment tax and property tax hike, those two alone amount to a good chunk of money for the average home owner. Add in a road toll and continued transit fare increases, they may as well just ask every home owner Torontonian to cut a check for a couple grand per year. Boo-urns.
Xavier / April 2, 2013 at 12:39 pm
I'd love to see the government implement the PER-KILOMETRE DRIVER TAX. It would cost more than they would ever raise from it. That's not saying it couldn't be done at a reasonable cost, I'm saying there's no way the government could do it
Guy / April 2, 2013 at 12:42 pm
I am all for the 1% payroll tax over a property tax. Make the out of town commuters pay.
VadimM / April 2, 2013 at 12:54 pm
Tax, tax, tax ,tax...on top of 30% or so of the income tax, the HST, property tax, gasoline tax etc. OK - We'll pay for the transit and then, paying 4.00 for a ride (in a couple of years or so), we'll need millions more to maintain it, so even more taxes.
Therefore I would say no to most or all of the above.
How about raising the corporate income tax by 2-3%? How many tens of millions would that bring in? Increase the tax on the OLG perhaps. Then the feds should provide more funding from the taxes that we already contribute.

Don't make it the citizen's problem.
Phil / April 2, 2013 at 12:57 pm
For a start they should charge a high, say $100 or so, toll on Rob, and Doug Ford, and Don Cherry's driveways.
Deric / April 2, 2013 at 01:00 pm
A raise in HST makes the most sense, and second is the per km toll on roads. This would not only make money, but ease congestion by encouraging drivers to take transit.
Tax / April 2, 2013 at 01:07 pm
So sick of taxes, sick of taxes going up and more being placed on us. I will support any candidate that will put an end to this tax grab. I can barely afford all the taxes now.
Mark / April 2, 2013 at 01:08 pm
Increase the fares. No to new taxes.
W. K. Lis / April 2, 2013 at 01:16 pm
Rob Ford would prefer the transit fare increase because they don't use it. What about having the user pay? The roads and expressways (400-series highways are paid by Ontario general revenue, not the Gardiner nor the Don Valley) are paid through Toronto's property taxes, even though non-Toronto residents use it for free.

I would want to see a parking levy. Why should two tons of metal, plastic, and rubber occupy MORE real estate than a typical office cubicle without having the user pay for it.
the lemur replying to a comment from Xavier / April 2, 2013 at 01:17 pm
It's not as though the government would necessarily be the one to implement it, though.
Grumpy / April 2, 2013 at 01:19 pm
Then exactly how, my little blog commentators, do you propose that the money be raised to expand transit, ease congenstion and improve existing roads? You want it, but you don't want to pay for it. Typical.
Ybsibli / April 2, 2013 at 01:20 pm
Upgrade the Gardiner from foot of the Don to Roncesville and privatize it for tolls like the 407. Create a second deck above and completely refurbish and pretty-ify the existing (europe has some nice non-concrete faced raised highways). People would gladly pay $10 per entry if you have one deck going east and one deck going west and the traffic is fast-flowing 24-7 (which it would be if only half use it and capacity is doubled). The 407, by the way, is perfectly run. If it were not privatized we would have half the tolls but constant inferior city-led construction with constant inferior service and utter lack of upgrades as they have been installed in a timely and professional fashion. If you want things done right, privatize it and be expected to pay for it. The high tolls also serve to filter out those people who are not serious about their driving with their poorly kept vehicles and scary-a$s grandma driving style. The 407 is almost always free-flowing, perfectly maintained, low truck numbers, and has one of the lowest 400-series-comparable accident rates in the country. Yay for ruthless infrastructure capitalism.
Steven / April 2, 2013 at 01:21 pm
They are making a transit system FOR THE RIDERS! NOT, I repeat, NOT for the drivers!

Let the RIDERS pay for that and NOBODY else!

Grumpy replying to a comment from Ybsibli / April 2, 2013 at 01:30 pm
I think the only issue with your Gardiner idea would be that developers have started (and already) built condos far, far to close to the existing freeway - which is stupid of them really. It would have been very doable a few years back before they built condos with close up views of commuters in cars.
Craig replying to a comment from Mark / April 2, 2013 at 01:30 pm
Mark, how do you propose incresing the fare on cars? Wouldn't that be a gas tax? Road toll? Congestion fee? Parking fee?

