Friday, July 19, 2013

A Subway Funding and Congestion Solution.

City streets represent the most utilized and fastest commuter transportation mode and account for 75% of Toronto's daily commuters by people, cars, trucks and vans.

Tearing up these streets to put streetcar tracks or LRTs, with or without right-of-ways, and reduce the available road width usage for these daily commuters and commerce purposes are NOT visionary or leadership.

Toronto's previous mayor Miller should have upgraded the City's and TTC's outdated signaling systems and traffic signals before borrowing close to a Billion dollars for new streetcars and subway vehicles in my humble opinion. 

LRT cost forecasting, as witnessed with the ST. Clair line (call it a streetcar or LRT) and the Eglinton LRT already $400 Million over budget and not even a third of they way completed, are continually underestimated in costs while overestimating the demand. 

Reports by non elected technocrats and bureaucrats are slanted in order to produce unrealistic cost figures that favor and constitute technical justification for political public works programs rather than realistic economic or technical criteria. 

Streetcars or LRT's are in NO way the solution to any cities transit requirements across Canada that have populations of over 2.6 million residents. If one wishes to see how engineers, planners and bureaucrats have screwed up pedestrian, cyclists, autos, vans and commerce transit within a city go to Zurich a city of less than 400,000 that is congested with inner city streetcars, LRTS or whatever one wishes to label them.

What Toronto urgently requires is funding from the province and the federal government for construction of a Scarborough subway today not tomorrow, replacing and upgrading the TTC signaling system coupled with the upgrading of all existing four way traffic signals throughout the city, now, and within 3 to 5 years start construction on the DRL and then 2 years later finish the Sheppard subway  connection to Scarborough and Spadina.

Now for the funding to accomplish all this is rather easy if the politicians had the political courage and the best interest of citizens in mind and not their respective unelected political parties.

A transit and infrastructure levy of 2% should immediately be required from all corporations operating and doing business in any province of Canada that has annual gross revenues on excess of $500 million dollars. This would be their mandatory investment for doing business within Canada

This levy would be designated solely for communities that already have an existing subway operation. Like it or not there is just no way Individual taxpayers and property taxes can continue to absorb and bear the brunt for transit and infrastructure costs in Toronto or any Canadian city.

Corporations, banks, unions and organizations like individual taxpayers all have an obligation when it comes to funding costs for transit and infrastructure within our cities.  

Its either a 2% tax levy now or a minimum 10% tax in the very near future for corporations with annual gross revenues that exceed half a billion dollars in my opinion. 


Up Dates:

Nobody knows what it will really cost for subways, streetcars or LRT’s

The United StatesCanada and other leading world economies that want multinational corporations to pay more taxes.


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Thanks for your thoughts, comments and opinions, will be in touch. Peter Clarke