Road tolls and more buses: Greens would deliver better transit, leader says

Green Party of Ontario Leader Mike Schreiner says he knows transit is a top issue in Guelph and Waterloo region, and it's why he's not shying away from things like road tolls to improve the way people move around the province.

'We’ll be honest with people how to pay for world-class transit and then we will deliver': Schreiner

Green Party of Ontario leader Mike Schreiner says he hears people in Guelph and Waterloo region who bemoan transit not just to Toronto, but between cities.

It's the reason he wants to bring more inter-city bus routes to southern Ontario, the Guelph candidate said when he sat down with Craig Norris, host of CBC K-W's The Morning Edition, this week.

"I have so many people in Guelph saying I want to take a bus to K-W. I want to take a bus to Hamilton. Why hasn't the government delivered that?" he said.

"We need better inter-city bus connections. We can deliver on that right now as we work on the long-term plan around high-speed rail."

He would also like to see all day, two-way GO trains between the region and Toronto as quickly as possible and said he believes it could be done before 2024, which is when the Liberals promised the service would be ready.

He would also like to electrify the GO train system. That would take time, he noted, but in the interim, diesel hybrid trains could be used.

"The more we can get people off of cars, and onto transit, the more productive they're going to be because you can work and travel at the same time," he said.

'We'll be honest with people'

Schreiner also doesn't shy away from saying he'd implement road tolls for commuters and drivers going into Toronto.

He said the the other "status quo" parties say they'll build more transit "and they haven't got the job done."

"We'll be honest with people how to pay for world-class transit, and then, we will deliver on that transit," he said.

"I think paying a price to drive into Toronto is what every expert — whether it's the Toronto Board of Trade, whether it's Metrolinx, the Golden reports, you've had academics, you've had business leaders, you've had transit planners — have all said road pricing is essential to raising the revenue we need to build transit."

Listen to the whole interview with Green Party of Ontario Leader Mike Schreiner, which also touches on the move to a green economy, climate change, wage inequality and not being part of the leaders' debate on Sunday.


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