I see that your boss is trumpeting the casino as an option to pay for new transit. I also remember him proclaiming that the privte sector was lined up to extend the Sheppard line at no cost to the taxpayer, so you'll excuse me if I think he's full of BS again.

Garneau / April 2, 2013 at 01:39 pm
I'm all for road tolls. Been to a bunch of cities around the world where they have them, and they work well. Plus if you really do need to get somewhere in a hurry, you can, because the roads aren't choked with drivers.

I also think that whoever is building a condo and can afford to put a vertical subway in it should also proportionately pony up for necessary horizontal elevators to move around the people that are going to live in them.
Daniel / April 2, 2013 at 01:44 pm
A GTA sales tax of 1% is what is needed. Like that the fee is spread across all members of society (not just home owners, car drivers, transit riders, etc).
Keep Out the Freeloaders / April 2, 2013 at 01:51 pm
Why tax those in Toronto who don't need transport to pay for those who drive in from the suburbs to use their resources?

Look at the fees in NYC. You pay to enter the city but not to leave. Tax people everytime they drive in to kill the commuters.

Why should a downtowner who pays more in rent for the flexability of walking to places and avoids cars whenever possible finance the lifestyle of a suburban commuter who causes traffic and abandons the city to pay property taxes elsewhere?
Al / April 2, 2013 at 01:52 pm
Rob Ford has decided that a casino is the answer. At projected city casino revenues of $20 million per year, his $4.2 billion Sheppard extension would take 210 years to build at that rate, asuming construction costs do not rise faster than casino revenue. That's just for one line.
Walter replying to a comment from Steven / April 2, 2013 at 01:53 pm
This comment HAS to be a joke, right?

Was there no consideration that if a MILLION people chose not to take the TTC one day - would there not be a HUGE impact on drivers?

Drivers should be thrilled that public transit exists. It means I stay out of YOUR WAY on the roads.
Nick replying to a comment from Steven / April 2, 2013 at 02:02 pm
@Steve: your comment reminds me of that cartoon of everyone stuck in traffic with a person in his car saying "I wish all these people would take transit". Because, you know, having people on transit actually does make it better for drivers by reducing the number of cars on the road, so it is only fair for everyone to pay.
Nick replying to a comment from Xavier / April 2, 2013 at 02:05 pm
@Xavier, there's a Toronto-based company called Skymeter that would be happy to implement a distance based tax, I'm sure! Plus there'd be added benefits of knowing where an available parking space is, distance-based and potentially safe-driving-based insurance, etc.
McRib replying to a comment from Mark / April 2, 2013 at 02:13 pm
an increase in fares will bring in the smallest amount of revenue. You cannot build a multi-billion dollar subway by just increasing fares.

but then, you knew that didn't you. Try not being an idiot and lets (as citizens) have a proper discussion about how we are going to pay for transit.
McRib / April 2, 2013 at 02:24 pm
Rob Ford just pretended to puke at a press conference when asked about using taxes as a way to fund transit expansion, then claimed building a casino would pay for it.

Nice to see our mayor is ready to have an real discussion about this. classless fuckwit.
j-rock replying to a comment from Steven / April 2, 2013 at 02:30 pm
Idiot. Transit riders pay for roads through their taxes. It's part of living in a society.
Marry Goround / April 2, 2013 at 02:54 pm
Round and round we go. It's a shame nothing will ever happen as long as people in this city ignorantly make enemies of one another instead of working towards a compromise that best fits our collective interests. The longer we go without a grown up discussion, the more animosity we breed.
Genius / April 2, 2013 at 03:25 pm
SUV: $10,000 vehicle registration tax
Sedans: $ X amount
Hybrids: $ Y amount
Small cars: $Z amount
Car-poolers: Varies.

Privacy and comfort should be viewed as luxuries.

Peace, order and good government.

Mark / April 2, 2013 at 03:27 pm
Those who don't drive are the loudest ones advocating increasing gas taxes and adding tolls. I thought I'd give them the reverse. Just increase the transit fares. I'm fine with building new toll lanes so long as the old non-tolled roads are left alone. The 407 doesn't bother me, nor would new toll lanes on the DVP and Gardiner. The 401 is a provincial highway and should remain toll free.
iSkyscraper / April 2, 2013 at 03:40 pm
I can see the uneducated populist Tea Party Ford trolls are out in force asking for fare increases.

