The province doesn’t like OneCity (but Torontonians really, really do)

The province doesn’t like OneCity (but Torontonians really, really do)

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Now that OneCity, the mega-proposal that promises transit for all, has been ceremoniously unveiled, it turns out the province won’t get behind the project. When it comes to Toronto’s transit, “the train has left the station and we are proceeding with the plan as it is,” says Minister of Transportation (and transit cliché enthusiast) Bob Chiarelli. The minister says he doesn’t want to reignite the debate over already-approved plans, including the toxic quarrel over transit on Sheppard.

From CBC News:

Chiarelli said that the idea would require legislative changes and that the congested city can’t afford any further delays. …Chiarelli said OneCity will lead to delays from the light rail transit plan passed by Toronto council in March 2012.

“OneCity is not implementable in the near time frame,” he said. “It requires a lot of work, a lot of decisions, a lot of debate.”

But OpenFile points out a couple of other reasons the province may be put off by OneCity: it depends on changes to provincial law (instead of just a city-sanctioned tax raise); it pre-empts the province’s announcement of its transit investment strategy; and the province may not have the cash for anything beyond the Air Rail Link and four LRT lines. Still, Karen Stintz et al. aren’t giving up on OneCity, especially not now that polling suggests 80 per cent of Torontonians are fans of the plan and 47 per cent strongly support it. Consider this the start of a summer of intergovernmental transit bickering.

• Toronto’s OneCity transit plan rejected by province [CBC News]
Bob Chiarelli calls OneCity “unacceptable” (well, that was a fun 48 hours) [Openfile]
80% of residents support Stintz plan: Star poll [Toronto Star]