The Government of Ontario is proposing a new way to fund GO stations — one that they say would spur homebuilding and make transit more convenient.
The proposed legislation brought forward on Monday introduces a new money-generating tool, dubbed the Station Contribution Fee, that would allow municipalities to fund the design and construction of new GO Transit stations.
Municipalities would use the Station Contribution Fee to recover GO station construction costs over time by levying the fee on developments that rise up around the new stations.
The funding tool would be optional, and municipalities would need to apply to the Province in order to use it. To be approved, they’d need to show a reduction in development costs to help offset the fee for developers, such as reduced parking requirements.
According to the Province, the tool would help speed up the construction of new GO stations, which in turn would create new opportunities for transit-oriented communities.
"Our government is delivering on our historic plan to build a stronger Ontario," Kinga Surma, the Minister of Infrastructure said. "The proposed legislation, if passed, will improve transit service and convenience, and help the province and municipalities build transit-oriented communities along our GO rail system, allowing for more homes, affordable housing options, parkland, retail, and office space near transit."
The legislation would also make it easier for the TTC to integrate with other regional transit networks by allowing for cross-boundary service agreements with neighbouring agencies.