Tolls on 400-series highways? Green leader says the time has come
Green Party leader Mike Schreiner is taking aim at public transit in southern Ontario as part of his attempt to get Ontario leaders to send a Green MPP to Queen’s Park for the first time ever.
Schreiner is running in Guelph, a riding which currently has Toronto-bound GO trains pass through in the morning and Kitchener-bound trains stop at night, as well as GO bus, Via Rail and Greyhound intercity transit options.
The Liberals have pledged to work toward acquiring the existing rail line to create an all-day GO train service, and to build a high-speed rail line by 2025, which would include a stop in Guelph.
The NDP platform features a number of transportation-related promises, including two-way, all-day GO trains and a pledge to pay 50 per cent of all municipal transit systems’ net operating expenses.
The PCs have likewise vowed to bring two-way, all-day GO train service to Waterloo Region and Guelph.
Schreiner takes his proposals further. He announced Wednesday that he wants to see the GO service expanded “as quickly as possible” as part of a larger, $35-billion investment in the province’s public transit systems. His plan also includes direct bus routes running between Guelph, Waterloo Region and Hamilton.
To pay for the new initiatives, he would implement tolls on 400-series highways, charges commercial vehicles more for parking, and increase property taxes on properties near subway and LRT stations. The Greens estimate that those measures would raise at least $3.5 billion per year.