News   Sep 24, 2021
 852     1 
News   Sep 24, 2021
 1.3K     3 
News   Sep 24, 2021
 1.2K     0 

Transit in the upcoming Federal election

Woodbridge_Heights

Senior Member
Member Bio
Joined
Feb 14, 2008
Messages
2,991
Reaction score
899
So with a Federal election now imminent, what is it you would like your candidates to support/propose transit-wise. Put aside all transit politics currently happening now, simply what is your biggest issue in the national public transit docket that you would like to see addressed.

Personally I feel that the Feds need to finally come, return to the table in terms of public transit funding. Even in the US of A the federal government funds public transit between $50 to $200 on a per capita basis. Imagine $100 per capita in toronto, that equates to $300 million in funding. Considering that the TTC's operational budget it 1.3 million and have a shortfall of about $400 million (based on 2010), $300 million represents a significant portion of the TTC's shortfall.

It's time we as transit enthusiasts told our governments that we are not satisfied with a restricted operational funding model, and that funding major pet projects (network expansion) for the sole purpose of photo ops (though I'm sure that they think they are doing a good job) is not a pro transit point of view. Lets fund transit agencies operations and let them decide when and where to expand the network*

*Obviously a transit agency cannot expand on it's own in a vacuum. There needs to be co-operation between other departments such as city planning, road works, etc.
 

dunkalunk

Senior Member
Member Bio
Joined
Jun 26, 2008
Messages
1,215
Reaction score
61
High Speed Rail and improving the existing VIA and regional networks' frequencies. The study is done.

On the other hand, if someone were to propose any large infratucture spending at this point, especially regional, it might cause them to lose seat in rural areas.
 
Last edited:

allabootmatt

Senior Member
Member Bio
Joined
May 13, 2007
Messages
1,437
Reaction score
170
A national strategic infrastructure fund, administered by professionals rather than politicians, with a brief to do transform intra- and inter-city transportation within, say, 30 years. But I'm an optimist.
 

reaperexpress

Senior Member
Member Bio
Joined
Nov 20, 2009
Messages
2,131
Reaction score
2,087
Location
the original Holland Marsh
As far as the national government goes, I think the best thing would be improvements to mainline and/or high speed rail, as dunkalunk said.
I think there is a good case (both politically and transportation-wise) for implementing frequent intercity service in southwestern Ontario. There are a large number of small/medium sized cities spaced relatively short distances apart: Windsor, Chatham, London, Guelph, Brantford, Hamilton, Burlington, Oakville, Mississauga, Kitchener/Waterloo, Brampton, St Catharines, Niagara Falls... That is exactly the situation in many European countries with excellent regional rail service such as Germany and The Netherlands. The existing rail lines are well-placed to serve the population and London makes an excellent west hub (and is an important electoral riding). What remains to do is simply add more tracks to allow more service. Apart from the fight with the GEXR, it's pretty straightforward, relatively inexpensive (compared to high speed rail or subways). From a political perspective, intercity rail is a good deal because it serves lots of voters in an important area politically. I'm not sure what traffic is like outside of the GTA, but if it's anything like it is here then it will be an election issue as in Toronto's municipal election (not that it got us anywhere helpful).

Transit announcements based on politics will be useless since they will only benefit Thornhill or Brampton because those are the swing ridings. That's why we end up with this ridiculous subway to Vaughan but no subway on Eglinton or the DRL.
 
Last edited:

GraphicMatt

Looking forward to a FRESH START for Toronto
Member Bio
Joined
May 13, 2008
Messages
3,039
Reaction score
5
We're so far behind with municipal infrastructure at this point that we should be demanding a National Transit Strategy and a point of the sales tax directed to cities and towns. Long-term, stable funding for infrastructure.
 

Woodbridge_Heights

Senior Member
Member Bio
Joined
Feb 14, 2008
Messages
2,991
Reaction score
899
That's a good point about increasing intercity rail service. London can serve as a Western Ontario hub, however I really see Hamilton becoming the GTA West hub. The (direct) connections would be easy and/or pre-existing, Niagara, K-W/Guelph, London, Port Dover(?), Mississauga and suddenly Hamilton becomes a significant hub in it's own right. Provided the employment is there of course.
 

yrt+viva=1system

Active Member
Member Bio
Joined
Jan 10, 2011
Messages
396
Reaction score
454
The only problem is that no party or leader has the balls to address transit/transportation head on. Unfortunately, this probably won't change anytime soon. It would be nice if a party would commit to building a high speed train line between London and Montreal but they're always thinking about the next election or planning just for the short term. IMO this is the problem with Canadian governments whether municipal, provincial or federal (sigh if only the politicians here were not so full of philosophical crap but instead a bit more technocratic).
 
Last edited:

jn_12

Senior Member
Member Bio
Joined
Aug 27, 2007
Messages
2,081
Reaction score
1
While not "transit" but more so "transportation", the federal government's gouging at airports (which results in increased costs for both customers and airlines) needs to change. If you want to improve mobility in this country without forking out billions on high speed rail, that's the best place to start.
 

reaperexpress

Senior Member
Member Bio
Joined
Nov 20, 2009
Messages
2,131
Reaction score
2,087
Location
the original Holland Marsh
The only problem is that no party or leader has the balls to address transit/transportation head on. Unfortunately, this probably won't change anytime soon. It would be nice if a party would commit to building a high speed train line between London and Montreal but they're always thinking about the next election or planning just for the short term. IMO this is the problem with Canadian governments whether municipal, provincial or federal (sigh if only the politicians here were not so full of philosophical crap but instead a bit more technocratic).

