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Province announces $29 billion transit funding plan

Posted by Derek Flack / April 14, 2014

ontario 29 billion transit fundingPremier Kathleen Wynne made a major promise to fund transit in the Greater Toronto and Hamilton areas today at Queen's Park. As part of a 10 year plan that would involve a $29 billion investment in provincial transportation infrastructure, the GTHA would receive as much as $15 billon of funding for projects like new subways, roads and bridges. That sure sounds promising, but where exactly the full sum of this money will come from has yet to be revealed.

While Wynne did announce that the province would redirect all HST collected on fuel taxes as well as an additional 7.5 cents per dollar of the gas tax to levy the funds required for transit expansion, that still leaves a lot of money to come from other sources. Specifics are promised in the spring budget. What do you think? Is this a promising step towards improving transit infrastructure in and around Toronto?

Discussion

42 Comments

Chester / April 14, 2014 at 01:57 pm
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Ahh the good old transit promise politicians come up with right before an election.
MC / April 14, 2014 at 01:58 pm
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And how many of these dollars will be going towards the DRL that needed to be completed years ago?
piero / April 14, 2014 at 02:11 pm
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Let's see how much of the population who wants transit is willing to pay for it. Infrastructure costs money and transit is not cheap.
GRBY / April 14, 2014 at 02:13 pm
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This is Ontario, so essentially this is a 20 year plan, and that's if you vote Liberal on the next election.

Still better than nothing.
iSkyscraper / April 14, 2014 at 02:40 pm
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Sounds nice, but this is why funding needs to be taken away from politicians. It can't just be a convenient election plank and then go missing when things get tough.

In New York, transit funding is more embedded and can't really be changed by the will of a single politician. From a 2011 report:

"More than a dozen taxes and fees serve as the source of
dedicated revenues to the MTA. Six taxes account for the
majority of dedicated revenues: the payroll mobility tax,
corporate franchise tax surcharge, MTA district sales tax,
petroleum business taxes, and property transfer taxes
(mortgage recording tax and the so-called urban taxes
comprised of separate mortgage recording and transfer
taxes in New York City). In 2010, these taxes together
accounted for an estimated $3.8 billion—86 percent of
dedicated tax and fee revenue, or 35 percent of combined
fare, toll, and dedicated revenues. Several smaller taxes
and fees also contribute to the MTA’s coffers: MTA Aid Trust
Account taxes and fees (such as the charge on taxi rides
and a surcharge on car rentals), motor vehicle fees, motor
fuel taxes, and corporate franchise taxes on transportation
and telephone transmission. In 2010, these taxes totaled
an estimated $620 million—14 percent of the dedicated
taxes and fees and 5.7 percent of combined fare, toll, and
dedicated revenue."

http://www.ibo.nyc.ny.us/iboreports/mtareportaugust2011.pdf

That tangle is much harder for politicians to undo. They still try, and occasionally succeed in raiding a little here or there, but it's not like Ontario where one day the TTC has a fully funded project and the next day it doesn't.

I'd like to see transit funding established in a similar way that the government of the day cannot easily change. How do we get there?
Patrick / April 14, 2014 at 02:48 pm
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Just think of how many gas plants we couldn't get with that!
E. Toby Coke replying to a comment from piero / April 14, 2014 at 02:55 pm
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"Let's see how much of the population who wants transit is willing to pay for it. Infrastructure costs money and transit is not cheap."

The cost of NOT building it is really what needs to be understood. Transit benefits non-riders immensely, just as the 401 has a massive benefit to the moustached hipster who hates cars.

The ability to move around = economic activity.
Matt / April 14, 2014 at 03:00 pm
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I'd like to know what this plan details... does this help with Toronto's transit plan, or just the GO Lines? Is any of this going to build Toronto's Subways, or Mississauga's LRT? If this is all being dedicated towards helping all of Sounthern Ontario's Transit, and not just a Subways line in the big city, then I hope they stick with it. It would be amazing to see 15 Minute Go Trains running on Electricity!!! That's a plan I can get behind!!!
Chris Browne replying to a comment from iSkyscraper / April 14, 2014 at 03:02 pm
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But we have a set of politicians who at least claim to be all about cutting the "Gordian knot" of all that taxation, dividing the population into two sets:

a) The Evil Lefties, that want to tax and spend us into oblivion, and

b) The Good And Responsible Right, that will eliminate taxation.
Leo / April 14, 2014 at 03:03 pm
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To Patrick and everyone else griping about the cost of the cancelled gas plants, E-Health and Ornge: all combined, you still wouldn’t have enough money to even build half of phase 1 of the downtown relief line, nevermind the dozens of other transportation infrastructure projects that we need in the region. Keep things in perspective.
AI / April 14, 2014 at 03:21 pm
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Didn't mcguinty announce $50b over 25 years before the 2007 election? so it's a reannouncement of most of that funding split across the province. why does it take so long to get projects started?
Rob Ford / April 14, 2014 at 03:23 pm
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Give me the money!! I'll put it to good us, I promise, you betcha! I don't have an idea in my head, but the whole city could be high and not care about transit - just like me! Imagine, the whole city IN A DRUNKEN STUPOR AT THE SAME TIME! FORDuriNATION!
cosmosuave / April 14, 2014 at 04:19 pm
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How about a surcharge on all drive thru services in Ontario and use that to help fund the cost...
throwingpoop / April 14, 2014 at 04:38 pm
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This transit promise is so full of crap just like Hudak promises are.
first / April 14, 2014 at 04:50 pm
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I hate to break it to all the left/right wing nuts.

