McGuinty Government Makes Significant Transportation Investments



    Transit, Highway And Safety Investments Keep Ontario Moving

    QUEEN'S PARK, Dec. 30 /CNW/ - Throughout 2007, the McGuinty government
has made significant investments to help improve Ontario's transportation
infrastructure.
    "The economy and the quality of life for Ontarians depend on a
transportation system that moves people and goods efficiently and safely,"
said Transportation Minister Jim Bradley. "This year we made record
investments in public transit, highways, roads and bridges, and road safety
initiatives."

    Working to Increase Public Transit Ridership

    This year, the McGuinty government made significant commitments to
strengthen public transit in Ontario, including:

    
    -   MoveOntario 2020, a $17.5-billion public transit investment - the
        largest transit investment of its kind in Canadian history. This
        12-year plan will offset 300 million car trips per year.
    -   Metrolinx - created to develop a seamless and sustainable regional
        transportation system for residents and businesses within the Greater
        Toronto Area and Hamilton. Already, $100 million in transit
        improvements have been funded.
    -   The Presto card - launched the pilot phase of an integrated fare
        collection system that will enable commuters to travel on public
        transit from Durham to Hamilton using a single transit card. For more
        information visit http://www.prestocard.ca/.
    -   Gas tax funding this year of $314 million to 108 municipalities to
        help them invest in public transit.

    Working to Deliver More GO Transit Options

    The Ontario government is committed to delivering more transit options and
invested $530 million in fiscal 2007/08 to expand and improve GO Transit.
Highlights of this investment include:

    -   Opening Lisgar GO Station and Barrie South GO Station. Construction
        began on a new GO station in Stouffville.
    -   Replacing 20 aging GO Transit buses with new more environmentally
        friendly vehicles and purchased 6 new buses with plans for the
        purchase of up to 12 new buses and 15 new bi-level railcars.
    -   Instituting eight train trips each weekday between Barrie and Union
        Station, starting December 17. GO also extended bus service to the
        University of Guelph and the new Aberfoyle park n'ride. In addition,
        GO extended weekend and weekday train trips between Burlington GO
        Station to Aldershot GO Station.
    -   Adding more than 3,650 commuter parking spaces in 2007.
    -   Construction of the new Don Yard midday storage facility.

    Building Better Highways for Ontarians

    This year's key investments include:

    -   More than $1.7 billion - a record investment - was made to expand,
        repair and improve Ontario's highways, roads and bridges. Ongoing
        construction projects include:
        -  Extending Highway 410 from Mayfield Road linking up to Highway 10
           in Brampton
        -  Awarding the largest, single highway contract ever - $167 million
           for widening the QEW from four to six lanes from Highway 406 to
           the Garden City Skyway through St. Catharines
        -  Repairing Highway 401 through a series of projects at various
           locations in Toronto including Hogg's Hollow Bridge.
    -   Creating the High Occupancy Vehicle (HOV) Lane Network Plan, a
        25-year plan to add over 400 kilometres of HOV lanes to the
        400-series highways spanning the Greater Golden Horseshoe. For more
        information visit: http://www.ontario.ca/hov.
    -   Providing 52 municipalities with one-time Connecting Link grants
        totalling $25 million for things such as municipal roads.
    -   Improving the appearance of Ontario's busiest highways such as the
        401, 417 and the Queen Elizabeth Way (QEW) by investing $4.3 million
        in grass cutting and litter pick up.

    Making Roads Safer

    Ontario's roads are among the safest in North America. This year, the
McGuinty government introduced a number of new measures that go even further
to keep Ontarians safe on the road, including:

    -   Providing school bus operators with funding to install
        safety-crossing arms on every school bus in the province to keep our
        children safe.
    -   Passing new legislation to fight reckless and impaired driving. These
        measures target street racers with an immediate seven-day driver's
        license suspension and vehicle impoundment, an increased fine of up
        to $10,000 upon conviction and a ban on driving with a connected
        nitrous oxide system. Stronger sanctions will soon apply to drinking
        drivers who have a 0.05 to 0.08 blood alcohol concentration.
    -   Introducing a new, more secure driver's license card to further
        protect Ontarians against fraud, misuse and identify theft. The new
        secure driver's license provides a secure platform for adding
        citizenship information so the card could be used as an alternative
        border-crossing document in the future.

    The Ministry of Transportation's first sustainable transportation
conference brought experts from around the world together to discuss
innovative approaches to moving people and goods in a more sustainable way.
    "Overall, 2007 saw Ontario take a number of important steps towards our
government's vision of a modern, reliable and safe transportation system,"
Bradley said.

    Disponible en français

                              www.mto.gov.on.ca
    





For further information:

For further information: Media Contacts: David Oved, Minister's Office,
(416) 327-2885; Bob Nichols, Communications Branch, (416) 327-1158; Public
Inquiries: (416) 235-4686 (GTA), 1-800-268-4686 toll free, 1-866-471-8929 TTY

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