TORONTO, Oct. 15, 2015 /CNW/ - A broad coalition of Torontonians today announced the formation of FAST-Friends & Allies of SmartTrack (www.FASTGTA.ca). They are coming together to promote a concept that has the potential to jump-start transit for Toronto and the GTA.
"Toronto is in desperate need of better, broader transit, now," said FAST spokesperson Alvin Curling, a former provincial cabinet minister. "SmartTrack is an ingenious, innovative plan to bring it quickly--in this generation."
SmartTrack was a key promise in Mayor John Tory's election campaign. It proposes to take advantage of what Toronto already has: an extensive network of regional rail lines to bring a new mass transit service similar to London's Overground system or Paris's RER.
Already Ottawa has committed billions of dollars to the project and Queen's Park has allocated funding to electrify the GO lines—a key element of the SmartTrack plan.
FAST-Friends and Allies of SmartTrack includes many supporters of Mayor Tory, but the FAST campaign is completely independent of the mayor's office. The Mayor and his office have been informed about the creation of FAST but they have not been consulted nor have they had any input. FAST will operate independently of the Mayor and his office.
FAST is reaching out to fellow Torontonians to learn about SmartTrack, to support the cause and to ask questions of their elected representatives and of those seeking office. It will be a transparent campaign: the names of all FAST supporters and donors will be posted on the website- www.FASTGTA.ca.
FAST-Friends & Allies of SmartTrack will register as a lobby group, but its principal purpose will be to promote a great idea. It will operate as a non-profit, with all funds raised devoted to creating a variety of awareness campaigns such as town halls and informational videos. FAST will also be a centre for SmartTrack-related news and analysis via www.FASTGTA.ca.
"We're here to advocate for SmartTrack and to educate the public about how it could make a huge difference in cutting congestion and moving people around the region," said Dr. Curling.
FAST – Friends & Allies of SmartTrack (FASTGTA.CA) is a not-for-profit advocacy group committed to providing Toronto with much-needed transit relief by ensuring SmartTrack is built – within a seven-year timeframe. In September 2015, FAST was established by a group of like-minded people who believe that SmartTrack is Toronto's best chance for a leap forward after decades of inaction on transit. Gridlock is costing the regional economy billions and costing Torontonians countless hours of lost time stuck in traffic or on inadequate transit.
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"We are such a great city. It's discouraging that our citizens have to spend literally hours every week getting to and from work, time they could be spending with their families. It seems to me that SmartTrack can make the biggest improvement in our transit in the shortest amount of time,"
Andrea Geddes Poole, FAST Public Advisory Board
I commute from York Region on the GO Train each day. With so many neighbours working downtown, or downtowners working in 905, an express service like SmartTrack could make life so much easier for so many people." Michael Brooks, FAST Public Advisory Board
"It already has most of the lines and land in place, tracks built and two-thirds of the funding committed. How many transit projects can say that?" Kyle Rae, FAST Public Advisory Board member, and former City of Toronto Councilor
SOURCE FAST - Friends & Allies of SmartTrack
For further information: Media: To schedule an interview with Dr. Alvin Curling please contact Paul Tyler, 416-254-0698, firstname.lastname@example.org; For more information: Victoria Ollers, 416-822-2288, email@example.com