Legislation passed in Ontario to deliver subways faster

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In a July 7 conference, the government of Ontario announced that it is building a modern, reliable and sustainable transit system for the 21st century that will get people moving, reduce congestion and drive economic growth and job creation.

Today (July 7), Bill 171, the Building Transit Faster Act, 2020, was passed into law. 

This legislation allows Ontario to expedite the process of building the province’s four priority transit projects, which will reduce congestion and drive economic growth and job creation.

The projects include the all-new Ontario Line, the Yonge North Subway Extension to Markham and Richmond Hill, the improved three-stop Scarborough Subway Extension and the Eglinton Crosstown West Extension to Pearson airport.

Getting more transit built faster will help reduce gridlock, deliver a modern rapid transit system for the province and become a major contributor to our economic recovery,” said Premier Doug Ford.

These four priority transit projects will create thousands of jobs, provide more housing options for people, and open up countless opportunities for businesses throughout the Greater Toronto Area and beyond.”

During consultations and throughout debate, we heard a common theme from a wide range of people who reinforced how important it is to not only build transit quickly, but to also get it right,” said Caroline Mulroney, Minister of Transportation.

That is why we’ve focused solely on eliminating the roadblocks that cause unnecessary delays, so we can deliver these major transit projects as quickly and cost-effectively as possible.”

The legislation supports Ford’s “New Subway Transit Plan for the GTA” which represents the largest subway expansion in Canadian history.

Additionally, the Act will expedite the planning, design and construction process for the four priority subway projects by enabling relocation of utilities more efficiently, better enabling the assembly of land required to construct stations and ensuring timely access to municipal services and rights-of-way.

It will also allow Ontario to conduct due diligence work and remove physical barriers with appropriate notification to property owners and ensure nearby developments or construction projects are coordinated so they do not cause delays.

Now that legislation has passed, we continue to call on the federal government to come to the table and fund at least 40 per cent of these nationally-significant subway projects that will provide a modern, efficient rapid transit system, benefiting all transit riders and taxpayers,” said Kinga Surma, Associate Minister of Transportation (GTA).

With the passage of this bill, we can get shovels in the ground sooner and get skilled people back to work as we restart the economy and recover from COVID-19.”

The passage of this legislation gets us closer to building much-needed transit infrastructure to reduce congestion and contribute to the economic recovery and renewal of our province,” said Laurie Scott, Minister of Infrastructure. “We are committed to fulfilling our promise to get people where they want to go when they want to get there.”

The government is building a world-class rapid transit system and developing transit-oriented communities with a greater variety of affordable housing options, working together with its municipal and federal partners on priority transit projects.

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