OFA provides comments to the Ministry of Transportation, Environmental Policy Office regarding a discussion paper on the Greater Golden Horseshoe transportation plan (GGHT Plan). OFA supports the GGHT Plan vision to change the regional transit system from a radial commuter network with most connections centered on Union Station, to an expansive grid, to transport people and goods to where they are needed without going through the GTA core. This concept should be expanded to the larger region to ensure regional routes are available to reduce traffic flow reliance on central 400 series highways without adding undue stress to existing agricultural systems. OFA is concerned that no consideration of agricultural systems is included in the GGHT Plan Discussion Paper. The application of an agricultural systems approach to the questions posed in the Discussion Paper would be an excellent opportunity for the province to fulfill some APTG to protect the valuable agricultural land base and thriving agri-food sector within the GGH.
OFA supports enabling community transportation and intercommunity busing in rural areas that are unserved or underserved by mass transit. To achieve an integrated transportation system, OFA supports ensuring transportation connections are incorporated along and beneath highway systems through appropriately sizing bridges and culverts, and developing connections to commuter parking and transit hub areas. OFA also supports environmental compensation to preserve natural areas, improve air quality and manage risks to climate change. Using a wholistic approach, including agricultural systems when considering methods to enhance, streamline and improve transportation policies, and shifting non-agricultural traffic to other corridors, will improve safety, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and enhance food security.