Rock to Road

The price of Toronto’s congestion

March 29, 2010  By  Andy Bateman

March 29, 2010 – The Toronto Board of Trade today released Toronto as a Global
City: Scorecard on
Prosperity 2010. Although Toronto scores second
only to Barcelona
in labour attractiveness, traffic congestion is a roadblock to its present and future growth.

The goal of the Scorecard is to measure Toronto’s strengths and weaknesses as a major
urban centre competing in the global economy. Among its conclusions, the study
notes that “another serious roadblock to the region’s prosperity is congestion
in the Toronto
area. The Scorecard’s benchmarking work indicates that roughly 70 per cent of
Torontonians drive to work and that Toronto is dead last among comparable
metros on commuting times – with longer commutes than Los Angeles.

The OECD estimates that traffic congestion in the Toronto
region costs Canada
over $5 billion per year, pointing the finger at urban sprawl and decades of
underinvestment in public transit. The resulting congestion threatens Toronto’s viability over
the long-term and serves as an argument for increased investment in public
transit and policies that encourage Torontonians to leave their cars behind.”



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