To be fair to their wee brains, the report is poorly written in this regard and should not have allowed this option to make the shortlist. It leaves out the context of the TTC already being the most expensive big-city transit system with the highest farebox recovery. Duh. That well is high and dry.

A blend of payroll, sales and fuel taxes is the best bet -- that's how most big cities fund transit.
Craig replying to a comment from Mark / April 2, 2013 at 03:42 pm
Where do you propose we build these new tolled highways into the city? The cost of acquiring the land would negate any financial benefit for a long time. But you knew that.

You're at the defect stage, specifically: look, I'm trying to propose a solution (however impractical) and you shoot it down.

Mark, you need to learn to troll better, Ford pays you enough to do it, he should get his money's worth.
Letusdecide / April 2, 2013 at 04:02 pm
Let the people vote on want they want like L.A. did a while back, that is best way to let the government know how to proceed with the peoples wishes. But i can guarantee anything to do with taxing gas or drivers will be easily shot down. Talking to co-workers and friends today do not support this.

But sales tax seemed to be the least disliked choice though.
Tony / April 2, 2013 at 04:16 pm
They didnt mention all the mis-spending by all levels of govt now did they. All they can come up with is tax tax tax. Punish the people of the provice and city because of mismanagement at all govt levels that has brought us to this crossroad. If you toll all the highways people will just use side streets and make traffic worse. Add a .5% provincial sales tax along with new development fees and your done. Most of the new development is bought by foreign investors who rent it out anyways. Metrolinx should not be making suggestions as to how to fund transit after their Presto disaster.
Grumpy replying to a comment from Tony / April 2, 2013 at 04:36 pm
Then what exactly should we do? We have a gridlock issue, we have a transit issue. It needs to be fixed NOW. So, what do you propose? If you were King of Ontario what would you do?
W. K. Lis replying to a comment from McRib / April 2, 2013 at 04:41 pm
Rob Ford's "vomit" comment just shows how juvenile he is. He should just have a timeout and go to his room (office). Oh wait, he spends a lot of time there! Must be a spending a lot of timeouts in there.
paul / April 2, 2013 at 05:52 pm
Tax tax tax tax tax. The @$/÷ with tax...how about all ontario liberals take a 20% pay cut...how about let em build that casino already....Charge non Toronto residents for using Toronto roads.
Well / April 2, 2013 at 06:22 pm
This isn't just about Toronto this time, this effects all GTA municipalities including Hamilton. They all need transit expansion. So the decision on how to expand transit will have to be decided by the Ontario voter who will be in some form paying for this project.
W. K. Lis / April 2, 2013 at 06:57 pm
The "Transit Fare Increase" is a non-starter. The TTC and GO are ALREADY the LEAST subsidized public transit agencies in North America. ALL the other public transit agencies have better subsidies, even our neighbouring cities.
Jay / April 2, 2013 at 07:24 pm
Not interested in paying any additional taxes until all levels of government get their financial house in order. Harper - claw back tax breaks for corporations or direct a tax at corporations. If there is really $6 billion in lost productivity then corporations should be willing to kick in. Wynne/McGuinty's past - stop wasting billions. $1 billion on eHealth, $1 billion on Ornge, $400 mil on gas plants. That alone covers their share. Ford - leave the land transfer in place and direct it at transit. I'm even willing to bring back the tax on license renewal and direct that at transit.

Politicians are too addicted to new taxes or shifting existing taxes to other groups. CLEAN UP YOUR ACT!! Then I might entertain new taxes. Until then, screw off.
Canterbury Tail replying to a comment from 407fu / April 2, 2013 at 09:08 pm
Actually some of the 407 profits are going indirectly back into your pockets, as the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board, the people who manage your CPP funds, own 40% of it. So it's buoying up the pension you'll eventually get and people are getting today.
Matthew Fabb replying to a comment from Mark / April 2, 2013 at 09:39 pm
The Toronto area has the worst commute of all North America and things are only getting worst. A study a while back by the Toronto Board of Trade showed that congestion in GTA is costing the area $6 billion a year and that it would be up to $15 billion by 2031.

