Metrolinx lays out big plan to solve big challenge



    
    100-point plan includes largest transit expansion in more than half a
    century
    

    TORONTO, Sept. 23 /CNW/ - Massive expansion of public transit is at the
core of a draft strategy previewed by Metrolinx today, mapping out $50 billion
in new projects over 25 years. The Big Move: Transforming Transportation in
the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area sets out nearly 100 actions to build new
transportation infrastructure and improve transit service.
    "This is big," said Rob MacIsaac, Chair of Metrolinx. "Transportation is
the largest challenge facing our region - and this plan will be a major step
forward in addressing that challenge. "This plan will launch a 'Renaissance of
Transportation' for the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area."
    The draft plan will be considered by the Metrolinx Board Friday,
September 26, 2008, and Metrolinx will launch extensive consultations seeking
public feedback in October. A final plan will be released later this year,
with implementation to begin soon after.
    "It's a plan of action, to get things moving now," MacIsaac said. "We are
finally playing catch-up, after decades of neglecting major-league transit
improvements. Other jurisdictions in North America and around the world have
gotten the competitive jump on us. This plan can restore our city-region as
pre-eminent in transit."
    The Big Move details the largest expansion of public transit in the
region in more than half a century, including 1,150 km of new rapid transit
lines and other measures that will more than double the number of trips taken
on transit every year. When fully implemented, 75 per cent of residents in the
Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area will live within 2 km of rapid transit,
compared to just 42 per cent currently.
    "This plan will yield tangible results - moving more people, more
conveniently, faster," MacIsaac said.
    A draft Investment Strategy, outlining a financial plan to pay for the
transportation improvements and ongoing operations, was also put forward
today. Before considering new revenue sources, MacIsaac noted that enough
money has already been committed to begin moving on an extensive list of
projects.
    "We want to see shovels in the ground. These infrastructure improvements,
particularly to public transit, are long overdue. Through the province's
MoveOntario 2020 commitments, we can start moving on many projects within the
next year," he added.
    MacIsaac also emphasized that: "any new revenue tools would not be
considered until 2013 at the earliest and only once significant improvements
to the system, giving people more and better transportation choices, had been
implemented."
    Over the next two months, Metrolinx will be organizing open houses and
public meetings across the region, as well as meeting with stakeholder groups,
to gather feedback on the plan.

    Metrolinx is a Crown agency of the Province of Ontario, operating within
the legislative framework of the Greater Toronto Transportation Authority Act,
2006 and the provincial Growth Plan. For more information visit our website
www.metrolinx.com.





For further information:

For further information: Jacquie Menezes, Senior Associate, Public
Affairs and Media, Metrolinx, Phone: (416) 874-5923,
Jacquie.Menezes@metrolinx.com, www.metrolinx.com

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Metrolinx

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