Updated Long-Term Financial Plan for Toronto: Increasing the Cost of Parking

Updated Long-Term Financial Plan for Toronto: Increasing the Cost of Parking

Cycle Toronto is committed to helping the city meet its ambitious TransformTO’s target of moving 75% of all trips under 5 km by active modes of transportation such as public transit, walking and biking by 2030. In order to achieve this, it is imperative that Torontonians have equitable access to convenient, connected, and affordable public and active transportation options. Doing so will ensure the city’s COVID recovery priorities and supports those most in need, such as shift workers, women, and low-income and racialized people. 

For too long, our transportation network has not been equitably financed. People who have access to a car are able to drive on our streets and roads without having to pay a user fare. In stark comparison, Toronto’s public transportation network, composed of TTC and Bike Share Toronto, is heavily reliant on user fares and is not integrated. For people who rely on the TTC and Bike Share to get around, it can easily cost over $12 a day. The cost of on-street parking has been capped at just $5 per hour, which often makes it cheaper for people to drive into the city and park than to take public transportation. Developing permanent and pandemic-responsive transit funding sources that don't rely on increasing fares or reducing service levels are essential to expanding transportation options for residents across the city. Meeting both our climate and equity goals hinges on this.

Biking represents an important part of Toronto’s multi-modal transportation network, but we understand that riding a bike is not feasible for every resident of Toronto. The combination of cycling and transit is integral to bridging gaps in access to the transportation network while reducing the reliance on single occupancy car trips, alleviating traffic congestion and reducing collisions. 

We support the Mayor and City Council adopting new revenue tools that will put Toronto on a path towards financial sustainability in an equitable manner. Cycle Toronto is particularly pleased that the Executive Committee seeks to increase the cost of parking by:

  1. Implementing a commercial parking lot levy on non-residential parking, which will go a long way towards funding TTC in a way that will attract more people to public transit.
  2. Increasing the cost of on-street parking. It shouldn’t be cheaper to drive, but with the current on-street parking rate capped at just $5 per hour, it often is. If you live in Scarborough or Etobicoke and need to get to and from downtown, paying for TTC ($3.30 each way) and the cost to use a Bike Share Toronto e-bike ($4.50 each way) to get to a transit station, will cost up to $16 a day. On-street parking can be as low as $1 per hour (or less for those with monthly on-street parking permits), so those lucky enough to be able to afford a car will likely opt to drive.

Cycle Toronto is thrilled that the city is moving towards a more equitable cost recovery model and revenue generation that takes a more equitable approach to how it funds infrastructure that supports active modes of transportation over private car ownership

The budget is a reflection of where the City’s priorities lie, and we hope that you will allocate more funds towards improving our network of active transportation and prioritize building a sustainable and equitable future for people of all ages, incomes and abilities.

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