A public agency that mirrors…

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A public agency that mirrors the TfL (Transport for London) in London, UK is an absolute must for the GGH to achieve any respectable and efficient level of co-ordinated public transportation. The constant reference to "municipal" and "regional" transport in the discussion paper only serves to emphasize the continuing lack of continuity of public transportation throughout the region. The public is left with the impression that the ongoing survival of the dozens of local bureaucracies is more important than actually providing the public with an integrated, efficient system.

Of particular issue here is the lack of a coherent, GGH wide system of accessible service for the handicapped, which is currently either unavailable or stops at the municipal boundaries. For example, a wheelchair bound patient, travelling from Oakville to a specialist on University Avenue, Toronto, must navigate three separate municipal accessible services BOTH WAYS! All the talk in this report about efficiency is empty rhetoric if this situation is not resolved.

There is no mention of revitalizing the taxi/limo/ride hail industry in this Report. This essential area of transportation (think, for example, first/last mile travel requirements, school transportation, accessible taxi services, etc.) is virtually ignored, with a few mentions of automated (scant hope!) vehicles filling the void. Contrary to comments from the Ministry of Transport's Manager of the Systems Policy Office (Mr. Michael Casey, in an April 14/2021 memo to the taxi industry), taxis/limos/ride hail vehicles do perform cross municipal boundary business, and should not be regulated by a multiplicity of municipal regulations. The chaos that has ensued with the poor or non-existent regulation of the advent of the ride hail apps in the for hire ground transportation industry has been, over the past few years, a source of customer confusion, industry burn out causing the loss of $billions in stake holder equity, and loss of regulatory income at all three levels of government. Another file handily fumbled by municipal governments, and one that should be uploaded to a Provincial Agency.

There is no mention of the establishment of "exclusion zones", the likes of which has been established in London, UK. Get the gas burners off the road in downtown Toronto, and let those travelling into the area use public transit. Only electric (and for the interim period when there is not a full range of vehicles available for all service requirements), and hybrids should be running in this area. A phase in period should be established wherein all new for hire vehicles must be in this category across the whole GGH region.

Finally, there is scant mention of having to pay for all of this. Electrification of a significant portion of the fleet of government and private vehicles will deprive the Province (and the Federal Government) of a significant income flow currently provided by fuel taxes, sales taxes and surcharges. New income will have to be sourced, perhaps from the profits of public charging systems.