QUEENS PARK – Jeff Yurek, Minister of Transportation, addressed the Economic Club of Canada to announce that Ontario’s Government for the People will build better public transit, delivering more service faster, and saving taxpayer dollars by forging new partnerships.
“Transit Oriented Development will let us partner with the private sector to build a new GO Transit station at Mimico, and get the work done at a lower cost to the taxpayer,” said Yurek. “The developer will pay all construction costs for the main station building, new parking and a greenway, in exchange for the right to develop above the station.”
Allowing developers to build above transit stations in exchange for building new facilities around transit stations will create mixed use communities around stations, allowing people to get to and from their homes easier.
“It’s a new kind of partnership, it’s the right kind of partnership, and I believe there is an appetite for this kind of market-driven approach,” said Yurek. “Leveraging third-party investment will save taxpayer dollars. I have asked Metrolinx to assess the status of transit projects and determine the feasibility of applying this sort of approach. We are open to new ideas for other forms of partnerships that will create value for transit users, communities and interested parties. We will look at all our major transit projects through this lens.”
“We are very excited to partner on a market-driven approach that puts people at the core of transit planning,” said Phil Verster, President and CEO of Metrolinx. “Working to build new places to live, work and play right at stations will grow transit ridership, save tax dollars, and create the new and seamlessly connected communities that Metrolinx has long envisioned. We look forward to our continued work with the government, municipalities, and the private sector to deliver a great customer experience with benefits that extend to communities across the region.”
Yurek also highlighted the province’s plan to treat the TTC like a vital regional transit service, by uploading responsibility for subway infrastructure, including the building and maintenance of new and existing subway lines, from the City of Toronto to the province.
“Uploading components of the TTC would help the province deliver a more efficient regional transit network and build transit faster,” said Yurek. “It could also allow the province to fund and deliver additional transit projects sooner. Let’s tackle this challenge right away, with its potential to benefit millions of transit users.”
These two examples demonstrate how establishing new partnerships and seizing new opportunities will help deliver better public transit, faster and more efficiently.