Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Public transit in GTA needs federal boost, Tory says - Toronto Star

Public transit in GTA needs federal boost, Tory says
February 21, 2007
Jim Wilkes
Staff Reporter

John Tory says it's time Ottawa drops some serious cash on public transit in the GTA.

Standing near the City Centre Transit Station at Mississauga's Square One Shopping Centre, the provincial Conservative leader said the federal government must start paying its share of transit projects in and around the Toronto area.

"This is a sincere request on my part that the federal government should join the province and the municipalities to make sure that these vital transit projects – vital to the environment, vital to families, vital to the economy – should get funded and get going in the GTA," Tory said.

"People will not be able to ride on transit and get out of their cars and help the environment and help the economy if there isn't a transit option available," he said.

"We need the federal government to come to the table, so we can get on with these transit projects."

Among the pending transit projects are the subway extension to York University, Mississauga's rapid transit plan – including a bus rapid transit plan along Highway 403 and Eglinton Ave. – and Brampton's Acceleride program, which have local and provincial funding but are awaiting delivery of federal dollars.

"I ride public transit in Toronto regularly and I find that's it's a better way to get around, quite frankly," Tory added.

"I think what we need to do is make sure that option is available to more people in more municipalities."

Tory said the McGuinty Liberals have done "precious little" for public transit other than "a couple of HOV lanes and a little bit of odds and ends here and there ..."

A Liberal staffer wandered among the sparse media turnout distributing a press release trumpeting its party's investment in public transit, including $160 million towards the Mississauga and Brampton transit plans.
I am not a conservative. In fact, being called a communist doesn't bother me anymore. But, could a conservative premier convince a conservative prime minister to help us out?

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