Board of Trade Advocates New Revenue For Transit

The Toronto Region Board of Trade has announced its support for new revenue streams that could fund the Metrolinx “Big Move” Investment Strategy and more.

Matt Elliott (aka @GraphicMatt) has produced a chart showing the contribution of each of four recommended sources and the range of possible incomes.

The Board of Trade has launched a new website under the name letsbreakthegridlock, and this includes a background paper on the evolution of their recommendations.

Most striking about the proposed revenues is that even the “low end” total is close to $3-billion per year with the high end over $4b.  The Board of Trade is not recommending specific levels for the new revenue stream, but the Toronto Region and Queen’s Park need to aim high.  The Metrolinx Big Move plan was priced at $2b/year, but that estimate is several years out of date and does not include inflation.  It also does not include any money for local transportation improvements that was recently announced as part of the “Next Wave”, and which would increase the total needs by one third.

This is not some wild-eyed, pinko-commie, downtown bunch of granola-eating, pot-smoking, tree hugging, tax-and-spend radicals — it’s the Board of Trade, and they claim wide support from their members.  Congestion and the lack of good transportation options within the GTHA are strangling business and making the region uncompetitive.  That’s the kind of effect businesses notice, and they recognize the effect of decades of disinvestment in the transportation network.

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