I agree to Idea Properly fund Public Transit
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I disagree to Idea Properly fund Public Transit

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Properly fund Public Transit

Restore government funding to pre-Harris levels, and fund 50% of the operation of public transit in Ontario.

Submitted by Teddy Boragina 10 months ago

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  1. The idea was posted
    10 months ago

Comments (58)

  1. That's the best thing the province can do!

    10 months ago
    4 Agreed
    0 Disagreed
  2. This should be combined with the unified transit system for GTHA idea.

    10 months ago
    4 Agreed
    0 Disagreed
    1. Teddy Boragina Idea Submitter

      I think/hope that some of the other great ideas here would get combined. Imagine a province-wide transit funding system that not only guarantees 50% funding but is funded itself by a share of the sales tax.

      10 months ago
      3 Agreed
      0 Disagreed
  3. Whenever I hear anything related to "revenue tools" or funding, especially for public transit, I keep thinking of how our government has misused the taxes we have given them over the years. How can we trust them to use our money wisely? I know it has to be done to improve the infrastructure, but how do we get around the fact of the gross squandering of the money we have all poured in? No one has given me a satisfactory answer to this, apart from saying "Well, they haven't wasted all of it!" Is that the best we can do?

    10 months ago
    4 Agreed
    6 Disagreed
    1. Teddy Boragina Idea Submitter

      No additional revenue is needed. This would cost the province apx 0.3% of total expenditures to fund, or, about the same as we currently spend on Tourism or Culture (figures from the Taxpayers Federation)

      10 months ago
      3 Agreed
      1 Disagreed
    2. So in a world of complex issues that require resources to solve them, the best we can say is "let's not trust government with any more of our money"? When was the last time any of us managed a multi-billion dollar operation and satisfied everyone's demands for spending efficacy? And I wouldn't trust the taxpayers federation on this. Even if their estimates are correct, they're always looking for government services to cut. Tourism and culture are significant parts of the Ontario economy and contribute to quality of life.

      10 months ago
      3 Agreed
      0 Disagreed
  4. What on earth were the "pre-Harris" levels?

    10 months ago
    1 Agreed
    1 Disagreed
    1. Teddy Boragina Idea Submitter

      Prior to Mike Harris, the provincial government funded 50% of the operation of public transit within Ontario.

      10 months ago
      5 Agreed
      0 Disagreed
  5. Secured and dedicated funding for transit is the key to ensuring that the expansive transit system we need gets built.

    1% sales tax? Toll roads? Parking levies? Development Fees? Payroll tax increase? How do you think it should be paid?

    10 months ago
    2 Agreed
    2 Disagreed
    1. Teddy Boragina Idea Submitter

      It's not Capital costs (building new subway lines) that we need secure funding for, Capital costs are comparatively cheap, it's operation costs that we need secure funding for. A new subway is nice but pointless if we don't have the money to operate it.

      10 months ago
      5 Agreed
      0 Disagreed
    2. Make the people that are causing gridlock pay for fixing it (toll roads, parking levies, gas tax, cordon charge).

      10 months ago
      2 Agreed
      4 Disagreed
    3. Teddy Boragina Idea Submitter

      I'm not a fan of punishing drivers to get them to take transit. That says Transit is bad, and the only way we can get better transit is to make driving worse. I'd prefer to take a positive approach and make transit a more attractive option.

      10 months ago
      8 Agreed
      1 Disagreed
    4. My paying 1% in additional sales tax is not going to get better transit where I live. Two to three times a week I am stranded somewhere in the city unable to get home for hours, because our transit system is so lousy, and the province does not seem to understand that not everybody in the Niagara Region drives. I want to live in a region where I don't to pay half my take home income in transportation costs alone!

      10 months ago
      3 Agreed
      0 Disagreed
    5. Development charges should not be used, as it discourages compact land use (builders are more likely to construct in areas where there is lower development charges for public transit). Similar reason for payroll or sales tax.

      10 months ago
      0 Agreed
      0 Disagreed
    6. NO MORE TAXES. CUT YOUR SPENDING!

      10 months ago
      1 Agreed
      5 Disagreed
    7. I agree that we need an expansive transit system, however I think it should be explored as either: (a) a public-private venture partnership opportunity, (b) find and utilize other cost savings within government to pay for it, or (c) a combination of a+b. I, as a card carrying Liberal, will not tolerate any form of increased taxation or levies to subsidize transit, and I don't think there is an appetite among the broader base of voters for tax increases either. So, there needs to be a balanced approach to funding an expansive transit system, and the government can do that by getting creative with its finances and engaging prospective private sector partners. And let's face it, the private sector contributes to our need for a transit system, so they should be part of the solution too.

