Earlier today, this site, emailthem.com appeared offering a simple way to send an e-mail to City Council and local MPPs. If you haven’t already, please consider sending off an e-mail through this website to let our governments know that the people of Toronto really do care about bringing clean and affordable rapid transit to everyone in the city. And please spread the word.
The site provides a form letter that you can send off as-is or edit as you see fit. Below is what I sent, based on some numbers pulled from around the web.
Dear Toronto City Councillors and Members of Parliament:
As a Torontonian and TTC user, voter and taxpayer, I am alarmed and appalled that Mayor Rob Ford wants to put an end to the Transit City Light Rail plan and divert priority to construction of subways on his first day in office.
Residents of Toronto desperately need accessible transit to get around our city. Facts show that subways cost as much as five times more and take much longer to build than light rail, leading to cost overruns, depleting our budget, and making construction more susceptible to changing political will as we are seeing this week. Transit City is already researched, approved, partially funded and under construction. Cancelling it will lead to many more years of planning, assessments, consultations and reviews before any new project will start construction.
Leading groups estimate that the direct economic benefits of fully funding Transit City will raise the region’s GDP by $12.4 billion per year, netting $1.4 billion per year in new tax revenue for the province, plus an additional $1.7 billion in indirect tax benefits. Transit City is Toronto and Ontario’s most economically viable solution to bring reliable rapid transit to more than 1.1 million residents in currently underserviced areas. Light rail transit is a no-brainer for Toronto and Ontario.
I strongly urge you, as city Councillors representing our best interests, to bring this matter up for a vote in Council on Dec 16th.
I also urge MPPs who represent Toronto to be advocates for accessible public transit and keep the Transit City plan on track.