JOBS & ECONOMY
1) Hundreds of thousands of new jobs (person years) will be created.
Over 800,000 new jobs (person years) will be created from 2012-2031 as a result of the Metrolinx Big Move.1
2) Productivity and overall GDP in the region will go up.
Traffic congestion costs us.
The Toronto Region Board of Trade projects that the annual cost of congestion will rise from $6 billion to $15 billion by 2031 if no significant action is taken to improve our existing transportation network.2
The C.D. Howe Institute estimates congestion may be costing the GTHA as much as $11 billion annually when social and economic costs beyond the cost of time lost in traffic are taken into account.3
The Big Move plan is estimated to increase the region’s GDP by $110-$130 billion from 2012 to 2031.
Toronto region manufacturers deal with such gridlock-related impacts as delays, reduced reliability of deliveries of materials and components, as well as shipments of finished products to markets. For example, a Toronto Industry Network (TIN) member used to make truck deliveries between Scarborough and the west end of Toronto three times a day 20 years ago. Now they can manage only one delivery a day due to congested roads.4
3) Neighbourhoods with better transit will attract new business and investment.
Other cities have demonstrated how transit can promote economic development. A case study on Portland, Oregon shows that the construction of a new streetcar line, connecting downtown to a neighbouring manufacturing district, has effectively attracted investment in the city core. Since 1997, there has been about $3.5 billion in new development occurring within two blocks of the streetcar alignment. The developments include 10,212 new housing units and 5.4 million square feet of office, institutional, retail and hotel construction.3
In Hamilton, one quarter of Hamilton’s creative industry jobs are concentrated in the downtown core where walkability and public transit accessibility is ranked highly, according to a 2012 Hamilton Chamber of Commerce Study.4
According to the Hamilton Roundtable for Poverty Reduction, rapid transit lines attract transit-oriented development, including housing, retail, and other commercial development.7
In 2012, MaRS Data Catalyst interviewed 10 startups, and public transportation came up in every conversation as a primary consideration in choosing where to locate.8
4) People will more easily reach jobs across the region.
The Big Move will put 81% of residents within 2km of rapid transit.
Currently, the Toronto region has 200 million square feet of office space but less than half of it is within reach of rapid transit. Thirty years ago, almost two-thirds (63%) of the GTA’s offices were on subway lines. In 2010, that has changed and the majority of office space (54%) is located beyond the reach of higher-order transit.9
For many low-income people who live far from good public transit options or have no access to cars, many employment opportunities are simply not realistic because of their distance.10
5) We will retain and attract talented workers who care about how they get around.
More and more companies are moving to transit-accessible areas to attract young, educated workers.11
In a 2011 Canadian Urban Institute report, many employers are now taking into account the costs associated with attracting, training, and retaining talent in their calculations of per-square-foot occupancy cost.12
Toronto Homecoming, an organization incubated through CivicAction’s Emerging Leaders Network, conducted a survey with expatriates from Toronto, and found that opportunities for career progression and transportation infrastructure are very important factors in determining where respondents choose to live.13
6) Households can save money by not having to rely as heavily on driving.
The Big Move is estimated to reduce the percentage of car trips from 70% to 50% as well as the average distance each person travels by car each day from 26 km to 19 km by shifting their choices to public transit and more sustainable modes.14
With increased options for family members, households may be able to reduce the number of cars they need, resulting in significant savings: the annual ownership cost of owning a small sedan is around $6,400, which averages about $17 per day.15
7) Increased economic activity will increase revenues for governments to invest in communities.
By 2031, The Big Move will generate approximately $25-35 billion for governments: $5 billion for municipalities, $13 billion for the province, and $12 billion for the federal government.16
By 2020, The Big Move will produce cumulative totals of $7.5 billion in federal and provincial income taxes, and $1.2 billion in corporate taxes.17
8) Better access to transportation can contribute to higher property values.
A University of Toronto study indicates that homes close to a subway station were worth $4,000 more than other homes in the area due to their higher level of accessibility.18
57% of gen Yers in the United States ranked convenience to public transit as a highly important community feature.19
A 2013 study by the American Public Transportation Association found that the property value of residences that were closer to transit were more stable during the recession. In addition to more resilient residential property values, households living close to transit had better access to jobs and lower average transportation costs.20
Walkable neighbourhoods also result in higher property values. Houses in neighbourhoods with above-average levels of walkability are worth about $4,000 to $34,000 more than houses with just average levels of walkability.21pledge your support now
2Toronto Region Board of Trade, 2013. Discussion Paper—A Green Light to Moving The Toronto Region: Paying for Public Transportation Expansion.
3C.D. Howe Institute 2013. Cars, Congestion and Costs: A New Approach to Evaluating Government Infrastructure Investment.
4Metrolinx, 2008. Costs of Road Congestion in the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area.
5Office of the Transportation and Portland Streetcar, Inc., 2008. Portland Streetcar Development Oriented Transit Report.
6Hamilton Chamber of Commerce, April 2012. How Pedestrian and Transit-Oriented Environments Attract Creative Jobs in Hamilton.
7Hamilton Roundtable for Poverty Reduction, October 2011.
8Mars Data Catalyst, February 2012. Startup City.
9Canadian Urban Institute, April 2011. The New Geography of Office Location and the Consequences of Business as Usual in the GTA.
10Toronto Region Board of Trade, March 2013. A Green Light To Moving The Toronto Region: Paying For Public Transportation Expansion.
11Why corporations are flocking back to downtown Toronto, August 2012.
12Canadian Urban Institute, April 2011. The New Geography of Office Location and the Consequences of Business as Usual in the GTA.
13Toronto Homecoming Working Group, 2009. Home or Away?
14Metrolinx, 2013. The Big Move: Baseline Monitoring Report.
15CAA, 2012. Driving Costs.
16Metrolinx, 2013. Investment Strategy.
17Metrolinx. 2012. The Big Move's Economic Impact on the GTHA (factsheet)
18M. Haider and E.J. Miller, “Effects of Transportation Infrastructure and Location on Residential Real Estate Values: Application of Spatial Autoregressive Techniques”, Transportation Research Record 1400, National Academy Press, 2000.
19PwC, 2013. Emerging Trends in Real Estate 2014.
20American Public Transportation Association, March 2013.
21CEOs for Cities, August 2009. How Walkability Raises Home Values in U.S. Cities.