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Moscoe wants developers to give free TTC passes

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billonlogan

Guest
Moscoe wants developers to give free TTC passes
Proposal affects condos near subways

Feb. 23, 2006. 01:00 AM
LESLIE FERENC
STAFF REPORTER

Condominium developers who build near major transit routes should be giving the buyers free one-year transit passes, TTC chair Howard Moscoe says.

He wants the proposal made part of the city's official plan and made mandatory for developers.

"This is potential revenue for the TTC," Moscoe said, after tabling the notice of motion at the TTC's monthly meeting yesterday.

"More important, it will get people on the TTC."

Moscoe also suggested strict rules governing the size and number of parking spaces needed for their projects could be relaxed for developers who go the extra distance and give purchasers free passes for five or more years. Free transit passes would also be a great marketing tool for developers, he said, adding some already do provide passes for buyers.

The proposal is in line with the city's official plan, which Moscoe said in his written notice of motion "is premised on a healthy, vibrant transit system." The official plan also calls for intensive land use near subway stations.

"Development policies should emphasize and reinforce the city's objectives with respect to public transit," he said.

Under Moscoe's proposal, developers with buildings larger than 25 units and within 500 metres of subway stations would have to give purchasers a free one-year pass as would those in buildings constructed in areas on and near major bus and streetcar lines with more than six units. Each pass would generate about $1,000 a year for the TTC, Moscoe said.

The motion, which was approved by the commission yesterday, is to be studied by TTC and city planning staff who are to report back in June.
 
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billonlogan

Guest
Moscoe also suggested strict rules governing the size and number of parking spaces needed for their projects could be relaxed for developers who go the extra distance and give purchasers free passes for five or more years.
Does'nt this defeat the purpose? We'll let you build more parking spaces if you provide free passes.
Again, like others have posted, run a clean and reliable transit service and people will use it. Forcing people to pile on to overcrowded trains, streetcars and buses will not serve the purpose. I admit, I live 5 mins walking distance to the nearest subway station, but i choose to drive to work cause its more reliable and comfortable. Thats my choice.
 
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interchange42

Guest
Relaxing the rules on the parking spaces means that they would not have to build so many of them: right now developers are being told what the minimum number is that they need to have per unit.

42
 
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ahrvojic

Guest
Again, like others have posted, run a clean and reliable transit service and people will use it. Forcing people to pile on to overcrowded trains, streetcars and buses will not serve the purpose. I admit, I live 5 mins walking distance to the nearest subway station, but i choose to drive to work cause its more reliable and comfortable. Thats my choice.
Ah, but it's classic chicken-and-egg: you can't have a clean and reliable system without enough riders (and funding).

Considering that I take the GO from MCC and then the subway from Union to work every day, I would love to live within 5 min walking distance of a subway station no matter how grimy and crowded it was.
 
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wyliepoon

Guest
I don't like the rule of making residential, or any development, provide a minimum number of parking spots. I know it's in the Planning Act. However, should that rule be relaxed only if the developer provides free passes? I think the developers should be allowed to provide as few parking spots as they want, without any conditions like requiring them to get free passes.

If the TTC is into regulating development to make it more transit-oriented, I suggest that it should go out and develop something, like MTR in Hong Kong. The TTC could partner up with a developer (the same thing MLSE did for Maple Leaf Square) to develop transit-friendly communities. The revenue from sales would be divided up by the developer and TTC.
 
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shmoopie nhi

Guest
I think the developers should be allowed to provide as few parking spots as they want, without any conditions like requiring them to get free passes.
I'm no expert compared to many of the members here, but from what I have read, it is super expensive to create parking spaces, particularly underground spaces. If developers were not required to provide a minimum number of parking spaces, why provide any at all? Developments could go up more cheaply and quickly, as constructing underground parking takes more time than above ground residential units. Lack of parking in a building would encourage some people to give up their cars, especially if they were close to transit, but you will never get 100% transit usage. This would then put the onus of parking on the city, leading to more traffic congestion as more cars are parked on the street. I think the minimum parking requirement, in theory, strikes an ideal balance.

And with the market making it increasingly difficult to purchase an underground parking space in the city for under $20k, there is already an incentive for many to give up their cars. A free pass could provide additional incentive.

