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The Residents’ Reference Panel on the Next Regional Transportation Plan

Residents' Reference Panel Envelope

The Residents’ Reference Panel delivered a report of recommendations in June, 2017.

WHAT WAS THE RESIDENTS’ REFERENCE PANEL?

The Residents’ Reference Panel on the Regional Transportation Plan was an important exercise that provided residents with the opportunity to help develop a regional transportation system that responds to the needs of all travellers in the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area (GTHA). Thirty-six residents from across the region served on the Panel, which met over five days between March and May 2017.

WHY DID THIS RESIDENTS’ REFERENCE PANEL TAKE PLACE?

Between now and 2041, the GTHA is expected to grow by more than three million people. Managing this growth will require careful planning as well as significant investment in the region’s road network, transit services, sidewalks, and cycling infrastructure.

In 2006, the provincial government created Metrolinx, an agency responsible for coordinating and integrating all modes of transportation in the GTHA. In 2008, Metrolinx released the first Regional Transportation Plan (RTP) titled The Big Move, which laid out a vision for transportation and infrastructure priorities over 25 years. These priorities now shape how the region develops the transportation options and services available to residents. Among other things, The Big Move led to the expansion of the PRESTO fare card system; increases in GO train service, including all-day, two-way service on the Lakeshore corridor; construction on the Eglinton Crosstown line; new Bus Rapid Transit service in York Region; the opening of the Union Pearson Express train; and the launch of the regional trip planning tool Triplinx.

Now, almost 10 years later, a review of The Big Move is underway. This review provides an opportunity to reconnect with stakeholders, bring the latest thinking and advances in transportation into a new RTP, and clarify policies while continuing to push ahead with previously approved projects.

WHAT DID THE PANEL DO?

Members of the Panel met five times between March and May 2017, including once for a tour of transportation facilities important to the regional network. Over the course of these five meetings, the Panel heard from a range of transportation experts about the opportunities and challenges related to transportation planning in the GTHA. The panelists drafted a report outlining their recommendations in their own words, which was presented to the Board of Directors of Metrolinx in September 2017. This report helped Metrolinx draft the next Regional Transportation Plan.

HOW WERE THE MEMBERS OF THE RESIDENTS’ REFERENCE PANEL SELECTED?

In January 2017, 10,000 randomly selected households throughout the GTHA were mailed an invitation to volunteer for the Residents’ Reference Panel. In early March, 36 candidates were randomly selected from the pool of respondents in such a way as to broadly match the make-up of local residents. Read the invitation letter.

HOW CAN I GET INVOLVED AND LEARN MORE?

You can contribute to the process by: