Last week, CivicMuslims attended an interactive public consultation hosted by Metrolinx and the City of Toronto. This was our second YourVoice event. YourVoice is an avenue for our members to voice their opinions and be present at public consultations, forums and community events. Being in the know and being heard is what we're all about.
The topic of last week's event aimed to get feedback on the Regional Transportation Plan by Metrolinx, proposing to expand existing GO transit lines across the GTHA. Parts of the Smart Track plan were also discussed and explored in a presentation by the City.
The evening was a bit chilly and rainy - but that didn't stop us! For our pre-event discussion, few of us gathered at pleasant shop called Paintbox Bistro in the Regent Park neighborhood! After our pre-event huddle, where we mainly caught up with each other and shared any new and exciting developments in our lives, we promptly started our short walk to the Nelson Mandela Park Public School for the event itself. Upon arrival, we saw several large foam boards set up along the hallways with eye-catching graphics, diagrams and headings. We quickly realized that all the displayed information was regarding the Metrolinx plan to expand the GO service to various parts of within the city of Toronto and beyond (spoiler alert!).
The evening rolled into discussions and engaging sessions! One fascinating topic of discussion was the idea of a fare integration system between all the transit providers in the GTHA. It was interesting to hear all the opinions about which international fare system would be the best model for Toronto. There seemed to be a lot of support for the way London structured their transit system; essentially the city is divided into zones – and depending on your distance traveled within or between the different zones – there would be a specific charge. In speaking with various people at the event, it was acknowledged that an equitable fare structure needed to be incorporated into the various proposals.
The consultation consisted of a presentation by City staff explaining 3 development projects; Eglinton LRT, transit in the Waterfront area, and the Scarborough LRT. What was interesting to note is that transit development in this city is behind by 10 years – and it will take 15 years to bring the system up to standard. There was another presentation about the TTC relief line, that shared the results of a multiple phased assessment of 4 potential relief lines; they each focused on specific ‘corridors’ travelling from the Bloor/Danforth line with starting points at Broadview and Pape stations - to points on the Yonge/University line between Queen and King stations. Attendees got the chance to ask specific questions about the Relief lines and what the implications are of each option. The opinions varied, and certainly, the constructive feedback and questioning made for interesting discussion! Many of the attendees voiced their opinions on the topic and content of the presentation. There were interactive boards that asked attendees to suggest where new potential station entrances should be placed with stickers on a huge transit map. There was also plenty of reading materials provided of various assessments and evaluation results for different transit plan proposals.
We were happy to attend this event, and very pleased to speak with Mayor John Tory, who was also in attendance. We compared notes on CivicMuslims and discussed community engagement.
We capped off the night with our CivicMuslims signature post-event photo (with Mayor Tory!), and a quick debrief on our learnings from the evening, looking forward to the years to come in the rapidly changing world of transit!
By the numbers:
Countless engaging transit discussions x a room full of transit experts x getting the sneak peak on the future of our city's transit plans
an enlightening YourVoice event on the Future Transit in the GTHA!