More money *needs* to be put into public transportation to stop this from ballooning out of control. Also public transportation needs to stay affordable.

Yes, taxes and tolls suck, but the end result of doing nothing would be a lot worst. $50 billion is a HUGE amount of money. This bit about various levels of government cleaning up their acts is not likely to bringing in that much money. Look at Rob Ford who thought there was all sorts of gravy in the city of Toronto, but couldn't find hardly any where to cut and resulted in cutting services.

The cost of doing nothing is simply becoming too great.
Herne / April 2, 2013 at 10:23 pm
The developers are driving a lot of the congestion with their multiple shoebox condo projects, they should be taxed to the gills for that because the developers care nothing about infrastructure.

Increasing the fare would be like shooting your horse and then trying to ride it into town.
amy / April 2, 2013 at 10:48 pm
Why can't we spend that $500M for those useless bike lanes? Bike lanes that can't be used for 8 months out of the year because the snow is covered in snow.
tom / April 2, 2013 at 11:06 pm
Get your facts straight, pleaaase. You guys call yourselves "journalists", i thought.

Lets start with Germany:
Road toll in Germany is per km, but so far it's only for trucks (hgv).
Add to this a hefty tax on each litre of fuel, diesel less than petrol. In return, diesel cars get taxed more annualy (depends on exhaust gas class - the better the smalleer the tax) than petrol cars. Trucks pay even more annualy. Federal taxes only.
Road toll for the motorway is to be paid in advance by truckers, and it's controlled by huge automated camera systems - big-brother-style, that check for the license plate at certain positions on the motorway. (that's what they tell us it is for)

Road toll in Austria is time-limited system for cars. You buy a sticker, valid one week, one month or for the year. Controlled by camera (but muuuch smaller, decent systems...) and cops. Trucks depend on no. of axles and exhaust and distance travelled. They have to use a "go-box", that has to be pre-charged beforehand and is read out by some rf-stations at strategic points along the motorway. Some tunnels and motorways charge extra, basically the big traversal routes across the alps. Fuel tends to be a bit cheaper in austria, but not much. Don't know about the annual car taxes.

Can somebody please explain, how the "high-occupancy-lane-tax" shall work? Give an incentive for people riding one person in a full 5-seater, and charge the guys sharing a ride to save space? I don't get the logic!
Terry replying to a comment from Herne / April 2, 2013 at 11:31 pm
One of the reasons why condos are being built downtown is that there is a lack of transit infrastructure getting into the city -- people are living closer to work as a result. Rob Ford wants subways, and is not willing to pay for them -- the rest of us are willing to do our part in the city.
DEP replying to a comment from 407fu / April 3, 2013 at 12:15 am

thats a zinger. good call.

its sad to see what a few selfish politicians can do to a city and effect its millions of citizens.
Jay / April 3, 2013 at 07:51 am
@ Terry - you're partially correct. Ford wants subways but he does have a plan to pay for them. It's his plan funding plan for the project that is flawed.. But I do agree money would be better spent extending the Sheppard subway deep into the east end of the city. And make no mistake. The money could be there.
the lemur replying to a comment from tom / April 3, 2013 at 09:01 am
A GPS-based system for cars was going to be introduced in the Netherlands but has been cancelled/postponed. It would have charged different rates on different roads at different times (depending on congestion) and applied differently to vehicles depending on emissions levels. In exchange for implementing that, taxes on registration, new vehicle sales and fuel would have been phased out/reduced. That might work in the GTHA but it would be complex in terms of municipal and provincial jurisdiction.

A transponder-based system of electronic road pricing is also in effect in Singapore.
D / April 3, 2013 at 09:02 am
Remember, you're not stuck in traffic.. you ARE traffic.
McRib replying to a comment from Jay / April 3, 2013 at 09:39 am
you talk like the billions blown on E-Health and the like are still there to be spent. They aren't, they're gone. Spent money cannot pay for transit expansion. Though yes, i do agree that going forward the government really has to be more careful with how it spends our money, bringing up "boondoggles" from the past really doesn't answer how we are going to pay for transit.

