Minister's Statement on Metrolinx Investment Strategy
Today, Glen Murray, Minister of Transportation and Minister of Infrastructure, released the following statement on the Metrolinx investment strategy:
"The Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area (GTHA) is facing a gridlock crisis that is costing our economy an estimated $6 billion a year and is compromising the quality of life for residents. If not addressed, this problem will continue to grow as our population increases and further burden our economy.
There is much work to do to address this challenge and the new Ontario government is taking action to expand the GTHA transportation system by building roads, expanding the region's public transit network and integrating active transportation systems. Our government will continue to expand the transportation and transit system, beginning with building the next wave of projects identified in the Metrolinx Big Move plan.
I'd like to thank Rob Prichard, Bruce McCuaig and the Metrolinx team for their hard work and diligence in delivering thoughtful proposals for funding public transit expansion in the GTHA. I would also like to recognize and thank the thousands of individual citizens, organizations, transit experts and advocates and other governments for their important contributions to Metrolinx's investment strategy released today, Investing In Our Region, Investing In Our Future.
The provincial government has committed to identify and implement a dedicated revenue stream to pay for this historic transit investment. The recommendations in the Metrolinx investment strategy will be a valuable factor in our government's decision-making process.
We accept the guiding principles of the Metrolinx funding strategy: revenue must be dedicated to specific outcomes; costs and benefits of transit expansion must be fairly distributed; all parts of the GTHA should benefit from transportation infrastructure investments; spending must be transparent; and, projects held to high standards of public accountability.
We agree that transportation expansion must consider growth and land use planning and that the Big Move projects must realize the best value for public investments in infrastructure.
The Ministry of Transportation will evaluate the revenue tools proposed by Metrolinx by conducting a detailed analysis and study additional funding options for transit expansion.
Additionally, our government will establish an advisory panel to help guide our next steps. The panel will help lead an engagement process with the people of Ontario, municipal governments, stakeholders and communities on the recommendations outlined in the Metrolinx investment strategy, including our commitment to the conversion of select High-Occupancy Vehicle (HOV) lanes in the GTHA to High-Occupancy Toll (HOT) lanes as identified in Ontario's 2013 Budget.
The panel and the Ministry of Transportation's work will help guide our government's comprehensive plan to address congestion in the GTHA and will be brought forward to the Legislature."