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Tory repeats support for road tolls at York University subway station

CityNews | posted Tuesday, Nov 29th, 2016

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Mayor John Tory is adamantly defending his plans to implement road tolls on two highways in the city, while challenging his detractors to come up with a better idea.

“I believe that a toll system is the fairest way to go because it allows us to build the transit and roads we need in order to fix traffic with the least amount of impact on our residents,” Tory said at the York University subway station on Monday.

He, along with TTC chair Josh Cole and budget chief Gary Crawford, toured the new station, which is not yet open.

Construction at the York University subway station, as seen on Nov. 15, 2016. TORONTO TRANSIT COMMISSION
Construction at the York University subway station, as seen on Nov. 15, 2016. TORONTO TRANSIT COMMISSION

 

Construction at the York University subway station, as seen on Nov. 15, 2016. TORONTO TRANSIT COMMISSION
Construction at the York University subway station, as seen on Nov. 15, 2016. TORONTO TRANSIT COMMISSION

 

Tory said the ongoing and upcoming transit projects have “big price tags but they will have a big positive impact.”

 

 

 

Last week, Tory said tolls on the Gardiner Expressway and the Don Valley Parkway, as well as a hotel tax, are needed to raise $33 billion for city projects, mainly for transit expansion.

While the cost of the tolls has not been decided, Tory said a $2 fee would bring in more than $200 million every year. All drivers would pay the toll – not just those living in the 905 area.

On Monday, he reiterated that money generated from the road tolls would be “exclusively and only for transit and infrastructure to fix traffic.”

He also cautioned people about what traffic will be like 20 years from now when more people are living in Toronto.

“What will it be like to get around then, if we don’t start in earnest to both build and pay for transit now?” Tory asked.

Tory said he has received positive response from the public about road tolls, but has asked the detractors to offer alternatives.

“They have an obligation to spell out what they’re going to do.”

He said there are only three choices available: a massive increase in property taxes for Toronto residents, sell assets like Toronto Hydro or cancel the transit projects – all of which he is opposed to.

“If people want to stand up and say they want to cancel the transit projects and have traffic smother this city, they’re welcome to say that. But that’s not where I am and it’s not where I’m going to be,” Tory said.


Related stories:

Road tolls, hotel tax needed to fund $33B in projects: Tory

Video: 905 residents balk at proposed road tolls in Toronto

Video: Mayor Tory backs plan for road tolls on DVP, Gardiner Expressway

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