Gridlock costs the local economy an estimated $6 billion each year, but that’s not the main reason people are desperate for a solution. Quality of life beats jobs and other dollar-and-cents factors, according to CivicAction.
Easing congestion makes lives better and people are willing to pay for that, John Tory, chair of the urban advocacy group, told MPPs from all parties on Monday. But the public’s profound distrust of government is hindering acceptance of new taxes and other proposed “revenue tools” needed to pay for better transportation and public transit.
“We need to be convinced our money will be well taken care of — that it gets raised fairly, that it gets spent rationally, and that it delivers a system we can be proud of, Tory said. He’s right.
Arriving at a fair, broad-based and trust-inspiring system of raising money for improvements should be addressed next week by a special task force appointed by Premier Kathleen Wynne. Led by former Conference Board of Canada chair Anne Golden, the panel has spent almost three months consulting with “stakeholders” and reviewing a series of revenue tools proposed by Metrolinx.