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Press Release & Submission to Metrolinx Board

Click here to see the letter we submitted to the Metrolinx Board for today’s meeting

For Immediate Release

Over 12,000 Torontonians and 28 Organizations
Urge Metrolinx to Build Transit City Now

Toronto: Today, the Public Transit Coalition (PTC) sent a clear message to the Metrolinx Board of Directors: do not recommend the “5 in 10” Plan and urge the Province to build Transit City now.

“Over 12,000 Torontonians and 28 community-based and national organizations want Transit City to be built, as was originally promised by the Province in Spring 2009, not as outlined in Metrolinx’s 5 in 10 Plan,” said PTC member and Toronto Environmental Alliance Campaigner, Jamie Kirkpatrick. “Besides, there is mounting evidence that the rationale for the delay –to help the Ontario economy– is wrong.”

After denying the public an opportunity to address the Metrolinx Board, the PTC sent a written submission to the Board urging them to support the original 2009 Transit City implementation schedule and to ask the Province to assess the economic costs of the “5 in 10” Plan before making a final decision to proceed with the delay.

“The Provincial Government told GTA residents the delay in building the 4 Transit City lines was necessary to help Ontario’s economy,” said Franz Hartmann, Executive Director of Toronto Environmental Alliance. “Yet no one has actually crunched the numbers to show this assumption is right. Metrolinx has a duty to ask the Province to crunch the numbers before making a final decision on whether to delay Transit City.”

Numerous existing studies suggest the “5 in 10” Plan will do more damage to Ontario’s economy than good. Both a 2008 Metrolinx study and a 2010 Toronto Board of Trade Study identify the huge economic costs GTA residents have to bear as result of traffic congestion and too little transit. These include costs to businesses, people and the environment. As well, delay means Ontarians don’t gain access to the huge economic benefits that flow from transit investment. A Canadian Urban Transit Association (CUTA) study shows that for every dollar invested in public transit, Canadians get $2 in benefits. Metrolinx’s 2008 study shows Ontarians get $1.50 in benefits for every dollar invested in its proposed Regional Transportation Plan.

“The 5 in 10 Plan delays and cuts service in the neighbourhoods that need transit improvements the most; like Scarborough. We are left waiting at least 5 or 6 years with no commitments to build light rail to Malvern. To date, Metrolinx has made no effort to listen to or communicate with the people who will be affected by this decision,” said Scarborough resident and PTC member Ashwin Balamohan. “Today, we hope they will listen to our voices and show their support for building Transit City now.”

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For More Information contact:

Jamie Kirkpatrick 416-895-3406.