      10 months ago
      1 Agreed
      1 Disagreed
  6. I would love to leave my car at home, but not when I'm working so hard that I'd be paying my 905 level insurance rates to simply park it in the driveway.

    This not a provincial issue but I wish, at least the GTA, would offer many more 24/7 transit options.

    10 months ago
    0 Agreed
    0 Disagreed
    1. Teddy Boragina Idea Submitter

      So wait, you oppose this because you pay too much insurance?

      10 months ago
      0 Agreed
      0 Disagreed
    2. They should have better transit OUTSIDE the GTA as well. I would love to move to Toronto, at least I wouldn't be paying more than half my take home income on taxis, etc. because our region doesn't think people need transit here as well.

      10 months ago
      3 Agreed
      0 Disagreed
    3. Teddy Boragina Idea Submitter

      More funding for transit would improve transit all across the province. Starting a new system has VERY high operating costs, this proposal would reduce those costs and thus make it more attractive for small and mid size cities to start and expand transit.

      10 months ago
      4 Agreed
      0 Disagreed
  7. I am conflicted about this issue, as if public transit were less funded than it currently is, there would be greater congestion, resulting in more compact land use. On the other hand, those of lower economic status are more dependent on public transit than the general populace. Changes to zoning, development charges, property taxes and land transfer taxes, to make it more profitable for builders to build upward rather than outward, to reduce the median journey distance I consider to be a more cost-effective means of improving transportation.

    10 months ago
    0 Agreed
    1 Disagreed
    1. It is not just lower income that need public transit. I cannot drive due to medical reasons, but where I live, because I do not drive, it does not matter how many university degrees I have or previous experience, employers in Niagara region do not hire drivers, and assume that non-drivers are either: (a) poor; or (b) unskilled, or both. I am neither. If I was able to get a license, I would get a car, no matter what other sacrifices I have to make, because where I live, having your own car = citizenship. That has to stop. Put more money into transit, and less into automobile infrastructure.

      10 months ago
      1 Agreed
      0 Disagreed
    2. No one is forcing one to reside in places with insufficient services. Moving to a jurisdiction which has sufficient services will shift (however small) one's vote to yield a preferable outcome.

      10 months ago
      0 Agreed
      1 Disagreed
    3. dhandelman you going to pay their moving costs? It costs money to move, especially from a smaller town to a big city.

      10 months ago
      1 Agreed
      0 Disagreed
  8. I definitely agree with properly funding public transit. Before we get to this step however, we must address the efficacy of transit. We do this by conducting independent public review to provide thorough analyses of the demographic needs of transit riders. First we must determine what aspects of the current system need improving. Where does transit fail to meet the needs of everyday transit riders? What can we do better right now to improve the current system? We need a plan to properly utilize existing funds and once that is achieved discuss additional funding.

    10 months ago
    0 Agreed
    1 Disagreed
    1. Anyone can do a study with a terms of reference which ensures one's desired results. So, it is not possible to have an independent review. If the private sector is unwilling to own and operate public transit without a public subsidy, wouldn't that suggest the supply currently exceeds the demand?

      10 months ago
      0 Agreed
      2 Disagreed
    2. The cost of automobile infrastructure per driver costs $5 of tax money for every $1 spent to subsidize transit users. None of this makes money. Paying for auto infrastructure is largely taxpayer funded. No private company would want to own and finance the roads, the parking, the infrastructure, and so forth to keep drivers on the road, so that's why taxpayers have to cover these costs. The same with transit.

      10 months ago
      0 Agreed
      1 Disagreed
    3. Prior to extensive government intervention in land use, through zoning, development charges and property taxes, there were privately owned and operated streetcars.

      10 months ago
      0 Agreed
      1 Disagreed
  9. I agree that we need an expansive transit system, however I think it should be explored as either: (a) a public-private venture partnership opportunity, (b) find and utilize other cost savings within government to pay for it, or (c) a combination of a+b. I, as a card carrying Liberal, will not tolerate any form of increased taxation or levies to subsidize transit, and I don't think there is an appetite among the broader base of voters for tax increases either. So, there needs to be a balanced approach to funding an expansive transit system, and the government can do that by getting creative with its finances and engaging prospective private sector partners. And let's face it, the private sector contributes to our need for a transit system, so they should be part of the solution too.

    10 months ago
    0 Agreed
    2 Disagreed
    1. Teddy Boragina Idea Submitter

      York and Durham regions have private transit, and neither does much better than comparable Brampton or Mississauga.

