Policy and Political Action

Policy & Political Action

Action Alert to Mayor Ford, Toronto City Councillors, Premier McGuinty, Ontario MPPs with Toronto ridings, and Metrolinx Board of Directors: Save Transit City for a Healthier Toronto

Action Alert to Mayor Ford, Toronto City Councillors, Premier McGuinty, Ontario MPPs with Toronto ridings, and Metrolinx Board of Directors:  Save Transit City for a Healthier Toronto

 

March 2, 2011

 

When Mayor Rob Ford came into office on December 1st, he made it clear that he wants to stop building the Transit City light rail transit (LRT) plan. Transit City consists of eight light rail lines, four of which have received funding from the province of Ontario. This light rail plan would have stimulated the economy, created green jobs, protected the environment, and brought fast reliable transit to areas of the City that have been under-served for decades. 

 

Instead of following through with the work that has already been started, Mayor Ford wants to divert committed provincial funding towards extending Toronto’s subway system—a more expensive option that will provide less transit bang for our buck. Cancelling Transit City leaves our priority neighbourhoods stuck waiting in gridlock, the very neighbourhoods we should be helping first!

 

 

Why Do Nurses Support Transit City?

 

It’s About Equity: Neighbourhoods in the northeast and northwest of Toronto have the highest and fastest growing percentage of low-income, immigrant, single-parent and children and youth populations. Residents in these neighbourhoods have to travel farther to find employment yet they have the least access to rapid transit. The four light rail transit priority projects would bring transit to more than six times as many low-income residences as the proposed subway extension.

 

It’s About a Healthier Environment: Public transportation emits 45 to 95 per cent less smog-causing pollution than travel by private vehicles. Transit City will relieve traffic congestion by removing more cars off the road and result in greater reduction of greenhouse gas emissions than the subway option.

 

It’s About Using Public Funds Responsibly: The proposed subway extension will provide huge capacity trains to a relatively small number of people in only one section of the city. The neighbourhoods the subway would serve do not have a high enough population density to justify this most expensive transit option. Mayor Ford’s desire to seek funding from the private sector to design and build the proposed Sheppard subway extension would ultimately cost the City much more.

Please see below for a comparison chart prepared by the Pembina Institute as well as additional resources on this issue.

What you can do:

  • Take a few moments to email the letter below to Mayor Ford. A copy will automatically be sent to all Toronto City Councillors, Premier McGuinty, Ontario MPPs with Toronto ridings, and Metrolinx Board of Directors. You are welcome to edit the letter to share insights from your nursing practice and life experiences on why a strong transit system is essential for good health and vibrant communities.
  • Please share this action alert with your colleagues, neighbours, friends, and family and ask them to endorse this call for action. They are welcome to use the format below and/or they are also welcome to send an email through http://emailthem.ca/transitcity/
  • The Toronto Environmental Alliance is seeking volunteers to help with this Transit City Campaign to do outreach by phone or in person. More information is available at http://torontoenvironment.org/actioncentre/volunteer/currentpostings

 

 

 

 

 

 

Resources

 

Bedford, P. (2011). Ford’s critical 100-year decisions. Toronto Star, February 12, 2011.

 

Burda, C. & Haines, G. (2011). Making Tracks to Torontonians: Building Transit Where We Need It.  Toronto: Pembina Institute.

http://pubs.pembina.org/reports/making-tracks-toronto.pdf

 

Gee, M. (2011). The Fords’ transit plan is no more than a reckless gamble. Globe and Mail. February 18, 2011.

 

Hulchanski, J.D. (2010). The Three Cities Within Toronto: Income Polarization Among Toronto’s Neighbourhoods, 1970-2005. Toronto: St. Christopher House and Cities Centre.

 

 

Registered Nurses’ Association of Ontario (2010). Creating Vibrant Communities: RNAO’s Challenge to Ontario’s Political Parties. Toronto: Author.

 

  

Links to Organizations:

 

City of Toronto Mayor and Councillors

 

 

Metrolinx

 

 

Public Transit Coalition

http://www.keepttcpublic.ca/

http://publictransitcoalition.ca/

 

Toronto Environmental Alliance

 

 

Toronto Transit Commission (TTC) on Transit City

 

 

Benefits of a Full Transit Plan for Toronto Calculated by the Pembina Institute

 

Benefits

Proposed Subway

Extension

Four LRT

Priority projects

Transit City—full implementation of all eight LRT lines

Length of transit

constructed

18 km

75 km

148 km

Torontonians served

61,000

290,000

630,000

Low-income population connected

7,200

45,000

106,000

Communities

served

Scarborough

North York

Scarborough

East York

North York

Etobicoke

York

Old Toronto

Scarborough

East York

North York

Etobicoke

York

Old Toronto

Estimated transit trips per year

65 million

126 million

224 million

Cars off the road

60,000-70,000

120,000-140,000

220,000-240,000

Greenhouse gas emissions reduced

(by 2031, tonnes)

75,000

201,000

327,000

Cost

(billions of 2010

dollars)

$6.2

$8.7 (Phase 1)

$10.5 (total)

$17.2

Cost per km

(2010 dollars)

$344 million

$140 million

$116 million

 

 

Burda, C. & Haines, G. (2011). Making Tracks to Torontonians: Building Transit Where We Need It.  Toronto: Pembina Institute, 18.

http://pubs.pembina.org/reports/making-tracks-toronto.pdf

 

 

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