December 5, 2004 by Allen George
Looks as if the municipalities have finally put aside their differences and come up with a way of sharing the federal gas tax ‘loot’. Humor aside, this funding will go a long way towards improving the state of public transit in Canada. Municipal governments have long complained about their inability to properly fund transit due to limited taxing ability, sporadic revenue transfers and outdated perceptions of a city’s place in Canada’s residential fabric. I view the gas tax as the first baby step towards fixing these problems.
If the money’s used properly.
- The national allocation is based on per-capita calculations and be earmarked for sustainable infrastructure development. [emphasis mine] Is it just me or does that sound somewhat wishy washy?
- Smaller provinces and territories are guaranteed at least $25 million a year through separate regional allocations.
- The largest cities and metropolitan areas – think Toronto, Vancouver, Montreal – would be guaranteed 25% of the gas tax revenue. Ridership should be taken into account when earmarking money for investments.
Much as people would like to belittle Toronto, the TTC does carry a majority of the transit traffic in Canada. It would benefit highly from a stable, sustainable funding source.
As a resident of the GTA, the one thing that would please me the most is increased densification of city cores so support mass transit corridors. The province’s plan to cast the 905’s outer boundaries in stone will have quite an impact in achieving that goal…