Rob Ford is the one causing this debate. Without him causing this stir Toronto would get ZIP.
He can't get anything else done, but just his presence as mayor and him kicking and screaming we would get the shaft again.

Another note. WTH is the GTHA? It should as it has always been the GTA. Drop this H crap. Or have the liberals teamed up with the Greater Toronto Hotel Association and will pay off cousins, friends et all.
Winnie'sFullOfPooh / April 14, 2014 at 05:43 pm
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LIEBERALS will lie about anything before an election. I really hope that budget gets defeated and we go to the polls and send the LIEBERALS a message by voting as many of them out of office as possible.

vinnipuhh / April 14, 2014 at 05:59 pm
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I totally thought this headline was a delayed April fool's joke!
ecoke4lyfe replying to a comment from Rob Ford / April 14, 2014 at 06:11 pm
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Am I the only one getting sick of reading comments like this wedged into the bottom of literally every blogTO article?
Rob Ford/Hudak the Murder / April 14, 2014 at 06:46 pm
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Liberals=Lieberals! Wynne=Lose! Conservatives=Truth, Justice & The Fordican Way! Hudak the Hitman Gets Rid of Walkertonites & DudleGeorgers! Vote Hudak the Killer & Ford the Drunk!
W. K. Lis / April 14, 2014 at 07:09 pm
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The TTC, and its capital projects, should be HST exempt.
QED replying to a comment from first / April 14, 2014 at 07:36 pm
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I call bullshit.
Electro replying to a comment from Matt / April 15, 2014 at 12:42 am
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'It would be amazing to see 15 Minute Go Trains running on Electricity!!! That's a plan I can get behind!!!'

Do you know how much power electric trains take? They take a lot. And much of that power might have to come from nukes-nukes that Peterson decided we didn't need because he got the 'religion' of wind and solar. Even if we had the power from the sources we have now (and the use of these trains don't drive up everybody's electric bills), we still have to deal with CN and CP over the use of the rail lines and what to do with them; neither company might want electrified rail to happen. So that will be a pipe dream (and please don't tell me about wind and solar powering said electric GO trains, that's a load of horse hockey in itself.) The cost of setting up the overhead lines alone are going to be a lot too, with a likely ton of sales and other kinds of taxes needed as mentioned by iSkyscraper. Bottom line, I'm not convinced we have enough juice to run these things, and the load on the system's going top be mega if we don'rt get a nuclear reactor to back it up.
Alan / April 15, 2014 at 12:58 am
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So your planning on spending money we don't have? This is a pure vote bribe!

As soon as they get in taxes go up. If you can easily take 1 Billion dollars from elsewhere to pay for this, what shortfalls are we expecting in other areas? If your taking some from gas taxes that already exist where is that tax money going to today?

In Ontario we get the government we deserve. We allow this to happen for the past 10 years, criminal behaviour, criminal investigations on our tax dollars????
Simon Tarses replying to a comment from Alan / April 15, 2014 at 01:43 am
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This is NOT a vote bribe, dumbass, but an investment in the city of Toronto and the province, and a long, long overdue one. If you can't stand it, move someplace else.

At least Transit City AND the stupid, over-rated but necessary DRL can now be built as they're supposed to. and hopefully with no interference from the brothers Ford or anybody else.
Glad SOMEONE has a platform / April 15, 2014 at 08:22 am
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Hudak is just sitting there in the corner naked with his thumb in his ass waiting for a grumpy electorate to hand him the election. At least the LIBS and NDP have a platform.

+++

Silly NeoCons, democracies are for PEOPLE!
nice... replying to a comment from E. Toby Coke / April 15, 2014 at 08:23 am
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+1
Walter / April 15, 2014 at 12:39 pm
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For 4 years the Liberals were saying there is no way to re-allocate money and new taxes must be raised. Now they opt for re-allocation of funds. Were they lying before or are they lying now. How much time has this Liberal government wasted without accomplishing anything tangible.
Rob Ford/Hudak the Murder / April 15, 2014 at 01:15 pm
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Walter is correctomundo!;-) I would much rather have the murderous Hudak/Hutton combo running the province. Can we dig Mike Harris up to help? Ummm, is old incompetent 'n murderous Mike still alive?;-)
Dr. Kukko / April 15, 2014 at 01:17 pm
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You just can't beat ignorant, drunk, incompetent conservatives! Murder, Inc. would be proud!
Brawl replying to a comment from Walter / April 15, 2014 at 01:47 pm
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I think we need to understand where the Liberals are taking this money from, if they're spending money we don't have this will create shortfalls elsewhere. Which will mean tax increases in other areas. AND if they are able to take all HST collected on fuel taxes as well as an additional 7.5 cents per dollar of the gas tax WHERE IS THE TAX MONEY GOING TODAY? AND WHY ARE WE PAYING IT IF IT CAN BE EASILY REDIRECTED
Brallzie / April 15, 2014 at 03:51 pm
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"Any investment in getting people moving is a good thing" - Olivia Chow

WRONG OLIVIA we want smart investments not just any investment.
Brawlzinator replying to a comment from Brawl II / April 15, 2014 at 04:00 pm
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Wow considering how the Gas Plant expenses grew to a billion dollars from what the Liberals originally estimated them to be.

