EDITORIAL: Creating a transit system that works...
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Jan 17, 2013  |  Vote 0    0

EDITORIAL: Creating a transit system that works for all of us

Etobicoke Guardian

Toronto residents need to continue to make their voices heard when it comes to the transit issues facing not only our city but the entire Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area (GTHA).

The Greater Toronto CivicAction Alliance released an update of its Your 32 campaign this week, and it shows a growing support among GTHA residents to not only improve transit but to also accept some of the responsibility for paying for it.

John Tory, co-chair of CivicAction, said transportation challenges have become the top issue for GTHA residents who deal with one of the longest commute times in North America.

He called it “seven-day-a-week paralysis” that deeply affects families and business in the area.

The Your 32 campaign asked residents what they would do if they had 32 minutes they otherwise would have had to spend on transit. Spending more time with family was one of the main responses.

What really stood out, though, was what Tory called the human cost of our inadequate transportation system.

The campaign was done to show support for the regional transit system improvements being proposed by Metrolinx. The Big Move aims to infuse some $50 billion worth of transit improvements in the GTHA over the next 25 years.

The campaign helped residents realize the real costs of transit congestion and what it would be worth to them to make things better.

We have said before in this space that we in Toronto, and the surrounding regions, will get the transit we are willing to pay for. Yes, provincial and federal governments must shoulder their share of the cost, but residents are also going to have to be willing to accept funding tools such as tax increases dedicated specifically for transit.

To that end, the City of Toronto’s planning department is beginnings its own set of public consultations on transit. Chief Planner Jennifer Keesmaat said the meetings are being driven by the need to provide information to Metrolinx on what Toronto’s transit priorities are.

We urge Toronto residents to participate in these meetings, and play a role in creating a regional transit system that works for all of us.

Exact dates have not been finalized, but once that information is available we will let our readers know when and where these meetings will be.

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