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Improvements To The Streetcar, Subway And Bus Systems In Toronto

Archived Backgrounder

Improvements To The Streetcar, Subway And Bus Systems In Toronto

Office of the Premier

The Governments of Canada, Ontario and the City of Toronto have announced a total contribution of $1.05 billion for improvements and expansion of the Toronto Transit Commission's (TTC) system.

Each level of government will invest $350 million towards this project. All elements of the project announced today are consistent with the City of Toronto's latest Official Plan, which sets out a blueprint for a sustainable growth strategy. The Plan includes possible measures to reduce citizens' use of cars and reduce traffic congestion.

The funding announced today will go towards the following project components:

Modernize Canada's First Subway ($388 million)

  • Purchase of subway cars to increase service for commuters
  • Environmental assessment for subway expansion
  • Station improvements to improve access
  • Undertaking subway infrastructure improvements.

Save the Streetcar ($132 million)

  • Extending the life of Canadian Light Rail Vehicles (CLRV) and track rehabilitation
  • Undertaking streetcar infrastructure improvements.

Integrated bus network ($391 million)

  • Purchasing hybrid or alternatively powered (green) buses
  • Expansion of bus rapid transit on Yonge Street from Finch Station to Steeles Avenue
  • Expansion of bus rapid transit between Spadina Subway Station to York University (Steeles Avenue) to improve service for commuters.

Integrated ticketing system ($140 million)

  • TTC's portion of an integrated ticketing system for the Greater Toronto Area transit systems that will allow travellers to move more seamlessly from one transit system to another.

In support of these investments the City of Toronto and the TTC have committed to implement several supportive transit measures, including:

  1. Starting in 2006, at least 66% of the TTC's bus purchases will be hybrid or alternatively powered (green) buses, subject to a technical review prior to its 2006 bus purchase order.
  2. The City of Toronto, in addition to developing and implementing a five-year transit demand management (TDM) strategy, will implement TDM policies outlined in its November 2002 City Official Plan including:
    • Increasing transit priority throughout the city by giving buses and streetcars priority at signalized intersections and by introducing other priority measures on selected bus and streetcar routes.
    • Improving transit access to the downtown core while discouraging the expansion of automobile commuting.
    • Giving consideration to the development, retention and replacement of commuter parking spaces for sites in areas well serviced by transit.
  3. The TTC, with the support of the City of Toronto, will undertake the following complementary capital projects:
    1. Traffic signal priority expansion project targeted at accelerating the installation of transit signal priority equipment by 50%.
    2. Reserved transit lanes and separate rights-of-way to encourage transit use across TTC's network.

TTC Statistics

  • The TTC carries 1.3 million passengers daily.
  • The TTC carries 80% of transit trips in the Greater Toronto Area and is the hub of the inter-regional transit network.
  • The streetcar is the TTC's most heavily used surface transit mode with 270,000 passengers daily.
  • The TTC's streetcar system provides 11.7 million km of service each year.
  • One subway line in Toronto takes 53,000 automobiles per hour off the road during rush hour.
  • The TTC carries the equivalent of 365 million automotive trips annually, helping to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by more than 8 megatonnes per year.

Sources of Funding

Through the $4-billion Canada Strategic Infrastructure Fund (CSIF), the Government of Canada works with provincial, territorial and municipal governments, as well as with the private sector, to meet strategic infrastructure needs throughout the country. The CSIF supports large-scale strategic infrastructure projects that improve quality of life and further sustainable growth. The Fund also supports the Government of Canada's "New Deal for Communities", through which the government aims to become a world leader in developing vibrant, creative and prosperous cities and communities. Since 1994, the Government of Canada has invested $12 billion to over 20,000 infrastructure projects in Canada's communities. This has helped leverage over $30 billion from all partners.

Federal Infrastructure Funding for the Toronto Area

Since 2000, the Government of Canada has provided over $200 million to 29 Toronto-area infrastructure projects, including an earlier $76 million for the TTC as well as partnership investments in Toronto's cultural infrastructure. In 2003, the Government of Canada announced investments worth $435 million for improvements to the GO Transit network and the York Region Transit Plan, as well as $25 million for the Toronto Opera House. These investments are being made through the Canada Strategic Infrastructure Fund. Toronto-area businesses will also benefit from investments worth over $297.8 million from the Border Infrastructure Fund that will improve cross-border traffic flow and expand the capacity of existing roadways near many southern Ontario border crossings.

Provincial Infrastructure Funding for the Toronto Area

The Government of Ontario has invested more than $126 million to the Toronto Transit Commission for safety and capital improvements since October 2003.

To tackle the growing problem of traffic congestion, the province is investing $142 million in 2003/04 to improve and expand the provincial highway network across Toronto and the GTA.

Ontario is also making important infrastructure investments in Toronto hospitals, universities and colleges, cultural facilities, and courthouses. The province has committed $511 million for projects recently completed or underway to build and modernize Toronto's post-secondary institutions, including major projects at the University of Toronto, York University, and Seneca College. Other investments, such as the government's $20 million support for the Medical and Related Sciences (MaRS) project in downtown Toronto, will assist the city in becoming a centre for innovation and commercialization in the biotechnology sector.

In addition, the province is providing $146 million in financial and equivalent support to the development or expansion of important Toronto cultural, tourism and sports facilities such as Royal Ontario Museum, Art Gallery of Ontario, National Ballet School, Canadian Opera Company, George R. Gardiner Museum of Ceramic Art, Royal Conservatory of Music and Roy Thomson Hall.

As well, Ontario, together with the Government of Canada and the City of Toronto, announced a total investment of $1.5 billion in Toronto's waterfront redevelopment ($500 million each). The provincial government's contribution toward the waterfront initiative in 2003/04 was $13.3 million.


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