Crossposted to Transit Toronto.
At 12:15 p.m., Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty announced an ambitious plan to increase public transportation throughout the Greater Toronto Area. Highlights of this plan include:
• Extending the Yonge subway to Highway 7
• Electrifying the GO Lakeshore line, speeding up service to Hamilton by 15 minutes.
• Boosting capacity on other GO Transit lines, including Highway 407.
• Establish rapid transit lines in Hamilton
• Commit funds to the TTC’s $6 billion Transit City plan.
• Provide 2/3rds of the cost of this construction, absolving cash-strapped cities from their share. The remaining 1/3rd is supposed to come from the federal government.
• Construction on some of these projects to start in 2008 and be in place by 2020.
This is a developing story and details are a little hard to come by. The Globe and Mail is following this news item, as will we.
Commentary: This is clearly an election carrot being offered by the Liberals, but it still represents a much-needed and welcome investment in public transportation in the Greater Toronto Area. It will still be important to pay attention to the details of this new policy, to ensure that construction begins sooner rather than later, and promised funding actually materializes. But I appreciate Dalton McGuinty’s efforts here.
I will be particularly interested in Conservative leader John Tory’s response to this proposal, and to further details being unveiled of the Conservatives’ public transportation plank of its election platform. Things bode well for the Greater Toronto Area’s future if both the top parties in this province acknowledge the need to invest in this area.
photo by Roldolfo Novak