Updated July 8: Metrolinx has announced that the draft Regional Transportation Plan and Investment Strategy have been delayed until September. You can read about this in The Star and in the official Metrolinx press release.
[The original post follows below.]
Those of you who have been following the proposals and plans from Metrolinx will know that there’s been a tiny bit of inflation in the projected cost of transit improvements for the GTAH.
About one year ago, Premier McGuinty announced MoveOntario2020, a plan to invest $17.5-billion (2/3 from Queen’s Park, the rest from Ottawa) in over 50 projects for the region. For the moment, leave aside the fact that this was less of a plan than a grab bag of every proposal that was sitting on the table in every municipality. At least it was a starting point to talk about investment in transit.
One big chunk of MoveOntario2020 is Transit City, and it accounted for about 1/3 of the total.
Many hurrahs! Horns blared! Gongs clanged! Visions of a transit future danced through our heads.
Over the past year, the picture has changed quite a bit. The most aggressive of Metrolinx plans, as described in their Preliminary Directions White Paper, requires an annual outlay of $3.8-billion for capital and another $3.8-billion for additional operating costs. (Table E-1, page 63) The least aggressive isn’t far behind.
That’s a huge jump from the investment that would take us out to 2020, and sticker shock may derail the whole thing. It wouldn’t be the first time. Continue reading