#brampoli Federal Transit Money for Brampton: Formula and Clarification on Mississauga’s Allotment

Last week there was a federal announcement for transit funding for Ontario. The Province provided matching funding and we assume municipalities have the option to contribute an amount they choose to.

There was some discussion in the #brampoli hashtag on how the funding was calculated for Brampton. First, here’s what was announced:


And here’s the specific Brampton reference:

Chart 2

How was the money for Brampton calculated?  We contacted the Minister of Infrastructure office and received the below reply.

“Allocations for public transit for Phase 2 were developed from the Canadian Urban Transit Association’s (CUTA) 2015 Fact Book for conventional ridership, as this is the most recent data available. Specialized transit figures were also included, where applicable. These numbers were complemented with data provided by the provinces for non-CUTA recognized systems.

The calculation for the province [Ontario] was based on 70% ridership and 30% population formula. Within the province, allocations to each system were done on a 100% ridership basis.”

We thank the Minister’s office for their reply. Further, they got back to us quickly and we simply used the email address on the news release. We would encourage people to send an email and ask for specific details if they are required because it can sometimes be helpful at getting a complete picture.

What was Brampton Transit’s ridership in 2015? This blog post by Sean Marshall provides the response:
Sean notes that this is from: “GTHA transit agency annual growth rates, 2013 to 2015. Adapted from TTC 2016 Ridership Update, page 5.
We’re posting this for information purposes and are not suggesting that this is a good or not so good formula. We simply hope it addresses the question raised.

 Allocation: Did they get $800 million from the federal government?

In addition to the formula discussion above, there was some in #brampoli who suggested that the City of Mississauga received $800 million from the federal government. This is not correct as shown in the chart below (total column added by us).Media preview

Further, in this news release by the City of Mississauga.

“Today’s investment will see over $800 million in dedicated funds – including matching funds from the province and the City of Mississauga – flow to the City of Mississauga over the next decade. This is good news for our community, our residents, and our future growth as a city. Mississauga is home to almost 800,000 residents from every country, and over 88,000 businesses. We are a city in demand and a place where the world comes to work. High-quality infrastructure allows us to compete on a global stage, attract new business, and most importantly, create jobs for our residents.

The key words in the news release are “including matching funds from the province and the City of Mississauga” (emphasis added)

To be clear, the City of Mississauga did not receive $800 million just from the federal government. The City itself made a contribution to get the number to $800 million. So, we look forward to seeing what the City of Brampton decides to do.

 Providing this information isn’t meant as a comment on the broader issue of regional transit funding fairness. In fact, our group is very clear that we think several projects in Brampton would be a better use of provincial and federal funding on an evidence-based basis rather than:
1. The one-stop Scarborough subway, which has seen its ridership projections drop, capital budget go up, bus travel times increased and route shortened. There’s a great article in the Star here explaining the situation.
2. Converting the planned Sheppard LRT to a subway. Our fellow transit advocates at CodeRedTO have provided the below graph;
3. Fully grade separated the Eglinton West LRT. It’s not needed. Star article here.

Public Transit vs. Private Car Costs

I (Kevin, Co-Founder of Fight Gridlock) was recently asked about transit costs compared to the cost of private car ownership.

“We ought to be looking for ways to make the costs of public transportation as near to free as we can. If we calculated all the costs of having someone drive a car versus taking transit – It probably cost society far more for the car driver – that the car driver doesn’t pay themselves. We all do. And this is without putting a cost on the environmental impact.”

Fight Gridlock fully acknowledges that nothing is “free”. Like anything else, transportation funding is always about “how much does it cost”, and “who’s going to pay for it”. That said, this is an interesting enough topic to dive into to better understand how transportation is funded and value for money.

This article will look at the topic in two ways:

  1. What is the out-of-pocket cost for these trips?
  2. What is the cost to society to enable trips by public transportation vs. private automobile.

Internalized (Out-Of-Pocket) Costs

Private Automobile

Generally, the variables in private automobile transportation are what kind of automobile, whether it is new or used, how many automobiles, and how much mileage is applied. This could be influenced by lifestyle stages such as whether a person has a partner or not, and whether children are being transported regularly. This article will explore a few scenarios, with all costs cited from CAA Driving Costs Calculator, Province of Ontario. Annual mileage of 20,000km on a new automobile is assumed.

