Poll: Most Torontonians want province to take over transit
With Toronto Mayor Rob Ford at odds with his colleagues at city hall, a new poll suggests that the best way to resolve the transit issue in the city is to have the provincial government take control over Toronto transit.
What’s going on with Toronto’s transit plans? Well, city council voted with the Toronto Transit Commission Chair Karen Stintz’s plan
earlier this month, but Toronto Mayor Rob Ford called the meeting “irrelevant.” Meanwhile, Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty said he would side with city council.
Despite the mass confusion and butting heads occurring at city hall, a new poll suggests Toronto residents believe that the best way to resolve the issue is to hand over the city’s transit to Queen’s Park.
According to an Angus Reid online survey
, 60 percent support the idea of having the Ontario government step in and take control of Toronto’s transit. Furthermore, a little more than half support expanding the subway, while 48 percent prefer the current plan of building and expanding the light rail transit system.
As previous studies have shown
, there is a conflicting view between suburbanites and downtowners. 55 percent of downtown residents support light rail transit, while 56 percent in the west, 61 percent in the east and 58 percent in York support subways.
Although most support expanding the subway system, nearly three quarters (72 percent) believe the council should have the final say even if the mayor disagrees. Even though a majority think council has the final say, only 41 percent trust the council on the city’s transit, 34 percent trust the premier and 25 percent trust Mayor Ford.
The primary issue that city councillors have with the mayor’s subway plan is that it is too expensive – an extra $2 billion in costs. It seems that Toronto transit riders would not be willing to pay extra for subways, though. Only 35 percent say they would be willing to pay more for subways through road tolls and other fees or taxes.
The online survey was conducted with 801 Toronto adults on Feb. 23 and Feb. 24. It contains a margin of error of +/- 3.5 percentage points.