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Toronto residents uninformed about Metrolinx transit plan

Traffic starts to grow heavy on Highway 401 in Toronto on Thanksgiving Monday.

Matthew Sherwood/The Globe and Mail

Four years ago, the provincial agency Metrolinx came up with a comprehensive plan to deal with congestion in Greater Toronto and Hamilton by building more transit. Titled the "Big Move," it envisions vastly improved GO Train service, several new LRT lines, expansions of the subway system and several bus projects. But barely anyone knows about it.

In fact, close to 90 per cent of respondents in the Nanos Research survey said they had never heard of the plan, suggesting the province has a lot more work to do to bring the public on side. Toronto Board of Trade president Carol Wilding said people might be more willing to pay extra for better transit if they know there is a plan in place.

"It's important that the province drive discussion, drive debate and drive a solution," she said.

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Paul Bedford, a former Metrolinx board member, said the region needs more public discussion and debate to move beyond simply being frustrated by the problem.

"People need to understand that, yeah, we've got a mess, it will only get worse if we do nothing and there are the choices … and there are consequences for each of those choices, and we've got to make a decision," he said.

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