Editorial Archive

Office of the Chief Executive

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The TTC and yesterday’s introduction of new legislation from the Province of Ontario

Yesterday afternoon (May 2), Provincial Transportation Minister Jeff Yurek introduced the Getting Ontario Moving Act – new legislation that will, among several other transportation initiatives, upload responsibility to the Province for rapid transit expansions and new builds. The Province had previously stated that legislation would be part of their plans to expand transit in Toronto.

Together with the TTC Executive and City of Toronto staff, including the City Manager, I will be taking the time to review the details of this new legislation to determine what impacts it has on the TTC.

City of Toronto’s Highlights of Bill 107, Getting Ontario Moving Act (Transportation Statute Law Amendment), 2019

I can be open in saying that as with last month’s announcement, this new legislation will most likely have an impact on the TTC’s own plans and deliverables, as well as possible changes to the way some of our departments operate in the future. The details or scope of what that means are still to be determined. I want to reiterate that we have an incredibly competent and committed workforce who not only know how to deliver the highest quality service to our customers, but understand the importance transit plays in the fabric of this city. I will personally continue to make sure that message is relayed loud and clear in all my meetings and conversations about these changes.

Earlier last month the Province made a significant announcement about transit expansion in Toronto and the surrounding areas. Four projects were highlighted. They were:
>A revised and extended Relief Line (the “Ontario Line”) will cost $10.9 billion and will be delivered by 2027.
>The Line 1 North Extension will cost $5.6 billion and should be open soon after the Relief Line.
>A revised and extended Line 2 East Scarborough Extension will cost $5.5 billion and will be delivered before 2030.
>The Line 5 Eglinton West Extension will cost $4.7 billion and will be delivered before 2031.

We will continue to work with the City of Toronto and the Province on the specifics of what was announced yesterday as it relates to the future ownership of our subway network, as well as the impacts to the way we run our organization.

I know many of you have been asking questions about what these recent announcements mean for the TTC, for your teams and for your own jobs. I have been working with my colleagues on the TTC Executive to meet with groups who are more directly impacted by these announcements around transit expansion to answer your questions as best as we can. I continue to be committed to transparency in sharing updates and information, as well as making myself and my colleagues available to answer questions directly with your teams.

As always, I want to thank you for the hard work you do, and for continuing to provide excellent service to our customers as we keep this city moving.

Richard J. Leary
Chief Executive Officer
May 3, 2019

News Release - Ministry of Transportation

Ontario Introduces Legislation to Keep our Roads Safe, Protect Frontline Workers, Schoolchildren, and Motorcyclists

Proposed Changes will Include Measures to Cut Red Tape and Save Businesses and Taxpayers Time and Money

Ontario’s government is putting people first with the Getting Ontario Moving Act that, if passed, would cut red tape for our province's job creators, help keep our roads safe and enable the province to upload responsibility for new subway projects from the City of Toronto. The Getting Ontario Moving Act was introduced in the legislature today by Jeff Yurek, Minister of Transportation.

“Our government’s bold new plan would make life easier for the people of Ontario by getting them to work sooner, home faster and to family and friends quicker,” said Jeff Yurek, Minister of Transportation.

Proposed legislative changes, if passed, would increase public safety by:
> Making learning to drive safer, and reaffirming to new drivers, that it is never safe to drive under the influence by introducing a new offence for any driving instructor that violates a Zero Blood Alcohol or Drug Presence requirement;
> Improving traffic flow and enhancing road safety on our highways by introducing tougher penalties for driving slowly in the left-hand lane;
> Protecting our children by giving municipalities the tools they need to target drivers who blow-by school buses and threaten the safety of children crossing roads to their school or home;
> Allowing motorcyclists to use High Occupancy Vehicle (HOV) lanes – a much safer part of the road for them; and,
> Strengthening laws that protect frontline, roadside workers from careless drivers.

“You expect government to enact laws and regulations that keep you safe and secure – especially on our highways,” Minister Yurek said.

Regulatory changes will put people first by:
> Amending motorcycle regulations to allow for high-styled handlebars; and,
> Allowing the use of advanced technologies for commercial motor vehicles that lead to reduced fuel consumption, lower emissions, and increased productivity within the trucking industry.

In the coming weeks, the government will make life easier for everyone in Ontario that drives a pickup truck or trailer for personal use, exempting them from the inspection requirements for commercial vehicles.

In everything that we do – whether it’s a program, policy or service – we put the people of Ontario first. We want to hear from the people who drive Ontario’s roads and highways, and that’s why we will launch two province-wide consultations – one to review speed limits and another to look at rules of the road for bicycles, e-bikes and e-scooters.

Saving Ontarians and businesses time, money and improving the customer experience at car dealerships by launching a digital dealer registration pilot program to allow businesses to apply for permits, plates and validation stickers online. This program will launch in Spring 2020 and will be developed through a six month, province-wide consultation in close partnership with ServiceOntario network providers as well as car dealerships, rental car, and fleet vehicle organizations.

Quick Facts
> The province has announced a $28.5 billion expansion to Ontario’s transit network – the largest investment to build new subways in our history
> The province and the City of Toronto have agreed on a joint Terms of Reference to guide a discussion on uploading subway infrastructure from the city to the province.
> Click on the backgrounder to learn more about the proposed changes to keep our roads safe, protecting frontline workers, schoolchildren, and motorcyclists as proposed changes will include measures to cut red tape and save businesses and taxpayers time and money.

News release issued by the Ministry of Transportation on May 2, 2019

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