      10 months ago
      1 Agreed
      0 Disagreed
    2. Do you acknowledge that making automobile travel more costly or less convenient will result in a shift toward public transit or active transportation usage?

      10 months ago
      1 Agreed
      1 Disagreed
    3. I agree dhandelman1, if drivers paid the full cost of their automobile usage and their share of the infrastructure via user fees and such, most would not be able to afford to drive. But they should cover MORE of these costs than they currently do, to shift demand and convenience towards public transit options.

      10 months ago
      0 Agreed
      3 Disagreed
  10. I believe 25% of the proposed transit tax is supposed to go to municipalities for them to use on smaller capital projects (such as buying new buses). This is traditionally bourne by the municipality and this is an improvement, but I completely agree that the Province needs to subsidize transit more.

    10 months ago
    1 Agreed
    0 Disagreed
  11. We need our government to stand behind the Metrolinx plan that was agreed to and funded. Jumping around switching back and forth from train to subway is a pile of manure stinking up the province. Our government should have shown some true leadership and backbone and stated the funding would go to the LRT or it would be pulled.

    We claim to have learned the lessons from the Power Plant closures, but we haven't. $85M is being wasted because we decided to put a subway in after starting work for an LRT.

    10 months ago
    1 Agreed
    0 Disagreed
  12. Teddy Boragina Idea Submitter

    Very happy to see this is still the #1 transit proposal.

    Almost every other proposal out there is a capital project. A new subway does nothing if you can't afford to pay the drivers.

    We need solid and stable operation funding for public transit in this province, even if 50% can't be done, and it has to be 33% or 25%, we need it, and we need it yesterday.

    10 months ago
    2 Agreed
    0 Disagreed
    1. I frankly think this whole subway proposal is a way for Rob Ford to delay, obfuscate and reduce access to transit, and get transit out of the way of his car. I personally don't see a subway being built, and I believe Ford knows this, which is why he obfuscated away from the existing plan that was already signed off and funded.

      10 months ago
      1 Agreed
      0 Disagreed
  13. Dee

    Public Transit is not different than Roads. All Rail Transit should be under Provincial Jurisdiction. Then the Provincial Government should start expanding infrastructure, subways, go transit, to get Ontario moving. Our productivity will go up when we are not spending 3 hours commuting. Probably we will start eating better, spending more time with our family, exercising. After 11 hours on the Job nobody has any gas left in the tank to do anything but survive.

    10 months ago
    2 Agreed
    0 Disagreed
  14. OK - so you expect all the people who don't use public transport, have no access to it and don't need it to pay for it?

    If you live in a city and you want to use public transit please go ahead. Don't make the rest of us pay.

    A subsidy to one person is a tax on everyone else. Remember that.

    This should be a municipal issue.

    10 months ago
    1 Agreed
    3 Disagreed
    1. Actually that seems to be the sentiment of some Toronto commuters, but I don't think its what the government's suggesting. One of the problems is that transit in the GTA isn't a municipal issue and can't be. Most people commute into the core but live where they don't pay property taxes to the city of Toronto. That's why there's provincial involvement. It's also the commuters themselves that complain about the congestion. I don't think anyone in government is suggesting that North Bay fund TTC expansion.

      10 months ago
      1 Agreed
      0 Disagreed
  15. "OK - so you expect all the people who don't use public transport, have no access to it and don't need it to pay for it?

    If you live in a city and you want to use public transit please go ahead. Don't make the rest of us pay.

    A subsidy to one person is a tax on everyone else. Remember that.

    This should be a municipal issue."

    I don't drive, and yet my taxes pay for the roads you use. I don't use the healthcare system at all, and yet my taxes go towards paying for people who do use it. Your argument is flawed in that you fail to realize citizens have a collective duty towards each other. Your taxes help other people's needs, and their taxes help pay for some of your needs.

    And I might add the the economic health of the GTA is central to the economic health of the province right now. If we continue to neglect the needs of the region, we pay a bigger price later, as a province.

    10 months ago
    4 Agreed
    1 Disagreed
    1. Even if you ride a bike and take the TTC you're completely and utterly dependent on roads. Metropolitan cities can't last more than a couple of days without the perishable stuffs that come in from outside. Even if there were no cars in the province, you'd still need the roads and highways that connect the GTA with Ontario's farming regions. Roads are not optional, even if you have a bicycle.

      10 months ago
      2 Agreed
      0 Disagreed
    2. We are all in this together!

