Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Toronto Transit Plan Proposes New Subways, Light-Rail Lines Funded by Tax Hike

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Toronto Transit Plan Proposes New Subways, Light-Rail Lines Funded by Tax Hike

Article excerpt

New TTC plan: tax hike and more subways

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TORONTO - The chair of Toronto's transit authority proposed a vast, $30-billion expansion of the city's subway network Wednesday that would largely be funded by a property tax increase.

Karen Stintz unveiled the "OneCity" plan, which would call on Ontario to raise property taxes by 1.9 per cent each year for four years to pay for the long-term expansion.

Under the plan, six subway lines, 10 light-rail lines and five bus and streetcar lines -- totalling 170 km of new track both above and below ground -- would be added over 30 years to the existing system.

Lighter vehicles on the Scarborough Rapid Transit line would be replaced with a dedicated Scarborough subway line, while a new streetcar line would be added along the eastern section of Toronto's waterfront ahead of the 2015 Pan Am Games.

Mayor Rob Ford opposed the proposed plan, calling it "over-the-top" and said he wasn't consulted in the process.

"No one has been consulted, the taxpayers most importantly haven't been asked what they want ... this is ridiculous. I'm not going to support this," he said.

Minister of Transportation Bob Chiarelli said that the public needs to come to a "community-wide consensus" on the future of Toronto's transit system due to the high cost and infrastructure changes proposed in the "OneCity" plan. …

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