Council Watch - Sign the Pledge for Better Transit

"I agree that the TTC must be kept public, be properly funded by all levels of Government, and that the Transit City Light Rail plan be completed by 2020."

Sign the Pledge:

On Wednesday, April 21st, TEA helped launch the new Public Transit Coalition (PTC). Over 400 transit riders and advocates packed City Hall Council Chambers and signed a pledge to keep the TTC public, to get proper funding from all levels of government and get all of Transit City built by 2020. You can read more about this event, see pictures, and TEA in the news 

TEA became a member of the PTC because a vibrant public transit system is key to cleaning Toronto's air and reducing our greenhouse gas emissions. It's also the "better way" to reduce smog-related deaths. And, we're concerned that public transit has come under attack recently from too may sides, including mayoral candidates.

Today, we are asking you to sign the Public Transit Coalition pledge and to get your friends to sign the pledge as well. Your voice will help us convince public officials to support public transit. 

Transit City: On or Off Track?

On Thursday April 29, 2010 the Province sent a letter to the City of Toronto clarifying the provincial position on Transit City funding. This was in response to mounting public demand for the Province to keep its commitment to fund Transit City.

The good news is that the Province finally confirmed that Transit City funding will proceed. The bad news is that the Province confirmed building the first 4 of 8 Transit City lines will be delayed by at least 4 years, not as some media reported, two years.

For those of you who are confused about who has said what, here is a brief recap:
  • On April 1, 2009, the Province announced $7.2 billion in funding to help build three Transit City Lines, two would be be completed by 2013 and 2015, and the first phase of the Eglinton LRT to be completed by 2016.
  • On May 14, 2009, the Province announced $900 million in funding to help build the Sheppard LRT that was to be completed by 2013.
  • On March 25, 2010, the Province announced it was going to defer $4 billion of the $8 billion for a minimum of 5 years.
  • On April 27, 2010, the Province told the City of Toronto that the Metrolinx board would tell Torontonians on May 19th how the 4 Transit City Lines would be built by 2020.

As of today, the completion date for the first 4 Transit City lines has moved from 2016 to 2020. The Province has delayed $4 billion of an $8 billion commitment by 5 years, until after at least one more election. This delay will have a significant impact on the environment (more smog and greenhouse gas emissions) and will mean Torontonians must wait at least 4 more years to get fast LRT service.

The delay also has a huge impact on the entire Transit City Plan. Instead of discussing where funding will come from for the last 4 lines, politicians are now squabbling about funding for the first four lines. As well, sustainable funding for the TTC is also off the table: there is no discussion of the Province paying its fair share of operating costs for Transit City and the TTC in general.

While it's good news that the Province isn't saying no to Transit City, it's bad news that the Province is delaying a transit plan Toronto needs now.

Please take a few minutes to email and phone your MPP. You can send an email directly through the TTCriders website & find out your MPPs phone number:

Franz Hartmann
Executive Director
Toronto Environmental Alliance