      8 months ago
      0 Agreed
      0 Disagreed
  16. Our local transit needs improving. Bus service only runs until 6:45 PM! Evening college classes run from 7 to 9 PM and many work until after 10 PM. Taxis cost $30+ to get to college and that's ONE WAY! We need inter city bus services too.

    10 months ago
    1 Agreed
    0 Disagreed
    1. That's sort of how it is where I live in Niagara; though our buses run to 11 pm, shift workers cannot get home without taxis, and many places where people work are not even served by transit. Our land use policies encourage employers to move to the boonies, where non-drivers cannot access. Most community events are not accessible to non-drivers either, even though many of them are publicly funded. Many people spend more on transportation in this region than they do on housing, and housing is not cheap as some people might think it is here. After all property taxes, utilities, etc. are taken into account, we are not that much cheaper than Toronto. If you don't drive, many spend $3 - $4 per km of travel just to be mobile.

      10 months ago
      1 Agreed
      0 Disagreed
  17. sd

    I think it would be fair to make people who use public transit pay for it, not asking Province to fund it. A lot of people can't use public transit to go where they need to go and nobody pays them for cars, insurance and gas.

    10 months ago
    0 Agreed
    5 Disagreed
    1. Disagree. The government should pay for transit not because people want it but because it is better for our future. Subsidize the things you want to see people use. The people who don't have access to convenient transit should demand better service. Most importantly, drivers (like me) ARE subsidized heavily by the government: roads, traffic safety, etc.

      10 months ago
      2 Agreed
      0 Disagreed
    2. Nobody pays for my taxi fares, car service (that is needed to travel out of town), bus fares (when there are buses), etc. either. And I pay about 5 times per km of travel than you do, despite your expenses. I also pay taxes to pave the roads, pay the retail costs of food, clothing and other items that have been transported (which includes the cost of transporting in their cost analysis), as well as the cost built in most products and services provided by businesses in a plaza or mall where "free" parking is provided. SOMEBODY pays for this parking.

      10 months ago
      0 Agreed
      0 Disagreed
  18. As long as this public transit money is not spent only in large centers (and that is very tempting), then it's o.k..Spreading money allocated for public transit to areas in the periphery of large centers where there is maybe even a bigger need is important.

    10 months ago
    1 Agreed
    0 Disagreed
  19. sd

    Just want to reply to Todd Kyle - just heard on radio about new study that proves you wrong:

    "Ontario drivers pay most road infrastructure costs, study says — casting doubt on claim roads are heavily subsidized". Link is here: http://news.nationalpost.com/2013/10/17/ontario-drivers-pay-most-road-infrastructure-costs-study-says-casting-doubt-on-claim-roads-are-heavily-subsidized/

    10 months ago
    1 Agreed
    0 Disagreed
    1. I think the CAA did that study, which is supported by motorists, many of whom want more and better roads, etc. About thirty percent of people over sixteen years of age do not drive where I live, the numbers are much higher in Toronto. A large portion of my property taxes go to automobile infrastructure in my community. I also pay because I breathe in a lot of auto exhaust that drivers do not because they are in a climate controlled environment. Also, people who drive are considered "employable" here, while those who don't -- regardless of education, work history, intelligence, skills, etc. -- are deemed to be unskilled and suitable only for low wage work. To me, most regions are already designed ONLY for the car, and this needs to change - and the only way this can be done is by making driving more expensive, and public transportation more accessible and reliable for those that wish to use it. Public transit is a universally accessible option for transportation. It is available to all people (where it is in place) and anybody can use it, esp now with the access for wheelchairs, the calling out of stops, etc. Private vehicles are not accessible to everybody, and will never be. If you want that privilege pay for it, so I don't have to pay $3 - $5 per km of travel because the car drivers around here think nobody needs transit.

      10 months ago
      2 Agreed
      1 Disagreed
  20. Yes, I saw that. I don't particularly trust either the Conference Board or the CAA to be objective in this, but even assuming this is demonstrably true, I don't think public policy should favor car travel over public transit, which is much more sustainable and affordable in the long run.

    10 months ago
    2 Agreed
    0 Disagreed
    1. Todd, absolutely. These studies that favour or pity the car driver are not written or researched by those that need or use transit. Transit services are also poorly planned because very few people that use transit are involved in the planning and delivery of these services. Transit is almost looked upon like a form of charity in the communities it is in, when in fact, transit is as essential as the roads people drive on.