I like your suggestion of TTC-partnered development, but being so cash-strapped as it is, this might be quite unfeasible for some time.
 
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Darkstar416

Guest
I think the minimum parking requirement, in theory, strikes an ideal balance.
Agreed, but I think the minimum is probably too high right now.

The free pass idea is a pretty good one. It'll start a bit of a "transit culture" among some of the residents of new buildings which will hopefully last beyond the year.
 
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allabootmatt

Guest
Meh...let the market figure out parking. If people want it, they'll get it.

My own uneducated theory is that w/o parking minimums it would be a lot easier to build smaller buildings--ie not every vacant lot would have to support a 40-story tower to be profitable for a developer.
 
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Darkstar416

Guest
My own uneducated theory is that w/o parking minimums it would be a lot easier to build smaller buildings--ie not every vacant lot would have to support a 40-story tower to be profitable for a developer.
Sounds pretty sound (as far as uneducated theories go). Perhaps it could even help densify our avenues in a more European-way without having to endure all the typical NIMBY hysteria whenever a point tower is proposed.

Recent Bathurst & Lawrence example notwithstanding. :\
 
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green22

Guest
"If developers were not required to provide a minimum number of parking spaces, why provide any at all? "

If parking was left up to the market most new condos would still provide parking however many more would begin to charge for it in order to recoup their investment. Parking requirements have flooded the market with so much parking in most areas that the value of a space is near zero.

The reason why the downtown area is the only place that some condos/businesses can charge for parking is that the parking requirements are lowest in this area. Over 90% of parking spaces in new condos in Toronto are provided free of charge. Parking requirements lower the price of car parking and car owning, but raise the price of aparment renting or condo owning since the costs of parking spaces are carried by all residents regardless of use.

If developers were allowed to charge for parking in other areas it would put pressure on the free and subsidized ons street municipal parking. You already know my suggestions for solving that problem.
 
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shmoopie nhi

Guest
What do you think the market price would be if developers did not have to supply a minimum number of spaces?
 
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blixa442

Guest
Moscoe wants developers to give free TTC passes
How about this (equally) absurd headline instead:

"Condo developers want the TTC to provide free service to condo dwellers".
 
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green22

Guest
What do you think the market price would be if developers did not have to supply a minimum number of spaces?

This amount would be higly variable. Remember that is currently a significant surplus of parking spaces. It would take many years for the surplus of parking spaces to be used up, however on a local scale parking availibility varies tremendously. Parking spaces would generally rise but not until the surplus of parking spaces in the locale decreased. So parking would still be free in many areas, partly subsidized in some and perhaps one day not subsidized at all in others.
Areas such as downtown where parking requirements have traditionally been lower and politicians have been less pro-car than suburban areas would probably be the first ones to see prices rise to raise, next would be the old city of Toronto for similar reasons.

Another variable is the marketing department of the condos. Very unpredictable, many condo companies are owned by suburban tract builders who apply similar standards in Hamilton, Calgary, Vaughan and Toronto etc. The myth that the private market somehow knows what to supply is often just a myth. One builder in downtown Toronto may build more parking spots per unit than another builder would working in Markham.

Still by far the major factor in the oversupply of parking is government minimum regulations, which if eliminated would usher in a whole new paradigm in terms of costs and amount of car parking.
After 10 years of eliminating parking requirements in Toronto you would see noticable results. Those without cars would (in many buildings) end up paying much less towards the costs of building/operating the parking lot, which unlike other amenities often makes up 20% of the total costs. We would probably also be able to infill on land that is undevelopable today if we allowed buildings to be built with little or no parking just as it is in many zones within the 4 boroughs of NYC. (some NYC zones have parking requirements, some don't).
 
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rbtaylor

Guest
How about this (equally) absurd headline instead:

"Condo developers want the TTC to provide free service to condo dwellers".
It's not absurd. If the city allowed a developer to either build a parking space (approx $25k) or buy TTC passes for the unit for 5 years (approx. $5k) they will do whichever is best to keep prices low.

If they can sell a parking space at a profit, they will do so. If they cannot, they'll go for the TTC passes instead.

The car-share programs that some buildings have also allow for a reduction in the parking requirements. This could be seen as an extension of that type of program.
 

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