THORNHILL, ON, May 3, 2013 /CNW/ - CAA South Central Ontario (CAA SCO)
is pleased that the 2013 provincial budget reflects a number of
critical issues that the auto club has been raising with the province
for a decade.
As a leading transportation advocate, CAA SCO has repeatedly called on
the province to establish dedicated funding for road infrastructure and
establish regulation over the towing industry while also addressing
critical issues around gridlock.
CAA SCO is encouraged by the commitment to a number of improvements to
Ontario's road network, including the expansion of Highway 427 through
York Region, and that the plans for establishing additional high
occupancy vehicle (HOV) lanes on several 400 series highways will
resume after being halted during last year's budget.
Finance Minister Charles Sousa's inaugural budget also references plans
to convert selected HOV lanes in the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area
(GTHA) into high occupancy toll (HOT) lanes in the future. While no
time lines or costs were listed, CAA SCO believes that this initiative
will give individual commuters an option.
"Transitioning select HOV lanes into HOT lanes will continue to enable
vehicles with two or more people to use the lane for free, and charge
individual drivers who voluntarily choose these lanes. This provides
drivers with choice, while also maintaining toll-free lanes for all
motorists to use," said Elliott Silverstein, Government Relations
Manager, CAA SCO.
Meanwhile, with the Metrolinx report on revenue sources scheduled for
release at the end of the month, the budget recommends that any new
revenue collected to fund the Big Move should be dedicated back to
transportation projects, a measure that CAA SCO has long advocated for.
"The efforts listed in the budget are a good first step; however any new
money that is collected to fund the Big Move must be dedicated to these
infrastructure projects. Our members have overwhelmingly agreed that
any new funds collected to pay for transportation projects must be
dedicated," said Silverstein.
"We are pleased that the Finance Minister mentioned that revenue tools
should not unfairly impact one type of commuter over another. With
several revenue tools already shortlisted by Metrolinx, CAA SCO and its
members overwhelmingly agree, with 72% of those polled saying that the
source for funds for new and expanded transportation should be shared
among consumers and businesses," added Silverstein.
The budget also noted that the government is committed to further study
of several initiatives including provincial oversight of the towing
industry. CAA SCO applauds this effort and is eager to work with the
government to help modernize the towing industry, while ensuring there
is sufficient consumer protection and an enhancement of safety for tow
truck drivers and motorists alike.
CAA South Central Ontario is a not-for-profit auto club offering
roadside services, automotive care, travel and insurance. There are
more than 1.9 million CAA members in South Central Ontario and over 5.6
million members in Canada. We're more than Roadside Assistance. We're
SOURCE: CAA South Central Ontario
For further information:
Media contact: Silvana Aceto, Media and PR Specialist, CAA SCO, email@example.com, Office: (905) 771-3194, Cell: (416) 209-4930 or Jeff LeMoine, Communications Specialist, firstname.lastname@example.org, Office: (905) 771-4709, Cell: (416) 254-0641.
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