Updated June 8, 2010 at 11:00 pm:
The Smitherman campaign has posted a backgrounder to his transportation plan which has been updated to reflect the funding of inflation by Queen’s Park.
In a previous update, I noted that there was a bit over $1-billion still unaccounted for. This is explained in the backgrounder as follows:
Once the provincial government formally approves their contribution escalation the Smitherman construction cost increment is reduced to $3.87billion, or $5-billion once financed to 2021. [Page 3]
Although this issue has been addressed, the method of paying for transit investments has not been changed. Smitherman still depends on revenue from gas tax and dividends from City agencies, money that is already spoken for by existing budgets at the TTC and the City. He also depends on new tax revenue from developments along the routes to be built. However, those taxes traditionally have been at least partly spent to serve new residents and businesses these developments would bring.
While I applaud Smitherman for at least producing a detailed plan, I still do not agree with elements of it such as the Bloor-Danforth subway extensions or with his financing scheme. (For the record, at Council today TTC staff responded to a question from Councillor Thompson about a subway extension and explained that any subway extension could not be built along the existing SRT corridor.)
The original content of this post follows the break.