TTC Chair: Federal budget puts Toronto closer to downtown relief line
There's no gift of cash for a downtown relief line for Toronto in the federal budget, but the Chair of the TTC feels the spending plan does put it within reach.
Karen Stintz is hoping to tap into a $47-billion building fund to help pay for the planned subway extension. Municipalities across Canada can apply for a chunk of the money, spread across a decade.
Stintz says the city & Metrolinx will work on an application together to make sure Toronto gets its "fair share".
She'd like to see Ottawa pony-up 1/3 of the cost of a downtown relief line, with the city & province splitting the rest. The total price tag of the project is around $2-billion.
Stintz believes Toronto is well-positioned to tap into that fund because "Toronto region is the economic engine of the nation...we know that we're not competitive right now as a result of our congestion." She thinks the fact that there's a vision for transit in Metrolinx's Big Move plan also bodes well for the city.
Stintz believes building a downtown relief line in the next 10 year is "reasonable" if Toronto can snag some of the funding.
The TTC Chair says the federal government's move to index the gas tax at 2% will also mean more money for the city to put towards transit, but in upkeep.
The mayor didn't speak to reporters at City Hall on Thursday, but did issue a statement on the budget. Rob Ford says he "happy to see that many of Toronto's ideas are reflected in the Budget". He adds that he looks "forward to working with the Federal Government to ensure Toronto benefits fully from these funding commitments".