Transit in the GTA: How to Get Back on the Rails

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“Transit in the Greater Toronto Area: How to Get Back on the Rails” was published online by the Institute on Municipal Finance and Governance as No. 26/2019 in its IMFG Perspectives series of papers.

The report by UTTRI associated faculty Professor Matti Siemiatycki and UTTRI advisory board member Drew Fagan was featured by CBC News in “Uploading Toronto’s subway could be step toward ‘true regional approach,’ say U of T profs,” on October 3, 2019.

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(L-R) Drew Fagan, Professor Matti Siemiatycki

Excerpted from the paper’s Executive Summary:

  • Toronto is an emerging global city. Yet the failure to build rapid transit in step with the explosive growth of the past 40 years is one of the city-region’s biggest impediments to inclusive development and prosperity.
  • Most immediately, the subway “upload” initiative launched by the Government of Ontario should become the basis for a regional discussion and negotiation about how to improve transit across the board, not just the TTC subway system.

The paper addresses among other things, the need for processes that would take into account the benefits and limitations of “evidence”, asking:

How can government be structured more effectively so that evidence, fallible though it is, wins out more often in the struggle with political considerations?

The paper then sets out recommendations for improving regional transit under five subheadings:

  1. Improve service coordination (who operates transit matters less than who coordinates it)
  2. Put politics in the appropriate place
  3. Integrate transportation and land-use planning
  4. Improve public engagement and transparency
  5. Provide stable, predictable long-term funding

Read the Executive Summary and full paper “Transit in the Greater Toronto Area: How to Get Back on the Rails” by Matti Siemiatycki and Drew Fagan.

The Institute on Municipal Finance and Governance (IMFG) is an academic research hub and non-partisan think tank based in the Munk School of Global Affairs and Public Policy at the University of Toronto.