That's the beauty of regional rail. It's so straightforward that we could have significant progress in the span of one election cycle. Just look at how quickly the last batch of VIA improvements were built.

While not "transit" but more so "transportation", the federal government's gouging at airports (which results in increased costs for both customers and airlines) needs to change. If you want to improve mobility in this country without forking out billions on high speed rail, that's the best place to start.

I find it difficult to believe that the government is "gouging" us on the cost of air travel, when they don't even pass on all of the costs. Air travel is simply an expensive and inefficient way to travel. The price of fuel is going up and so are the capacity issues at major airports in Canada. Rail is emerging as the obvious choice to reduce dependence on a mode of transportation that is becoming increasingly unsustainable as our population grows and the cost of fuel rises.
 
Last edited:

kEiThZ

Superstar
Member Bio
Joined
Jul 31, 2008
Messages
10,364
Reaction score
4,563
I find it difficult to believe that the government is "gouging" us on the cost of air travel, when they don't even pass on all of the costs. Air travel is simply an expensive and inefficient way to travel. The price of fuel is going up and so are the capacity issues at major airports in Canada. Rail is emerging as the obvious choice to reduce dependence on a mode of transportation that is becoming increasingly unsustainable as our population grows and the cost of fuel rises.

No. They are gouging us. Air travel is a revenue generator for the federal government. All their costs are recovered through the fees that are charged. Security costs via CATSA fees. Air navigation expenses via NAVCAN fees. Airport improvement and operations via airport improvement fees and rents from vendors. And after all that, straight revenue to the feds from airport rents...to the tune of billions. The worst of it, is that the rent formula penalizes the biggest airports, so they are particularly painful for the likes of Pearson.

I realize it's fashionable to put down air travel and cast as it as a case of government largesse, so as to build up the case for rail. But this is not the case in Canada. Governments have gone well beyond expense recovery and have effectively put hidden taxes on air travel through airport rents, to generate revenue....none of which is really going towards improving other forms of inter-city travel.

It's time the feds got called out on this policy.
 

kEiThZ

Superstar
Member Bio
Joined
Jul 31, 2008
Messages
10,364
Reaction score
4,563
While I'd like to see a national transit strategy, my gut tells me that this a TMV idea that won't sell all that well in the rest of Canada (largely because the bulk of funds would necessarily be directed to those 3 cities). A better alternative in my opinion would be to get the feds to focus on inter-city travel and simultaneously facilitate regional travel. Imagine how much could be leveraged from an HSR plan for the Quebec-Windsor corridor.
 

GraphicMatt

Looking forward to a FRESH START for Toronto
Member Bio
Joined
May 13, 2008
Messages
3,039
Reaction score
5
The Canadian Federal Government is unique amongst almost all major governments in that it provides very little funding to its major cities. If this doesn't change we're totally going to be screwed economically in coming years -- our infrastructure deficit is going to crush us.

High-speed regional rail is important but I'd like to see a government actually announce a sustainable funding strategy for transportation, infrastructure and operating costs as opposed to flashy announcements of far-off plans to build a rail link from A to B.

The top 35 American cities receive 8% of their annual operating revenue through transfers from the federal government. Toronto and other Canadian cities receive about 2%. This is a problem.
 

jn_12

Senior Member
Member Bio
Joined
Aug 27, 2007
Messages
2,081
Reaction score
1
I find it difficult to believe that the government is "gouging" us on the cost of air travel, when they don't even pass on all of the costs. Air travel is simply an expensive and inefficient way to travel. The price of fuel is going up and so are the capacity issues at major airports in Canada. Rail is emerging as the obvious choice to reduce dependence on a mode of transportation that is becoming increasingly unsustainable as our population grows and the cost of fuel rises.

Really? you find it difficult to believe? The cost to land at Pearson is twice as much as the next most expensive airport in the world (Tokyo). The rent that airports in this country have to pay to the federal government is unheard of in other countries. If you want to promote mobility, the only way to do it in a country of this size is to make it easier for people to fly. The cost of fuel isn't a huge issue as newer planes are being designed to be far more energy efficient. You just have to look at the Q400 as an example. Sure, I agree wholeheartedly that trains are an incredibly important option and a necessity for the future of this country, particular in important corridors, but planes aren't going away any time soon and the current system isn't doing anyone any favours.
 

gweed123

Moderator
Staff member
Member Bio
Joined
Feb 10, 2009
Messages
7,743
Reaction score
1,346
Location
Burlington
High Speed Rail and improving the existing VIA and regional networks' frequencies. The study is done.

On the other hand, if someone were to propose any large infratucture spending at this point, especially regional, it might cause them to lose seat in rural areas.

Definitely the top of my list as well.

Maybe also a permanent funding strategy for transportation in cities, say $X/citizen every year. That way, cities can count on a steady paycheque for transportation improvements based on their census population.
 

Top