      10 months ago
      1 Agreed
      0 Disagreed
  21. sd

    My point was that roads are not "heavily subsidized", numbers are hard to argue with. I'm not against good transit by any means, but I don't think that drivers should finance it. If driving is too expensive and we have good cheap transit, then drivers will take transit and then what - transit will run out of money? Besides not all the drivers are rich and driving is not cheap at all...

    10 months ago
    1 Agreed
    0 Disagreed
  22. eseliv, drivers should pay more for their infrastructure. I am paying for automobile infrastructure that I cannot use. What good are highways? Am I going to walk on them? Build a house on them? They don't do anything for me because I cannot operate a motor vehicle, yet I have to pay and subsidize through my taxes those that do. Drivers have no clue what it is like to be stranded at 1 o'clock or 2 o'clock in the morning, waiting for a cab that take two to three hours to get to me. Drivers do not pay $12 for what amounts to ONE kilometre of travel. I don't care HOW HIGH gas prices are. They will never pay that much. Does your employer give you free parking? Does your employer cover travel costs using your own vehicle? If so, does your employer hire any non-drivers, and provide them the equivalency in benefits? I doubt it. This is a concept that caused my region's council to drop their jaws when I gave them the numbers. Do you pay for parking when you go shopping for groceries, or to shop around at a mall or strip plaza? Awhile back, a few people gaped at the idea of paying $10-$15 a day to park at a hospital, yet they do not consider that it is a $50 round trip for me by cab. To "test" this idea, park your car for a month, and do everything you normally do, shop, go to and from work, pick up groceries, drop your kids off to their activities, etc. and if there is no transit, what do you do? You take a cab which costs a king's ransom where I live. Drivers pay between 34 - 54 cents per km of travel, depending on amount of travel and the kind of car they are driving, and I pay between $3 to $5 per km. AND I pay all the taxes to support the automobile. I would give my right arm to have my license, because in my region, having a license is treated akin to citizenship. Not just a right to drive a car, like it should be. Our region's council is sabre rattling about dismantling the limited regional transit is has now, so I could now have to pay $80 - $90 for ONE trip between communities to do my business. Why should people who have disabilities preventing them from driving have to pay these costs, while they continuously hear how drivers feel they are ripped off? I agree that auto insurance is too high, but gas prices are not high enough. People in Europe pay five to six times what we do, and they are living with it. They also value transit more, and much of it as well outside the major centres. Here it seems any talk of transit is only in the Toronto and perhaps, Hamilton area. I am in Niagara where car is king, not just king, but the ONLY thing ... and to hell with the thirty percent of us here that do not drive, cannot afford to drive, or never learned or whatever. Those making decisions on transit should be made to USE the transit service they develop and deliver, as opposed to just inventing any old thing, and then driving home in their cars, while the time of commute for transit users grows and grows and grows, even where there IS transit.

    10 months ago
    0 Agreed
    1 Disagreed
  23. sd

    First of all just to be fair you have to agree to you need roads as well. Transit will use roads, emergency services use toads, deliveries which bring food and goods use roads. And if you think about it you are paying for gas prices too. Trucks bringing food to your grocery store use gas, buses use gas, all services which support your existence use gas and roads, well, maybe diesel, but still prices are similar.

    But ok, let's all use transit, there's no drivers anymore, so what's next? Who are you going to target after drivers are gone? Besides why don't you move in Toronto? I don't make decisions about transit anyway and I have no idea about what's going to happen in Niagra, so why to suffer?

    10 months ago
    1 Agreed
    0 Disagreed
  24. I am sure the transit companies, the taxi companies that I am forced to use, etc pay the road taxes as well. I looked at my property tax bill from both region and city and a very large portion of it goes to roads and other automobile infrastructure. I have a right to get around too. To tell people to move is such a stupid response, particularly given that moving COSTS money and when I am trying to look for a place in a new city, I have to stay somewhere, get around somehow and still pay my bills back home, while I am NOT earning money. My last move within my own community cost over $7.000. Unless you`re willing to cough up that kind of change to help people move to another community, don`t even bother. People who drive take driving for granted, and I would love to be a fly on the wall to see more doctors start yanking the licenses of many of them, and then they might then discover the value of public transit after all, and how cheap it actually was to own and use a car.

    10 months ago
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    1 Disagreed
  25. How about the people in Toronto and GTA start funding 50% of the the cost of rural county roads.

    10 months ago
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    1 Disagreed
  26. Building long subway routes to a collection of houses is probably inadvisable. All TTC riders will pay for this in the future with much higher rates while the rest of the province foots the bill now when we are so heavily indebted is very unwise...

    9 months ago
    0 Agreed
    0 Disagreed