And most of the so-called shoebox condos are being built downtown. Congestion is a GTA-wide issue and is as bad if not worse in the suburbs as it is in the city. The trouble is getting INTO the city, once down here there are a multitude of ways to get around.
Jordan / April 3, 2013 at 09:42 am
Is there no way to direct taxes towards corporations? The whole idea of this is to reduce congestion because of lost corporate revenue. If this is truly the case, then they should be the ones being taxed.
Aaron / April 3, 2013 at 09:51 am
Get over it Jay. Ford was given a chance to find money for the Sheppard subway and he failed miserably. The private sector won't donate a free subway no matter how much Ford begs.
Alex / April 3, 2013 at 10:13 am
I think we have to accept that most drivers will never understand that they are subsidized by the rest of us. So transit fares have to go up simply to get them on board.

Also, we have to accept that the billions lost on the 407, e-Health, etc. are not coming back. We can get upset and blame the government for being incompetent, but until there exists a political party that isn't incompetent for us to vote for we are stuck.

I support pretty well all the measures above. They hit everyone equally. I'd like corporate taxes raised too, but that won't happen unless the NDP get voted in, and since they don't seem to have any plan aside from raise corporate taxes, I don't see that happening any time soon. Metrolinx needs to remind people though that most of these taxes won't be going away, they need to pay for the capital costs and then once those are paid off they'll still be needed to pay for the operating costs.

Despite all these transit projects, realistically condos are what's going to cut our congestion by the most. People living close to work and walking/biking/taking transit is the best way to reduce congestion. Until the suburbs can intensify to the point that they can support more businesses, they're going to be stuck in traffic on the various highways.
Tony replying to a comment from Grumpy / April 3, 2013 at 10:58 am
Hey Grumpy (the name really suits you)instead of shooting down each comment what would you do instead of complaining about everything. Metrolinx is the last organization that should be commenting on how to tax ppl. How about asking the people of Ontario what they would like and how they would like to be swindled out of more money. Also everyone keeps talking about Toronto only. Transit is for all regions and not just for Toronto.
bjws replying to a comment from Steven / April 3, 2013 at 11:46 am
You are an idiot. Just because of this I am going to drive to work every day in the hopes that I can slow your commute down even more. It's idiots like you who are the reason we are in the mess we are in. Guess what, many of us who ride the TTC downtown have/can afford cars, but choose not to drive them because of the issues with congestion. so take your opinion and GFY because when your streets are riddled with pot holes, my guess is you want someone else to pay for that too.
GRAARG / April 3, 2013 at 12:48 pm
Love all this talk about – toll the cars, tax the companies, tax this, toll that. It’s as if taxing/tolling something as opposed to raising income tax makes it not real – ie., tax the companies, they are not people. NEWSFLASH, no government has yet invented a way for money to magically appear. Taxing/tolling anything simply means we pay by a different means. Tax a bank and they will pass on the fees to us consumers.

Let me make this really, really simple. Metrolinx needs $50b. There are ~5.5m people in the GTA. That means “we” (all of us in the GTA) would have to kick in $9,090 per person. And since my house is a house of 5, that means $45,450.

Sure, that’s a 25 year projection but it is still $36,360 for a family of four. Against a backdrop of eHealth, $1b on a power plant fiasco, Ornge, fractured City Hall politics and a minority Provincial Government – anyone who thinks this is coming to light anytime soon needs some new glasses.
WEB / April 3, 2013 at 01:16 pm
I have an expensive home and I drive to work. But, even thought its going to hit my pocketbook hard, I think an increase in property taxes and starting road & highway tolls are the way to go.

By starting tolls, it will discourage people from driving (which will immediately alleviate congestion) and because the funds will be used for better transit, it will encourage more people take transit and thus cause less congestion. I am in favour of increases in property taxes instead of higher TTC fares because significantly higher TTC fares will cause a lot of hardship amongst those earning low incomes.

