TORONTO—The OneCity transit plan proposed by TTC Chair Karen Stintz sparked heated debate in government. Toronto Mayor Rob Ford and Ontario Minister of Transportation Bob Chiarelli rejected the plan altogether.
OneCity is a $30 billion, 30 year plan to expand the transit system in all directions. It includes light rail, subway, and bus routes.
But what do Torontonians think of the city’s transit? The Epoch Times asked TTC riders at the Don Mills subway station whether they thought Toronto needed expanded transit—and if so, how should the city pay for it.
Ernesto Moran, stay-at-home dad
“They should improve the efficiency of the current system before they expand,” he says. Transit vehicles do not meet their schedule and are frequently “too early or late.” He hopes for a more “efficient, valuable system.”
Geoff Hieghington, pilot
He believes Toronto’s transit lines should be expanded. “I think they should probably go with [private] investors, as opposed to tax payers,” he says about funding. “The city, as much as they need the subway, won’t allow another tax hike nor will they allow recreation centres to be shut down.” His finds the Sheppard line the “biggest waste of money” compared to gridlock and high traffic areas. A line further north past Finch, into Newmarket, is a more favourable idea to him.
He agrees that expanding transit is a good idea, but not at the moment, as Toronto lacks the money. “There’s not really any best option [to fund the project] right now,” he says. “Maybe in future years.”
Goli Riahi, Student – Adult School
“I think so for maybe Scarborough, because after Don Mills there’s no subway,” she says about expanding transit. She cannot decide between raising taxes and cutting service to fund the project, since taxes are “already really high.”
“Expanding the lines would be very helpful. They could minimize parks and recreation a little bit, but I think that they’re a necessity for the city,” she says. As she does not own a property, she says that raising property taxes would not greatly affect her.
Dr. Phillip Osagie
“There’s always room for expansion, so the answer to [whether Toronto transit lines should expand] is yes,” he says. When it comes to funding, he believes in “no pain, no gain.” The tax will have to go up in some way, he says, because the government has to pay for expansion somehow. “I’d rather they increase taxes than cut down on recreation.”
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