6.0
INVESTMENT STRATEGY

6.2
THREE-PHASED APPROACH TO INVESTMENT

The Investment Strategy reflects the “results-first” imperative that was repeatedly emphasized by the public and stakeholders during consultations held by Metrolinx during the development of the RTP and Investment Strategy. While it is widely recognized that bold action is needed to address regional transportation needs, people are sceptical about the pattern of continuing re-announcements with no construction ground-breaking in sight. They want to see action and results, and to get on with the construction of the major new transit projects that will improve mobility in the GTHA. As well, they want Metrolinx to build implementation credibility and a track record first, using existing resources, before seeking any new revenue and financial tools.

The Investment Strategy is a critical component of RTP implementation. The Investment Strategy sets out a three-phased, affordable plan to finance the implementation of the RTP, with the first construction ground-breaking on major transit projects to occur as early as 2009.

PHASE ONE: QUICK WINS

The first phase of the Investment Strategy is already underway. To demonstrate early action on transit improvements, in late 2007 Metrolinx recommended to the province a package of “Quick Win” transit investments across the GTHA. The Quick Wins will be in service within five years or less. The province subsequently approved almost $750 million towards these projects in the 2008 Provincial Budget, and the majority of this funding has already been transferred to municipal transit operators to allow these projects to get underway.

The Quick Win projects, which are illustrated in Appendix D, may be ‘quick’ in timing, but they represent a significant advancement in taking a regional approach to addressing transportation needs, and they are the precursors of the larger scale, transformational projects identified in the RTP.

PHASE TWO: MOVEONTARIO 2020 FUNDING FOR MAJOR NEW TRANSFORMATIONAL PROJECTS

The second phase begins immediately in 2009, with a focus on the 15 priority transit projects identified in section 5.2 of the RTP. During this phase, the province’s $11.5 billion MoveOntario 2020 foundation commitment, coupled with previously announced project funding, will enable Metrolinx and its partners to proceed with construction of these major new transformational projects that will positively shape travel decisions, growth patterns and the long-term development of the GTHA.

Announced by the Premier of Ontario in June 2007, the MoveOntario 2020 initiative is a bold, landmark step to improve the economic competitiveness and quality of life in the GTHA through major rapid transit expansion. It is one of the single largest transit investments in Canadian history. Ontario is asking the federal government to contribute a further $6 billion to increase the total investment to $17.5 billion. This level of support is consistent with other infrastructure projects of national economic and environmental importance – and typical practice of federal or national governments around the world.

The provincial MoveOntario 2020 commitment should be sufficient to sustain RTP project commitments from 2009 to 2015. With the additional requested federal MoveOntario 2020 funding, RTP implementation could be sustained to 2018.

Leveraging the Ontario Government’s MoveOntario 2020 commitment will allow Metrolinx to achieve early implementation action and results, before opening the public dialogue about new revenue and financial options to pay for the balance of the 25-year RTP.

PHASE THREE: BEYOND 2015

After the MoveOntario 2020 phase is over, and people are beginning to enjoy the benefits of new rapid transit services, shorter commute times and more environmentally friendly transportation choices, there will be a continuing need for significant, ongoing investments to achieve the full build-out of the RTP. New and innovative ways of funding the regional transportation system will need to be considered to meet capital expansion and rehabilitation, as well as operating and maintenance requirements.

Working directly with government partners, business, the public and other stakeholders, and by considering leading international best practices, Metrolinx will report back to the province by 2013 with recommendations to close the 2016–2033 investment gap and to implement the balance of the 25-year vision set out in the RTP.

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