TORONTO – November 1st, 2013 – CivicAction today launched a month-long 32 Reasons to Invest campaign to drive home what’s at stake if the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area (GTHA) does not invest in a better regional transportation network. The campaign will invite residents and elected officials to refocus on the crucial decision of how we pay for the regional network we so urgently need, and how we trust governments with our hard-earned dollars to make it happen. (See below for list of 32 reasons.)
Each day in November, CivicAction and its broad coalition of partners from business, labour, academia, and the non-profit sector will highlight one of 32 reasons why investing in transportation is critical for jobs, our health, environment, neighbourhoods, and quality of life.
From a speakers’ corner to a student stunt to employee videos and town halls, CivicAction and its Regional Transportation Champions will call on residents and politicians to go to your32.com to pick their reason to invest, and to sign the Your32 Pledge to Get a Move On.
Thousands of residents and more than a third (126) of all GTHA elected officials have already signed the pledge to show support for transportation funding that is dedicated, efficient, transparent & accountable, regional, fair, and sustainable. (For a full list of the elected officials who have signed the pledge to date, go to your32.com.)
CivicAction will descend on transit hubs and speak at regional meetings to encourage elected officials at all levels to get on with delivering the benefits of transportation expansion. The campaign’s finale on Day 32 (December 2nd) will reinforce the need for the Province to introduce funding and accountability measures for transportation in its Spring 2014 budget.
“The benefits of real investment are massive,” said CivicAction Chair John Tory. “But without dedicated sources of funding, the next wave of projects approved in the Metrolinx Big Move plan is nothing more than a pipe dream.”
Among the “32 Reasons to Invest” over the 20-year build-out of the Metrolinx Big Move:
- hundreds of thousands of person years of employment
- reducing the millions lost as trucks idle in traffic
- reducing by 29% the carbon emissions each of us generates
- increasing the value for properties and land
- improving access to work, school, and health care, especially for those who have no other choice than transit
- making our region more attractive for tourists, large employers and talented workers alike.
“Other global cities have seen the light, invested in transportation, and are reaping the benefits,” said Tory. “What’s standing in our way is short-term decision-making and relentless politicking. Our political leaders need to step up and be the bold leaders we need them to be.”
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About CivicAction’s Your32 campaign – CivicAction and its 50+ team of civic Champions and Regional Co-Captains aim to build support for a better regional transportation system and the need for new sustainable ways to pay for it. For more information, visit www.your32.com.
About CivicAction – For the past 10 years, the Greater Toronto CivicAction Alliance (CivicAction) has brought together senior executives and rising leaders from all sectors to tackle some of our region’s toughest social, economic and environmental challenges. CivicAction sets a non-partisan agenda, builds strategic partnerships with organizations, and launches campaigns, programs and organizations that transform our region. For more information, visit: www.ca.cmohr.ca, @CivicActionGTA
To arrange a media interview or for additional information, please contact:
Julia Lo Saeed Selvam
CivicAction’s 32 Reasons to Invest:
REASON: JOBS & ECONOMY – We’ll have more jobs, be more productive, and help businesses grow.
- Hundreds of thousands of new jobs (person years) will be created.
- Productivity and overall GDP in the region will go up.
- Neighbourhoods with better transit will attract new business and investment.
- People will more easily reach jobs across the region.
- We will retain and attract talented workers who care about how they get around.
- Households can save money by not having to rely as heavily on driving.
- Increased economic activity will increase revenues for governments to invest in communities.
- Better access to transportation can contribute to higher property values.
REASON: QUALITY OF LIFE – We’ll have more time to spend on what matters to us, and less stress and money spent on commuting.
- Less gridlock means less stress for commuters.
- People will move more easily and quickly from one mode of transportation to another.
- Students will have more time to study, work, volunteer, and have fun.
- Living near rapid transit and its perceived increased accessibility to destinations increases people’s satisfaction with their lives.
REASON: COMMUNITY – We’ll build communities where residents and businesses will thrive.
- Better transit systems and transportation hubs create vibrant communities where people can work, live, shop, and play.
- Local residents will have more access to jobs and business opportunities where transportation projects are built.
- Institutions like airports, colleges, and universities make a greater economic and social impact when they are better connected and more accessible.
REASON: EQUITY/ACCESS—We’ll reduce isolation and create more pathways to opportunities.
- Neighbourhoods and communities will be more connected.
- Seniors will be able to get to more places more easily.
- Newcomers who are settling in the region can better access education, training, services, and job opportunities.
- Young people who don’t drive or own a car can get to school, jobs volunteering, sports, see friends, and explore other areas of the region.
REASON: HEALTH AND SAFETY – We’ll make it easier for people to be active, and get access to emergency and health services.
- People can choose to be more active with new walking and cycling infrastructure.
- People will have more time to rest, exercise, and prepare healthy meals.
- Attracting commuters to transit improves air quality for children and families, leading to better health outcomes and savings from fewer illness and respiratory problems.
- People will reach health care facilities more easily.
- Less gridlock means emergency vehicles can respond to calls and transport patients more easily
- Less gridlock makes it easier for police services to serve communities and respond to calls
REASON: ENVIRONMENT – We’ll reduce our carbon emissions and build a greener region.
- We’ll reduce carbon emissions.
- A better transportation network supports higher-density communities and more green space.
REASON: REGION & CIVIC PRIDE – We’ll have a transportation network that we’ll be proud to share with the world.
- We can catch up and keep up with our region’s growth.
- Our region will be a bigger draw for tourists and visitors.
- We can more easily explore everything our region has to offer.
- Other cities have much better transportations systems than we do, and are reaping the benefits.
- This is our chance to contribute to a better future for our children and families.