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Metrolinx Regional Reference Panel

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Regional Reference Panel Envelope

Questions? Please call our toll-free line 1-855-697-3811

WHAT IS THE METROLINX REGIONAL REFERENCE PANEL?

A Reference Panel is a representative group of volunteers who are randomly selected to represent the interests and perspectives of their community. Reference Panels meet over a series of Saturdays to learn about a particular public policy issue and provide careful and informed advice to public authorities and decision-makers. Reference Panels encourage participants to learn from one another and from experts as they work towards consensus concerning their preferences and priorities.

Reference Panels have been convened by Metrolinx on three previous occasions, including in 2017 to provide guidance during the development of the 2041 Regional Transportation Plan. The Metrolinx Regional Reference Panel is a representative group of residents from across the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area (GTHA), Barrie, Guelph, Kitchener-Waterloo, and Niagara, tasked with advising the Planning and Development Department on transportation planning projects of regional importance.

WHY HAVE A REGIONAL REFERENCE PANEL?

The GTHA is one of the fastest growing and busiest regions in North America. Each day, the region’s residents complete over 13 million trips. And each year, over 110,000 new residents make the GTHA their home. Earlier this year, Metrolinx worked with our partners and stakeholders to release the 2041 Regional Transportation Plan, which lays out a vision and priorities for meeting the region’s transportation needs over the next 25 years.

The Regional Reference Panel was created to advise Metrolinx in managing this growing demand and achieving our goals, in a manner that reflects the values and priorities of all residents.

WHAT WILL THE PANEL DO?

Between October 2018 and May 2020, members of the Regional Reference Panel will meet for 11 full-day Saturday meetings. Panel members will work together to:

  • Learn first-hand about transportation planning from independent experts and Metrolinx staff;
  • Understand the opportunities and implications for different communities across the region; and
  • Provide input to the Metrolinx Planning and Development Department on important transportation issues shaping the region.

Metrolinx’s Planning and Development Department will seek the panel’s recommendations on issues such as improving seamless connections between regional transportation services, setting high standards for traveller experience and design excellence, managing congestion and demand during peak hours, expanding access to cycling infrastructure, and preparing for new transportation modes and shared mobility services.

HOW DO I BECOME A MEMBER OF THE METROLINX REGIONAL REFERENCE PANEL?

In September 2018, 17,500 randomly selected households throughout the region were mailed an invitation to volunteer for the Residents’ Panel.

If you received an invitation in the mail, you can register by the deadline of Thursday, October 11, 2018 by either: calling 1-855-697-3811, registering securely online here, or by mailing the enclosed candidate response card back in the postage-paid envelope.

On Friday, October 12, 2018 a special draw will be conducted to randomly select the members of the Regional Reference Panel from among the respondents to the letter. This random selection process will also ensure that the Panel is balanced to match the gender, age, and population profile of the region.

If you did not receive an invitation in the mail, you can stay involved in regional transportation planning process through one of the ways below.

HOW CAN I GET INVOLVED AND LEARN MORE?

You can sign up to receive updates about the work of the Panel here.

Metrolinx also hosts a variety of public consultations each year on a range of local and regional subjects. Information about meetings and online opportunities is available at metrolinxengage.com.

You can also stay connected to regional transportation planning projects using social media @metrolinx.