The OneCity Transit Plan

In Toronto’s history there have been numerous transit proposals and several financing proposals, but this is a proposal which merges both new Toronto transit and the ability to pay for it.

On June 27, 2012, TTC Chair Karen Stintz and Vice Chair Glenn De Baeremaeker announced the OneCity Transit Plan, a 30-year, $30 billion plan designed to bring transit to every corner of the City of Toronto.

The OneCity Transit Plan boasts six subway and train lines, 10 LRT lines, and five bus and streetcar lines, totaling an impressive 170 km of new transit lines, bringing together many years of discussion on transit planning.

“We call our plan “OneCity” because this plan unites all parts of our City through transit,” said Chair Stintz.  “This plan will benefit every single resident of Toronto, whether they take transit or drive.  We will build the right transit to suit the right demand at the right price, whether LRTs, streetcars or subways, and help make Toronto a leader in public transit once again.”

The Plan proposes using the “CVA uplift model” first suggested in an expert panel report in March.  It would work like this.

For the first time since 2008, Toronto property values will be reassessed this year by MPAC.  This reassessment process – which last occurred four years ago – is revenue neutral to the City, meaning the City cannot use increased property values to increase revenues to reinvest in itself.

The OneCity Transit Plan proposal requests that the City keep a portion of the increased property value, equivalent to 1.9% per annum for four years. These “uplift” funds would be put exclusively into a dedicated transit fund to help build new Toronto transit.  The plan will be Dedicated, Dependable and Debt-Free.

“I think we all now recognize that we can’t build a subway without money.  My residents have told me that they are willing to pay for a subway and that is what we will do.  The first project of our transit plan is to build a subway through Scarborough,” states Vice Chair De Baeremaeker. “As we speak, engineers are preparing to replace the Scarborough RT with an LRT.  We must act quickly to replace the RT with a subway instead.  This subway makes sense because the SRT’s ridership numbers were never low and Scarborough transit users deserve service continuity.  Replacing the SRT with an LRT means the line will be shut down for over four years.  TTC riders will be stuck with shuttle buses, running up and down roads like Kennedy, Brimley, Midland, Ellesmere and Eglinton. Replacing the SRT with a subway will mean no service interruptions and greatly improved services.”

The second project is to build a streetcar line on Waterfront East.  The other 20 projects will be prioritized by TTC staff in coming months.  These include:

  • Building a Don Mills Express line from Queen Station to Eglinton to alleviate the current pressures on the Yonge/Bloor subway line
  • Upgrading the Bloor-Yonge subway station
  • Extending the Yonge subway to Steeles
  • Extending the Sheppard East LRT line to Malvern
  • Extending the Eglinton Crosstown LRT line to Pearson Airport

Most Torontonians and many major political organizations in Toronto have implored all levels of governments to build and improve transit in the GTA.  The OneCity Transit Plan will help make our needs come to fruition sooner.  It makes Toronto a true partner.

The OneCity Transit Plan will be Toronto’s contribution to the financing plan required to make the GTA plan work.  It will improve Toronto.  It will create jobs.  It will get you to work and home faster.

It is what Toronto has been waiting decades for.