Province Introduces New Bill to Fund Transit Infrastructure

Last week, the Province introduced Bill 131: Transportations for the Future Act, 2023. If passed, the bill would enact the Go Transit Station Fund Act, 2023 and amend the Municipal Act and the City of Toronto Act to allow certain municipalities to impose transit station charges on development to pay for costs related to the construction of new GO transit stations. The new Act would apply to municipalities that are prescribed by regulation.

The Act would allow municipalities to, by bylaw, impose transit station charges on development to pay for costs related to the construction of a new GO transit station. The new tool, called the Station Contribution Fee, would allow municipalities to fund the design and construction of new GO stations and recover the costs over time as transit-oriented communities are built around these future stations.

In order to charge these fees, municipalities would need to meet certain requirements such as completing a background study, providing public notice and opportunities for consultation, and obtaining Minister’s consent.

The Bill would also amend the City of Toronto Act to provide that the Toronto Transit Commission (TTC) may enter into an agreement with a municipality or local board authorizing the municipality or local board to operate, maintain, or both operate and maintain part of a local passenger transportation system with the City.

AMCTO continues to monitor the government’s commitment to make municipalities whole following its changes to development charges. While this Bill proposes to introduce a new revenue stream for municipalities, revenues raised will go towards funding what has been considered provincial infrastructure – GO transit stations.