For immediate release
CivicAction invites GTHA residents to actively imagine a better life through better transportation
TORONTO – October 10, 2012 - It’s time to take bold action to accelerate investment in the transportation network serving the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area (GTHA). That’s the message the Greater Toronto CivicAction Alliance and the 40+ members of its Regional Transportation Champions Council delivered today as they launched a campaign asking GTHA residents what they would do with 32 extra minutes a day.
At your32.com, CivicAction invites residents to answer a simple question: “What would you do with 32?” and imagine a better quality of life fueled by a better transportation network. On average commuters will save that much time daily if The Big Move regional, multi-modal transportation plan is funded and built in the next 25 years.*
By responding, residents are saying “I care about getting from point A to B more easily”, and “we need greater investment in our transportation network”.
See selected answers below to the question “What would you do with 32?”.
“With a commute time amongst the worst in North America, our transportation system is not working, and we do not have to accept it the way it is,” said John Tory, Chair, CivicAction. “It can be so much better, and we want people to talk about how they would benefit from greater investment to make it better.”
To participate in the campaign:
Campaign driven by Champions: Forty plus rising and established leaders have signed on to CivicAction’s Champions Council. They represent a wide variety of interests from business, labour, non-profit, academic, and community organizations from across the GTHA, and will engage their employees, members, students, suppliers, and customers in this discussion. They all rely heavily on the region’s roads and transit system to move people and goods, and are highly motivated to make the system better.
“We’re taking this issue to the highways, subways, buses and sidewalks,” said Mitzie Hunter, Chief Executive Officer, CivicAction.
“Everyone needs to be part of the conversation – road and transit users, taxpayers, businesses, students,” Hunter said. “We’ll take their feedback to governments to drive action that will deliver the transportation network we need to prosper and thrive.”
Whether it’s time saved, better health and air quality, a boost to productivity, or easier access to jobs, schools, and other opportunities, the benefits of a regional transportation system that is efficient, accessible, affordable, and fully connected are indisputable. The GTHA aspires to be world class, and our transportation system needs to reflect that.
Provincial agency Metrolinx will submit an Investment Strategy to the province and the region’s municipal governments by June 2013 with its recommendations on how to pay for an improved network to serve the GTHA. For governments to act boldly, they’ll need to see that the region’s leaders and residents are calling for greater investment in our regional transportation system, and agree that governments need to find sustainable ways to pay for it.
The campaign builds on the work of the Transportation & Other Infrastructure Working Group that informed CivicAction’s Greater Toronto Summit 2011, and the work of such organizations as the Toronto Board of Trade, Evergreen, University of Toronto’s Cities Centre and Institute on Municipal Finance & Governance, the City Institute at York University, the Federation of Urban Neighbourhoods of Ontario, Transport Action Ontario, The Pembina Institute, and Toronto Environmental Alliance. The campaign will reinforce the activities of these and other groups across the region that are championing a better transportation network.
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The Greater Toronto CivicAction Alliance convenes civic leaders from across all sectors and the region to catalyze change on the tough issues and big opportunities facing the Toronto region.
For more information, visit www.civicaction.ca or @CivicActionGTA. For information on CivicAction’s regional transportation initiative, please visit www.civicaction.ca/regional-transportation.
Marcus Staviss 416-505-2851 (cell) or 416-920-0716 x210 email@example.com
Dorenda McNeil 416-920-0716 ext. 216 firstname.lastname@example.org
*Thirty-two minutes is the difference between the average commute time if the regional transportation plan, The Big Move, is built (77 minutes), and the commute time if no comprehensive system is built over the same time (109 minutes). Source: Metrolinx.
Selected answers to the question “What would you do with 32?”
“I’d spend more time with my grandchildren.” John Tory, Chair, CivicAction
“I’d get to my pilates class.” Mitzie Hunter, Chief Executive Officer, CivicAction
“32 minutes equals 5 readings of Dr. Seuss’ “The Lorax” with my kids (they never get tired of it and neither do I).” Gerald Butts, President and CEO, World Wildlife Fund Canada
“I’d walk down Queen Street with my toddler chasing puppies and fire trucks.” Eva Wong Scanlan, Co-Chair, Toronto Homecoming, and CivicAction Emerging Leaders Network member
“Go for a walk to a neighbourhood cafe with my wife and friends and just hang out.” Ken Greenberg, Architect and Urban Designer, Greenberg Consultants Inc.
“I’d exercise more.” Melissa Raghurai, President, Mayfair Clubs
“I would focus more on the DO in my TO DO list and less on keeping the list.” Jim Curran, Former traffic reporter for CBC Radio One in Toronto
Members of CivicAction’s Regional Transportation Champions Council