Developing: Premier Doug Ford announces $28.5 billion in funding for GTA transit

A subway train is parked at Pape station in East York the day before a major transit announcement by the Ontario Government.

Developing: Premier Doug Ford announces $28.5 billion in funding for GTA transit

Ontario to spend billions to improve Toronto's transit system 

Premier Doug Ford announced Thursday that the Ontario government will be spending $28.5 billion dollars to improve the Greater Toronto Area’s subway system. He hinted at the announcement earlier in the week, during a speech in Burlington on Tuesday. 

This announcement comes at a time where there is tension between the City of Toronto and the Ford government about the province’s plan to take over the TTC subway system.

An open letter, sent on Feb. 21 to Mayor John Tory, was signed by 37 notable individuals, including Maria Augimeri, who is the former TTC commissioner, and David Crombie, a former mayor of Toronto, urging Tory to defend the city’s subway system.

“Before proceeding with any further with discussions with the Province, as per the Terms of Reference, the City must demand complete transparency on the Province’s ideas and plans, and insist that the TTC host public meetings to communicate to Torontonians the full range of implications of the upload,” the letter read.

Their worry is that Toronto will experience loss of efficiency, loss of planning power, and loss of future investment if the province does take over.

According to a statement released by the Ontario government, the premier met with the mayor on March 25, and transit was discussed.

“As I have said from Day One, I am committed to delivering better transit to the people of Ontario, and that means getting new subways built. I am glad to have had another productive discussion with Mayor Tory on this critical file,” the statement from Ford read.

Many Torontonians hope to see an improvement in their transit system.

“I hope this funding goes to improving service on the subway lines,” Amir Khalsa said early on Wednesday morning while he was at the Pape subway station. “There doesn’t seem to be a day where there isn’t some kind of delay.”

These delays affect Khalsa, as he uses the TTC everyday to get to his job at Hudson’s Bay at Yonge and Bloor.

Related storyToronto Faced Major Transit Delays in January 2019

The Ontario government has remained tight-lipped about how the funding will be spent.

The announcement will be made at 10:30 a.m. Wednesday with Premier Ford present, said a Tweet shared by Ontario’s Minister of Transportation Jeff Yurek.

Monte McNaughton@MonteMcNaughton