The Government of Ontario introduced the Transportation for the Future Act, 2023, that if passed, would help build more GO Transit stations and spur more housing and mixed-use communities around transit.
“Our government is delivering on our historic plan to build a stronger Ontario,” said Kinga Surma, Minister of Infrastructure. “The proposed legislation, if passed, will improve transit service and convenience, and help the province and municipalities build transit-oriented communities along our GO rail system, allowing for more homes, affordable housing options, parkland, retail, and office space near transit.”
The proposed legislation is in response to requests from municipalities for a new optional funding tool that would enable municipalities to raise revenues to build much needed transit and housing. The new tool, called the Station Contribution Fee, would allow municipalities to fund the design and construction of new GO stations and recover the costs over time as transit-oriented communities are built around these future stations. This would help speed up the construction of new GO Transit stations, while also creating new opportunities for mixed-use communities around those stations.
The legislation would also help the City of Toronto to better integrate its transit services with other regional transit networks by allowing the Toronto Transit Commission to enter into cross-boundary service agreements with neighbouring transit agencies.
The proposed Station Contribution Fee would enable municipalities to recover design and construction costs of new GO Transit stations. The municipalities would need to show a reduction in development costs to help offset the fee for developers, such as reduced parking requirements.
In areas where market conditions are not conducive to a single development partner, the Station Contribution Fee would allow municipalities to fund the design and construction of new GO stations, and to spread the costs across many developments and over many years.
Featured image: (Metrolinx)