Source: https://www.caa.ca/carcosts/
Last accessed: February 24, 2018, 10:19pm

Scenario Car Ownership Annual Cost
One Adult, No Kids Compact Car $7,534.81
One Adult, Two Kids Van $9,874.18
Two Adults, No Kids Two Compact Cars $15,069.62
Two Adults, Two Kids One Compact Car,
One Van


Public Transit

Let’s build out the same scenarios using public transit. There is some overlap in variables, but there are also unique differences. For example: Committing to owning a van accumulates costs whether the van is used to full capacity of not. While monthly public transit passes are available for children, they are not always the best use of money if a child does not need public transit every day. This article will assume the purchase of Brampton Transit monthly passes.

Source: http://www.brampton.ca/EN/residents/transit/Fares/Pages/Fares.aspx
Last accessed: February 24, 2018, 10:35pm

Scenario Monthly Passes Annual Cost
One Adult, No Kids One Adult $122 * 12

= $1,464
One Adult, Two Kids One Adult
Two Child/Youth
$122 * 12 = $1,464
$105 * 12 = $1,260

$1,464 + $1,260 + $1,260

= $3,984
Two Adults, No Kids Two Adult $122 * 12 = $1,464

$1,464 + $1,464

= $2,928

Two Adults, Two Kids Two Adult
Two Child/Youth
$122 * 12 = $1,464
$105 * 12 = $1,260

$1,464 + $1,464 + $1,260 + $1,260

= $5,448


Externalized (Socialized) Costs

The tricky thing about public transit is that some of the cost is recovered at the fare box, and the rest is paid for by taxes — which every Brampton resident pays into. Further confounding the matter is that cost recovery is not limited to Brampton residents. This brings us to the second part of this article: What is the cost to enable trips by public transportation vs. private automobile?

2017 Brampton Transit Costs

Operational Costs Source: http://www.brampton.ca/EN/City-Hall/budget/2018%20Budget/Operating%20Budget/TRN_S_2018.pdf
Last accessed: February 24, 2018, 11:43pm

Capital Costs Source: http://www.brampton.ca/EN/City-Hall/budget/2017%20Budget/Capital%20Overview.pdf
Last accessed: February 24, 2018, 11:43pm

Item 2017 Cost
Operations (Drivers, Staff Wages) $136,909,597
Capital (New Buses) $71,421,000
Total $208,330,597


This total cost does not take into consideration any grants received by the provincial government, or any cost recovery from the fare box.

Factoring In Census Data

Census Source: http://www12.statcan.gc.ca/census-recensement/2016/dp-pd/prof/details/page.cfm?Lang=E&Geo1=CSD&Code1=3521010&Geo2=PR&Code2=35&Data=Count&SearchText=Toronto&SearchType=Begins&SearchPR=01&B1=All
Last accessed: February 24, 2018, 11:59pm

Census data suggests that Brampton’s population was 593,638 people in 2016, and that an estimated 13.96% of the population uses public transit as their main mode of travel. This works out to be an estimated 82,872 people.

The same census data suggests that 75.89% of Brampton’s population is a driver of a car, truck, or van as their main mode of travel. This works out to be an estimated 450,512 people.

What Are The Costs?

A cost of $208,330,597 to provide transit to approximately 82,872 people amounts to a full cost of approximately $2,513.88 per person annually.

If an estimated 450,512 people each pay $7,534.81 per year to drive a compact car, this amounts to a total of $3,394,522,322.72 — that’s over 3 BILLION DOLLARS — being paid into a system to support private automobile transport.

Even with no cost recovery at the fare box, a fully subsidized transit system costs 3 times less per person than what it costs for the public to pay for private automobile ownership.

The total contribution being paid to support private automobile ownership is more than 16 times higher than the total cost of the entire Brampton Transit system.

The Province Decides Not to Proceed with GTA West/Highway 413

We received this email:

“Good afternoon,

As you may be aware, in 2007, the Ministry of Transportation began the Greater Toronto Area West Corridor Environmental Assessment (GTA West EA) to identify and address transportation needs in this area, with a focus on developing transportation projects.

In December 2015, the Minister of Transportation suspended the GTA West EA, and the ministry committed to a review of the project with the assistance of an advisory panel.

On February 9, 2018, after reviewing the advice of the panel, the Minister of Transportation announced that the province will not proceed with an environmental assessment for a proposed highway in the GTA West corridor. The news release of the announcement can be found at: https://news.ontario.ca/mto/en/2018/02/ontario-not-moving-forward-with-highway-for-gta-west-corridor.html.

