Improved funding a key focus for transit advocates in 2014

Item date: 
December 30, 2013
Item context: 

Martin Collier was quoted in this article by Rahul Gupta.  During the 45 minute interview, Martin spoke at great length about mobility pricing as a "transportation" funding and demand side measure.  Unfortunately, none of this information was included.

... According to Martin Collier, transportation issues will likely be front and centre in both the municipal elections (set for Oct. 27) and a possible provincial election, though historically that’s not often the case.

“It’s funny but transportation seems to be more of an issue between elections than on elections, that’s been my experience,” said Collier, director of Healthy Transport Consulting which organizes a series of seminars entitled Transport Futures. “But this year, it could be totally different.”

In the case of the provincial election, he said it would be up to the minority Liberal government of Premier Kathleen Wynne to make the case for transit. But he thought the idea of paying more in taxes and fees could become a “wedge issue” and one provincial candidates would try to avoid during an election campaign.

Wynne has repeatedly said she intends to make future funding an election issue, but has so far refrained from implementing any specific revenue tools, despite separate recommendations from, among others, Metrolinx, the Toronto Board of Trade and an advisory panel she appointed to come up with recommendations which released its findings at the end of 2013.

Collier said some solace can be taken from Metrolinx projects currently under construction such as the Crosstown, the Union Pearson Express air rail and other projects scheduled for completion within a decade.

He hoped future debates on what project to build next, and how to fund them, came from places of reason rather than emotion.

“We do have to make sure we’re making the right choices based on facts and evidence,” he said.