Pembina Institute’s message to public-transit voters: pick anyone but the Tories
The Pembina Institute, an environmental think tank, has just released one of its periodic reports on public transit in Toronto, and the takeaway is clear. The institute is saying, essentially, that if you care about transit in Toronto, you should vote for anyone you like in the upcoming provincial election, as long as they’re not Tories.
The centrepiece of the report is a graphical grid (excerpted in the image above) that evaluates the three major provincial parties on different aspects of their transit policies. All three parties score well on their willingness to build new public transit in the GTA, but the Tories, according to Pembina’s analysis, fall down when it comes to implementation. The institute calculates that the Progressive Conservative plan to scrap Toronto’s light-rail projects in favour of immediate subway expansion would cost $2.6 billion more than the province’s existing transit plan, while building 124 fewer kilometres of track. The report also finds fault with Hudak’s promise to use existing provincial funding and assets to pay for all those subways, calling it unrealistic.
In fairness, neither of the other two provincial party leaders has endorsed a concrete plan for paying for transit. The Liberal government has produced two reports that recommend different combinations of transit-dedicated taxes, but has so far failed to endorse any particular course of action. The NDP has come out against transit-dedicated taxes, but hasn’t yet proposed a detailed alternative.
With a provincial election expected at some point this spring, it’s entirely possible that public-transit voters will have no attractive options.
Read the full Pembina Institute report right here.
4 thoughts on “Pembina Institute’s message to public-transit voters: pick anyone but the Tories”
The Liberals may not be deserving of re-election, but they are the only party to have a decent plan to address the gridlock issue, while also facing the reality of paying for it. The NDP, while not against the Big Move, is living in a Rob Ford fantasy game of saying we are “getting stuff,” but then not delivering as they have no idea how to fund it. The PC’s are cutting all transit projects in the 905 to fund a few in the 416 and playing the other Rob Ford game of telling people its “subways or bust.”
I think you just need to “bite the bullet” and pay for the extra now and benefit later. We need more underground services. The above ground traffic is not going to get better. Most families have a car for every adult in the household. Space is needed to accommodate the cars. Put as much public transit as possible either above or below ground to make room for the cars, bikes and pedestrians. With a City the size of Toronto more public transit is needed. We are considered one of the worst serviced in the world regarding transit. As our population ages and we are just now seeing the beginnings of the “Baby Boomers” retire, accessibility for public transit will need to be addressed. Elevators and escalators to access either above or below ground services will be a must. Buses and streetcars will need platforms which lower to allow for wheelchairs, scooters, people using canes and walkers and parents using strollers.
The Liberals have screwed a lot up but they are the only party working on ways to pay for this. Tories will cut projects altogether and the NDP has no funding plan that is viable.
Who knows, the NDP could pull off a real miracle here. Women like Andrea Horwath is the reason Men like Alexander Graham Bell invented the telephone.
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