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The Metrolinx board earlier this week adopted an investment strategy to support more than 248 miles of new and enhanced transit infrastructure, in addition to improvements to roads and highways.The strategy is designed to support "Next Wave" transit and transportation projects that are part of the greater Toronto infrastructure plan known as "The Big Move.""Congestion is getting worse every day," said Metrolinx Chairman Robert Prichard in a press release. "The $16 billion of new transit being built today will deliver real results for commuters, but we cannot stand still. We need to continue to invest in The Big Move and get the greater Toronto and Hamilton area moving again."The investment strategy consists of four parts: integrating transportation, growth and land-use planning; maximizing the value of public infrastructure investment; optimizing system and network efficiency; and dedicating new revenue sources for transit and transportation.The board's recommended investment tools include a 1 percentage point increase in the Harmonized Sales Tax; a regional fuel and gasoline tax of 5 cents per liter; a business parking levy; development charge amendments; high occupancy toll lanes; paid parking at transit stations; and land value capture.Next Wave projects include building light rapid transit systems in Mississauga, Brampton and Hamilton; bus rapid transit systems in Halton, Peel, Toronto and Durham; and a subway expansion with the Relief Line and Yonge extension into York Region. In addition, major enhancements would be made to GO Transit's infrastructure, as well as improvements to municipal transit projects, roads and highways, and active transportation projects.
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