Tag Archives: Macleans

A better way to build public transit? Start by asking how taxpayers are going to pay for it

How do you get 2.7 million people’s heads around the idea of paying for transit? Here’s a start: Nobody say “subways.”

Both the City of Toronto and its provincial overlords are on a mission for 2013: Sell the public on the idea that if they want less gridlock—which is to say, more public transit—then they’re going to have to pay for it with taxes, tolls or levies.

But what the city’s not doing this time around is even more telling. Historically, transit expansion starts with politicians drawing hopeful lines on a map and then trying to find ways to pay for those lines. This has led to decades of transit fiascos as plans got drawn, redrawn, hacked to bits and then finally half-built. Continue reading