However, the Ministry of Transportation and the Independent Electricity System Operator (IESO), initiated a joint study to identify a smaller corridor that will be protected for future infrastructure needs, such as utilities, transit or other transportation options. The goal of the study is to ensure that lands are protected so that infrastructure required to support future growth and development in the region can be accommodated without more significant impacts to the environment and the Greenbelt.

The study area for the new joint study is approximately one-third of the size of the area covered by the focused analysis area from GTA West EA, and will be protected as the study moves forward over the next 9-12 months.  Information on the new study, including a map of the study area can be found at http://www.mto.gov.on.ca/english/publications/gta-west-report/north-west-gta-corridor.shtml. This study is not conducted as an environmental assessment, and any infrastructure development in the area would require the completion of an applicable environmental assessment.

For more information on the Northwest GTA Corridor Identification Study, please contact the study team by email at NorthwestGTA.corridor@ontario.ca, or by phone at 1-877-663-7167.


Michael M. Casey
Manager, Provincial Planning Office
Ministry of Transportation
(416) 585-7255″

Survey Says…

Have you seen these commute visualizations created by Anthony Smith?

Fight Gridlock is happy to see this graph, and we commend Anthony for his amazing efforts to help the public interpret data in meaningful and interesting ways.

This was a wonderful reminder of information that was presented during the HMLRT discussions in 2015:

“Over 65 per cent of all trips were taken within the Region and consists mostly of trips within Mississauga, Brampton, and Caledon. It shows that improvements towards intra-regional transit and local short-distance active transportation trips could have a more significant impact on overall transportation.”

Source: Peel Long Range Transportation Plan, Update 2012

Based on the 2016 Census, the percentage of Brampton residents working in Peel has increased slightly to almost 67%. In terms of regional transit connections to neighbouring municipalities and how they compare to Brampton council’s “top 3 priorities” from 2013 — Queen St. service to Vaughan, GO train service to Toronto, and LRT into Mississauga — actual commute patterns of Brampton residents might be indicating that these priorities are worth revisiting.

  • Travel to Mississauga: 28.9%
  • Travel to Toronto: 19.9%
  • Travel to Vaughan: 6.0%

Source: Statistics Canada, 2016 Census of Population, Statistics Canada Catalogue no. 98-400-X2016325.

As always, we appreciate data (and maps!), and will continue to advocate for factual, evidence-based decision making from our elected representatives.

New 410 Highway Lanes Opened


Ontario has opened two new lanes on Highway 410, from Highway 401 to Queen Street in Brampton, to improve traffic flow and get commuters moving.

Kevin Montgomery, founder of Fight Gridlock in Brampton, an advocacy group that promotes increased transit and cycling options for Brampton residents, believes that “induced demand” will quickly fill up the extra lanes.

Source: New 410 Highway Lanes Opened – Stand UP for Brampton

Letter to the Metrolinx Board with Transit Projects for Brampton #brampoli

Please see here for a PDF for a copy of our latest correspondence to the Metrolinx Board for their September 2017 meeting. Please note that copies of all letters/emails sent to the Metrolinx Board are added to the official minutes of the Board meeting and acknowledged by the Chair before the meeting starts.

Our September 2017 letter covered the following topics that were mentioned in the Board report:

  1. Metrolinx 2017-18 Business Plan: Kitchener Corridor Expansion and Freight Bypass;
  2. Capital Projects Group Quarterly Report;
  3. Off-Peak GO Train Service;
  4. The Next Regional Transportation Plan (RTP): Draft Plan for Public Consultation; and
  5. Hurontario LRT (HuLRT)

Our letter for the June 2017 meeting is here. Topics included:

  1. Brampton-Halton Freight Rail Bypass (BHFRB) for the CN Rail Halton Subdivision;
  2. Hydrogen;
  3. Off-Peak GO Train Service;
  4. Bramalea GO Station Revitalization;
  5. Naming of the Hurontario LRT (HuLRT) LRVs;
  6. High-Speed Rail (HSR); and
  7. Thank you

Our letter for the June 2016 meeting is here.

  1. Expanded GO Train Service for the Kitchener Corridor

A key note of the is letter is that it was jointly signed by a number of organizations in Brampton and along the Kitchener Corridor.