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New Transit Funding Sources

Northern Light

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In the Star as well.

https://www.thestar.com/news/queens...o-announce-tolls-on-the-dvp-and-gardiner.html

There really isn't much I don't like about this!

If all is announced as suggested:

- Road Tolls are a go
- No fire sale of Hydro or Green P
- One-time capital infusion into Hydro, allowing an increased dividend
- Modest hotel/short-term rental tax.

Looks really solid.

Now.....can he get it through council?

Can he get it through executive?

Questions, questions.
 

salsa

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EXCELLENT NEWS! $300 million a year will be able to fund incredible investments in the TTC. Downtown Relief Line may just one day get built (if the money isn't misappropriated).

Very good to hear. However tolling won't start until 2024? The hotel tax isnt going to fill the gap until then.
 

TheTigerMaster

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This is the best news I've read in a long time. To put this all in perspective, this $2 toll (still nowhere close to a TTC fare) could build the entire Relief Line (from Dundas West to Don Mills), complete Crosstown West and East, SmartTrack and build waterfront transit, if the funds were generated over 30 years with 50% of the cost paid by the other levels of government. This has potential to be absolutely transformative for our city, if this is done properly. If Tory pushes this through, and if he supports the right project, he'll have won my vote come 2018.
 

MetroMan

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I'm guessing that Tory has made all his political calculations on this. How many Toronto voters are drivers vs transit riders or downtown dwellers who don't use either? My guess is that this is going to make a lot of Mississaugans and company angry but they don't get to vote in the Toronto election.

If Tory can show solid progress on the transit file before the election, perhaps he can convince those transit riders and downtown dwellers that suburbanites shouldn't get a free ride and should help us pay for our transit and road construction and in exchange they'll elevate him over the angry Torontonians who take the Gardiner and DVP downtown every day.
 

TheTigerMaster

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I'm guessing that Tory has made all his political calculations on this. How many Toronto voters are drivers vs transit riders or downtown dwellers who don't use either? My guess is that this is going to make a lot of Mississaugans and company angry but they don't get to vote in the Toronto election.

Previous polling had shown that Torontonains were supportive of taxes to pay for big transit projects. Tory's team must certainly have internal polling agreeing with those previous polls.

My $0.02 is that people will be much more supportive of a tax if it pays for big, transformative projects, than being nickel and dimed to pay for little projects, simply because the effects of the former are much more tangible. If this toll pays for transformative projects, such as the 35 km Eglinton Crosstown and the complete Relief Line (Dundas West to Sheppard), then I believe these tolls would receive popular support.
 

MetroMan

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I agree. If anything, we know that Tory is extremely politically calculated. They don't call him a Flip Flopper for nothing. He wouldn't be getting into this without having done the math.

The bottom line is, if you already live in Toronto, you might be taking local roads to get around the city and only using the Gardiner and DVP to get out of it. Far more people come in daily to work downtown than go out.

Tory is counting on daily commuters that make up the majority of traffic on the Gardiner and DVP being outside residents and therefore not eligible to vote against him in 2018.

To the rest, if he can present the case that this revenue is for roads and transit only and can demonstrate what will be built with it and if he has some shovels in the ground before 2018, then I think he might be able to pull this off politically.
 

Tulse

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if he has some shovels in the ground before 2018, then I think he might be able to pull this off politically.
What visible project could actually be "shovel-ready" by 2018? Not the Relief Line, surely. The Crosstown is already under construction, so it would be hard to take credit for that. I suppose the reworking of the eastern end of the Gardiner might be ready? I would think that politically it may make sense for the initial funds to be invested in some sort of road project, to somewhat placate drivers. (Personally I'd prefer all the revenues go to transit projects, but I don't think that would fly.)
 

innsertnamehere

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The report that went to council last september had 35% of DVP/Gardiner users as people who lived out of the city.

And honestly, $2 is very reasonable. $4 a day for commuting.. When you consider what you are paying to operate a car already (generally considered to be around $0.50 per km).. $2 for 15km (downtown to 404) is pretty reasonable.
 

MetroMan

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Very good to hear. However tolling won't start until 2024? The hotel tax isnt going to fill the gap until then.

It doesn't have to. The Scarborough subway is being paid for with a 30 year property tax levy. They're not waiting until 2046 to have the money in the bank to begin building it.

If Council adopts the toll road, then it's in the books. Any future Mayor who'd want to cancel the toll roads would have to find a way to pay for those investments somewhere else.

If Tory gets re-elected in 2018, he can take this far enough that it'll be virtually irreversible by putting shovels in the ground for projects like SmartTrack, the Relief Line and the East Gardiner rebuild that will be paid for by those tolls. His successors won't be able to cut off that revenue source just like Ford was never able to cancel the Land Transfer Tax which accounted for far too much revenue that the city budget had come to rely on.
 
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TheTigerMaster

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Yup. The Relief Line (between Danforth and Downtown) can be under construction around 2018. The engineering work for the entire Relief Line (Dundas West to Sheppard) is fully funded ($200 Million) and those portions the project can likely be shovel ready before the end of Tory's second term. Crosstown West and East can both be under construction before Tory's second term is up. If Tory wins reelection and pushes through with those projects, undoing them will be virtually impossible.
 
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