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Rail News: Federal Legislation & Regulation

Ontario officials reveal $29 billion plan for transportation investment

The Ontario government announced on Tuesday a plan to invest $29 billion (in Canadian dollars) in public transit and transportation infrastructure over the next 10 years as part of the Moving Ontario Forward initiative.

The plan would create two dedicated funds — one for the greater Toronto and Hamilton area with up to $15 billion available for investment in transit, and one for the rest of the province with nearly $14 billion available for investment in roads, bridges, transit and other critical infrastructure, said Premier Kathleen Wynne in a press release.

The plan will be funded new revenue measures, repurposed revenue and debt financing. Measures would include repurposing the existing Harmonized Sales Tax charged on current provincial taxes on gasoline and diesel; and redirecting 7.5 cents of the existing gas tax, which would be over and above the permanent 2 cents that goes to municipalities to fund transit infrastructure.

"This is our chance to fix transit and infrastructure for now and for the future and help every part of Ontario grow," said Wynne.

Also this week, the Ontario government released its "Infrastructure and Transit Progress Report," which highlighted government investments since 2003. Key accomplishments in transit include:
• investing more than $9.1 billion in GO Transit;
• helping GO Transit add 10 new stations, 30,000 parking spots, 208 new rail cars, 152 new single-level buses and 47 new double-decker buses;
• expanding the PRESTO electronic transit fare system;
• committing more than $2.7 billion in gas tax funding to Ontario municipalities; and
• making significant progress on the Union Pearson Express, which will connect Canada's two busiest transportation hubs, Union Station and Pearson International Airport, by 2015.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 4/16/2014