A Land value capture tax is a very fair way of paying for transit. i.e. if you benefit from it, you pay for it. Myself, I live in a neighbourhood without subway access. If a subway was brought into my neighbourhood, the value of my house would rise substantially. If it rose by $100,000, then I'd have no problem paying a large surcharge on my property tax (say $5,000 per year over 10 years.) In fact, I'd LOVE if this were to happen.
Alex / April 3, 2013 at 01:46 pm
Forgot to mention: How come working from home isn't considered part of the solution? There are tons of jobs where people could easily work from home one day a week. Why not encourage employers to let their employees work from home at least one day a week, though try to set up some system where everyone doesn't just take friday (maybe drawing lots, or rotating who gets to work from home what day each week?). Most employers discourage working from home, despite the fact that is has numerous environmental benefits, it keeps employees happier, saves time, and many offices are set up to allow communication easily without having to be face to face.

This just seems like such an obvious and simple solution that costs nothing, but there is no one advocating for it.
jeff g / April 3, 2013 at 09:48 pm
If they put the TTC fares up I will protest by boycotting the TTC and damaging their property at every opportunity.
sharon replying to a comment from Alex / April 4, 2013 at 12:03 am
"I think we have to accept that most drivers will never understand that they are subsidized by the rest of us. So transit fares have to go up simply to get them on board."

umm... what? Which part of that made sense? How does raising transit fares get anyone on board for anything? Logically, the opposite would happen.

And drivers being subsidized "by the rest of us"? Who is this "rest of us" that you're speaking of? Because I remember very clearly paying taxes on the gas that I buy for my car, and paying a tax every month for my vehicle lease. What I don't remember, is anyone helping me out with that. So once you locate these "rest of us", please let them know that they forgot my vehicle owing subsidy.
Antho replying to a comment from Steven / April 4, 2013 at 10:02 am
Actually they are trying to reduce the number of drivers.Regardless of how you ir-rationalize it. it is cars that cause congestion and pollution. A high price for the city to pay for your personal space, wouldn't you say.
Antho replying to a comment from jeff g / April 4, 2013 at 10:03 am
Nice try.
Todd replying to a comment from GRAARG / April 4, 2013 at 10:27 am
no government has yet invented a way for money to magically appear

I can think of a way to do this. It involves green plant matter.
Alex replying to a comment from sharon / April 5, 2013 at 09:59 am
1) Raising transit fares makes people think that everyone is contributing, even if raising them makes a piddly amount compared to the other funding options. A lot of peoples' response to funding for transit is "make the users pay" so this way at least we can say transit users are paying too. It's not logical, just political.

2) By "the rest of us" I meant people that don't drive on the highway (or sometimes at all) to get to work. Highways and roads are really expensive, but the province pays for them out of general revenue. Municipally roads are paid for with property taxes and gas taxes (actually probably out of general revenue, but those two sources make up a part of it). A lot of drivers think they pay more than it costs to keep up the roads, but they don't, so they're subsidized. I'm using the words that people use when they talk about paying for transit and not using it though. Sorry if I wasn't clear earlier. Even if I never drive in my life, I still need to pay for roads so other people can get to work, goods can be delivered, etc, just because I don't directly use them doesn't mean they don't affect me. It's the same for transit, a lot of drivers act like they exist in a bubble and aren't affected by anything else, and when they see buses and streetcars they don't see a hundred or more people that are in one vehicle instead of 100 vehicles, they just see something in their way. When someone has a mindset like that then they are being subsidized, because they don't realize that they exist in a society where people can benefit from something else they don't use directly.
mike replying to a comment from Deric / April 5, 2013 at 03:52 pm
you morons who think raising taxes for transit will make people want to ride on dirty buses with smelly people are idiots the cost of driving a car is getting so out of hand no one can afford to drive any longer putting hundreds of thousands out of work than where will the taxes come from, people on welfare.
mike replying to a comment from Jay / April 5, 2013 at 04:02 pm
here is a suggestion you ride on the transit you pay, simple tax payers are subsidizing your ride.
E. Toby Coke replying to a comment from mike / April 5, 2013 at 04:42 pm
somebody's into the rye and cokes a little early on friday, I see...
Brian replying to a comment from Jordan / April 6, 2013 at 12:59 pm
Businesses don't pay taxes. Taxpayers do. Taxes are either direct, or indirect. Sadly, taxes always fall to the taxpayer.
Brian replying to a comment from VadimM / April 6, 2013 at 01:05 pm
You do know that businesses don't pay taxes though. Taxpayers pay taxes. Business taxes are indirect taxes, but ultimately get paid by taxpayers via the products and services they get buried into.
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