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Ontario Budget Week

rbt

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Ontario budget comes out this coming week (Thursday the 25th). What proposals/studies do you think will be tendered over the summer/fall using spending included in this budget?

Last year we saw the start of work on the Barrie line for 30 minute bidirectional frequencies. It also hinted we should see construction start on Stouffville line work of some kind (Chart 1.9) within 2016/2017 but that feels further off.

The province will want to include some significant piece of construction work. So, what do you think it will be?

Funding the electrification test piece on Lake Shore East seems likely (due complete in 2018/2019 IIRC). Chunk of Niagara? Anything else?
 
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innsertnamehere

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Lots of outside GTA announcements should be expected. Most of that fund is still unallocated. Personally I'm amazed we aren't seeing more already, last year the province had a good month of announcements of funding leading up to budget drop.
 

ottbike

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Rumour is that new taxes or "revenue tools" might be introduced, however that same rumour is floated around every year so I guess we will wait and see.
 

crs1026

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It may be a 'here's how we are aligning with the Federal funding spree handout process so Ontario gets its best share" approach rather than a project list. I would expect them to recite the whole known to-do list as part of this, however they won't get much traction federally with things Ontario has already committed to pay for themselves.

I wonder if they will also redirect funding. One example would be to claw back funds from the Sheppard East extension, which isn't going anywhere any time soon, but iirc still has funding attached to it.

- Paul
 

gweed123

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It may be a 'here's how we are aligning with the Federal funding spree handout process so Ontario gets its best share" approach rather than a project list. I would expect them to recite the whole known to-do list as part of this, however they won't get much traction federally with things Ontario has already committed to pay for themselves.

I wonder if they will also redirect funding. One example would be to claw back funds from the Sheppard East extension, which isn't going anywhere any time soon, but iirc still has funding attached to it.

- Paul

We're probably going to see a boatload of "re-announcements", to make it look like new funding, when in reality it's just rehashing. There may be a few new tidbits sprinkled in there though.
 

mjl08

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I'm anticipating a lot of presents for the 905, considering it's the path to government for the PCs two years from now.
 

nfitz

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I'm anticipating a lot of presents for the 905, considering it's the path to government for the PCs two years from now.
Not sure how it being in the budget means much.

2 years ago, the budget had the DRL and Waterfront East LRT in it. For what that was worth ...
 

crs1026

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Not sure how it being in the budget means much.

2 years ago, the budget had the DRL and Waterfront East LRT in it. For what that was worth ...

It may give an indication of what they think is shovel-ready or ready for immediate commitment.

Anything that's chalked in for the out years is just for the optics. There will be more budgets between now and then.

- Paul
 

kEiThZ

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I have always been surprised by how slowly the Liberals moved on 905 transit. nfitz is right. Putting it in the budget is pointless. I would think, the Liberals would want the Hurontario LRT operational before the next election. Same on most of GO RER. So that they could show it all off at election time. At this rate, all they'll have is Ion and the Confederation Line (not in the GTA) and the UPE. I would have though they'd aim to have at least one line of GO RER done. To at least demonstrate's what is capable.

The problem with spending so much and not having something tangible to show for it, is that the public will just see this government and its spending plans as wasteful.
 

gweed123

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do you anticipate any "transit" funding from federal to GTA this March?

Probably not beyond what's already been announced, unless it's something really regional in scope, like Niagara Region GO service, or helping fund Toronto-London HSR service. They could surprise us though and offer additional funding for what would basically be Phase II of Transit City (Eglinton West, Waterfront, Jane).
 

kEiThZ

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Curious. Can you guys think of projects that could be accelerated with money? Anything that could get to a near completion level before the election?
 

gweed123

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Curious. Can you guys think of projects that could be accelerated with money? Anything that could get to a near completion level before the election?

Mainly service boosts. Niagara GO service, expanded service to Kitchener, etc. Of course, getting construction underway on Phase II of several projects (Confederation Line and Ion immediately come to mind), it could be framed as "we've done Phase I, now we're expanding it even further".

RER may also have something available, even as a showpiece only running from Long Branch/Mimico to Union.

Depending on the scale of the project, BRT on Sheppard could conceivably be implemented, at least the service pattern and a few queue jump lanes. Intersection reconfiguration isn't a huge job by comparison to LRT and subway projects.
 

DKsan

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There are a bunch of cheap, outer lane BRT projects with EAs completely in the Durham Region and Halton that could be funded and complete before the next election.

For example, I've heard about some rumblings from Oakville about the Trafalgar Road BRT and the mayor asking for funding for that.
 

44 North

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Curious. Can you guys think of projects that could be accelerated with money? Anything that could get to a near completion level before the election?

Quick and dirty, but will make a grand entrance as a new project, could be UPX conversion. Paint a new colour scheme on the current trains (say, Liberal red), change in fare/operations (currently being discussed), new name, another ribbon-cutting ceremony and photo-op... Voila, a new project completed before the election and requiring very little effort or capital.
 

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