Premier Outlines 2014 Priorities for Minister of Transportation

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In an open letter to Transportation Minister Del Duca, Premier Wynne outlined the areas where she would like the transportation minister to focus his attention.

Not surprisingly, transit objectives dominate the minister’s agenda. However, a number of projects related to roads along with the new concept of dedicated highway funding were contained in the priority letter. The idea of dedicated highway funding was advocated by the OTA Board prior to the summer election.

The priorities of potential interest to OTA members include:

  • Supporting other priority transportation initiatives outside the GTHA through dedicated funding under Moving Ontario Forward, such as local and regional transit, roads, and bridges and strategic highway improvements.
  • Bringing forward a proposal to implement high occupancy toll lanes to supplement the dedicated funds allocated to Moving Ontario Forward.
  • Investing $2.5 billion in highway rehabilitation and expansion projects across the province in 2014-15, including Highway 407 East Phase One and the Rt. Hon. Herb Gray Parkway, Highway 407 East Phase 2 and the widening of Highway 69 between Parry Sound and Sudbury.
  • Proceeding with several planned projects such as a new four-lane alignment on Highway 7 between Kitchener and Guelph and extending Highway 427 from Highway 7 to Major Mackenzie Drive in York Region.
  • Continuing to work with the Minister of Northern Development and Mines to implement the Growth Plan for Northern Ontario — including the development of the Northern Ontario Multimodal Transportation Strategy.
  • Working with the Minister of Economic Development, Employment and Infrastructure to consider the merits of supporting short-line rail operations in the province.
  • Maintaining Ontario’s safe roads by continuing to address areas of concern, such as pedestrian, cycling and truck safety, driver distraction and impaired driving.
  • Continuing to implement the province’s first-ever cycling strategy, #CycleON. This strategy will provide $25-million for cycling infrastructure investment.
  • Continuing to work with ministers and stakeholders to implement towing industry and business reforms.
  • Establishing a regulatory framework for autonomous vehicles.

As the Premier’s letter to Del Duca states, this list is a guide and not meant to be an exhaustive account of what the Minister must tackle in his 2014 role. OTA will continue to work with the Minister on a host of issues of importance to the industry.

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