Below is a letter submitted to the Editor of Now Magazine regarding the article “In Pickering, another (bigger) airport battle is reprised” in which Marcy Burchfield, Executive Director of the Neptis Foundation clarifies the context of her statements and requests a correction.
Martha Shuttleworth, president and founder of the Neptis Foundation, is pleased to announce that Marcy L. Burchfield has been appointed as the Foundation’s new Executive Director, effective January 21, 2014.
Over at Urban Toronto, Jonathan English posted a review of our Review of Metrolinx's Big Move where he wrote:
Debates over Metrolinx's Big Move returned to the headlines this week with the release of a detailed new report prepared by planner Michael Schabas for the Neptis Foundation. While some observers may dismiss it as “yet another” study of transit in Toronto, we can never have too much information about a plan that will, after all, cost tens of billions of dollars. The report brings some useful and occasionally provocative suggestions to the table and also effectively criticizes some of the weakness of the GTA’s transit planning process. This article will examine some of Schabas’ conclusions.
This report began as a question asked by Tony Coombes, the founding executive director of the Neptis Foundation, who passed away earlier this year.
Toronto (11 December 2013): An independent analysis by Michael Schabas for the Neptis Foundation shows that Metrolinx’s Big Move is in need of a major course correction if it is to meet its stated goals of doubling ridership and decreasing commute times.
The analysis by Schabas, a partner at FCP, an international transit and rail consulting firm based in London, England shows that Metrolinx has yet to prove the business case for many of its projects, and whether they provide value for money.
Metrolinx, which has embarked on a $36 billion program of capital investment has also been less than transparent when it comes to providing clear, complete, and consistent evidence to justify and prioritize its projects, says Schabas.
Given the urgent need to expand transit in the region and to make decisions based on the best possible evidence, the Neptis Foundation commissioned this evaluation of all Metrolinx projects on a consistent basis, the first study of its kind for the Big Move. The report analyses the business case for each project individually and as a package. It also draws on international best practices to offer suggestions for improving certain projects to help Metrolinx realize its goals of doubling transit ridership by 2031, reducing average commute times and highway congestion across the region.
Unlike other municipalities in the Greater Golden Horseshoe, York Region has implemented the minimum intensification target for each of its lower-tier municipalities using a total number of residential units instead of a % of total units. David Fleischer tweeted a question about the minimum intensification targets of lower-tier municipalities.
Just how much land has been set aside to be urbanized in the Greater Toronto Region in the coming decades?
What is the status of the implementation of Ontario’s innovative, ambitious and award-winning Growth Plan that is designed to promote “smart growth and curb sprawl”?
What are the key challenges and issues that have become apparent as municipalities translate provincial population forecasts, density and intensification targets into land budgets to determine how much land will be urbanized to accommodate residents and jobs?