We can all expecting this $29 Billion to actually come in at around trillion dollars.
Ravi replying to a comment from Simon Tarses / April 15, 2014 at 04:02 pm
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Yes it is a vote bribe. Bribes are usually done cash money an investment in a project to get your own personal agenda ahead which in this case is getting re-elected.
Brallzie II / April 15, 2014 at 04:33 pm
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But we don't know what a smart investment is and wouldn't know if it hit Rob "Brainless" Ford in his pig face.
Rob Ford / April 15, 2014 at 06:53 pm
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Give me the 29 big ones and I promise FOUR YEARS OF CRACK for EVERY TORONTONIAN! Transit? NO ONE WILL CARE! IF YOU'RE HIGH, YOU DON'T GO NOWHERE!
Pulled straight from the Ford/Harper playbook replying to a comment from Walter / April 15, 2014 at 07:18 pm
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"For 4 years the Liberals were saying there is no way to re-allocate money. Were they lying before or are they lying now. How much time has this Liberal government wasted without accomplishing anything tangible."

God, between the NeoCons do-nothing/retain-power-at-all-costs attitude and Ford's constant circus of inept non-governance, it seems like McGuinty was a leadership GIANT and a fiscal frickin' EINSTEIN and Stephen Hawking COMBINED compared to these two apes.

Just stop and think for a moment to imagine the clusterf*ck that would happen if Hudak somehow managed to defy all odds/polls/sane logic and beat both the LIBS and NDP?? My god, the Earth might as well just open up right now and Satan himself should finally walk the face of our planet rather than Hudak given an opportunity to lead anything more substantial than a leashed puppy. Yes, you may think I'm exaggerating, but the more you think about it, lakes of molten Hellfire would be preferable than having this trio of PC idiots run the show. Canada would be aflame in 6months anyway...why prolong the agony?

Can't wait for Harper and Ford to be turfed. And I couldn't care less who dispatches of them either. As long as it isn't that inept, wishy-washy, no-balls man-child Hudak who weasels into office, we'll be okay.
If the Liberal $29B promise instead comes in at a 1$T... replying to a comment from Brawlzinator / April 15, 2014 at 07:26 pm
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...still a BARGAIN OF THE CENTURY compared to how much the utterly incompetent Hudak gov't would waste. God, he'd mortgage our children given the chance. You only have to look as far as his idol Harper to see how he plans to bankrupt Ontario

say what you will about the outgoing Liberals, at least the difference between the Liberals screwing things up and the CONS screwing things up is at the end of the day there is something built--with the CONS, nothing gets built and yet the money's all gone, with only their fatcat buddies getting rich.

No, I won't be voting for Hudak this spring. Hudak is yesterday's man, the Marois of Ontario or the John Tory of Queens' Park. Face it, this is just one horse that will never win or place, let alone show...so don't waste your vote on this three-time loser.
Wayne / April 15, 2014 at 10:20 pm
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Funny how some are saying its a good deal and a great investment without knowing what the plan is and how it will be spent. Sounds good but let's wait until all the facts are in first. Island Airport is a good investment as well but doesn't mean we all agree on it.
Sarah / April 15, 2014 at 10:24 pm
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Yahhhh the rest of the province will pay for our progress. We hardly have to pay anything those suckers in Sudbury, Peterborough,Orillia etc will be on the hook for our DRL!!!!Awesome news..... I love it I love it I love it!!!!
#FordMoreYears / April 15, 2014 at 10:28 pm
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Join Ford Nation THURSDAY NIGHT for the Rob Ford re-election campaign kick off April 17th, 6:30pm 650 Dixon Road
Robbie will be speaking at 8pm


Show support, show love, Ford more years
08/04/2014 17:07 pm
#FordLessYears / April 16, 2014 at 05:48 am
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Join Ford Nation THURSDAY NIGHT for the Mayor Nightmare jailing campaign at FatFuckFord's future home, The Metro West Detention on Disco Road. The celebration to continue at Warkworth Penitentiary.
Mike Harris / April 16, 2014 at 11:15 am
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Yup, I'm alive - or as alive as I ever was. I enjoyed destroying human society in Ontario and regret being caught killing Dudley George and those people in Walkerton. I do have high hopes that my former Chief of Staff, Timothy Hudak, and my former Chief of Strategy, Tim's wife, Deb Hutton, will carry on and wreak another path of destruction through Ontario. After all, Rob Ford was elected. You CAN fool a plurality of the people most of the time!

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