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Ontario Budget: 2010, Transit funding takes a major hit

By shost at 10:17 pm on Thursday, March 25, 2010

Quoting from the budget (which PDF did not allow you to cut and paste)

“In the current fiscal environment, the government has revised the scope and timing of some capital investments. To help manage infrastrucure spending over the coming years, the government will:

* Working with Metrolinx, phase construction of transit projects, which would result in approximately $4 billion in appropriation savings and reduced borrowing over the next five years

* Eliminate the Ontario Bus Replacement Program and include bus replacement costs as eligible expenses under the gas tax funding program, which supports municipal transit;

Reading between the lines:

Expect some Metrolinx projects to be delayed. Which ones? Good question. We’ll find out soon I think..

What about bus transit? What does this funding mean for systems replacing their aging fleet? Granted I have noticed many a new bus in even the smallest transit sytems, but this would probaly put a damper on some expansion plans in some areas.

According to the budget, I count about $5 billion to be spend in 2010-11 on all transpotation related subjects. $13 million is allocated to the Huron Central Railway for freight operations, some of this would be allocated for some Metrolinx and Toronto area rail projects, but how much of this is for purely highway plays? I would think the number is quite high, in excess of 80-90%… Anyone know more?

Either way…..¬† while the Kitchener expansion has not been announced as delayed, there seems a very good chance it may be.. and let’s see if the GTA West expansion gets money, or Highway 7 from Guelph to Kitchener in the meantime. A fraction of this¬† money would be better spent on our Rail network (GO expansion) to alleviate the need for these costly highways…

- Steve

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