For a stable climate, Ontario must eliminate climate pollution from passenger vehicles by 2040 (gasoline, diesel, fossil gas) and cut them by at least half by 2030.
Travel and transportation are the largest source of Ontario’s climate pollution and a serious source of air pollution as well as traffic deaths and injuries. Paved surfaces used for vehicles also worsen urban heat stress, flooding and water pollution.
Ontario must both replace fossil-fuel vehicles with electric vehicles and make it much easier to get around without a personal vehicle.
We will improve community life when we think of land use (community planning) and the ways we get around as two parts of the same challenge.
Key metrics for zero-carbon travel and transport will include:
- The percentage of the urban population with key goods and services available within a 15-minute walking distance, bike or transit.
- The percentage of the urban population served by safe cycling, walking and assisted mobility infrastructure.
- The percentage of trips actually taken by walking, cycling and transit.
- The number of publicly available charging stations versus fueling stations for fossil fuel burning vehicles.
- The percentage of deliveries made by zero-emission vehicles.
The Green Party’s key policies for achieving zero carbon travel and transport will include:
Clean the air for better health
Recognizing that the dirtiest diesel vehicles do outsized damage to human health, Greens will improve air quality and human health by getting them off the road. We will:
- Ban operation of highly-polluting older diesel trucks and construction vehicles, starting with pre-2008 vehicles in 2023.
- In exchange for their clunker, owners will receive credits geared to income for renting or buying zero-emission vehicles.
- Require trucks in urban areas to be 50% Zero-Emission Vehicle (ZEV) by 2030, and 100% ZEV by 2040.
- Electrify GO Transit and Metrolinx.
- Fund replacement of the oldest, most polluting transit and school buses with comfortable, quiet, zero-emission buses, by 2030.
- End fossil-fuel subsidies (tax breaks) for diesel construction vehicles.
Make cities walkable and cyclable
We will make it easier to live well in cities without owning a car:
- Stop building new highways or highway expansions, including the 413 and the Bradford Bypass. Building more highways paves over wetlands and farmland and turbo-charges sprawl while making the climate and housing affordability crisis worse.
- Intensify land use and build to a human scale to create 15-minute communities.
- Change zoning rules and official plans to ban further urban boundary expansions and to increase compact density, services, amenities and transit in suburbs.
- Eliminate minimum vehicle parking requirements for new and existing buildings.
- Support sharing and rental systems for bikes, e-bikes and low-emission vehicles with incentives geared to income.
- Include adaptive bikes and trikes, so that cycling is available to people with disabilities and seniors.
- Encourage cycle tourism with better road infrastructure and connected trails.
Make it safer to walk, roll and bike, including for children biking to school:
- Direct and fund municipalities to:
- Build protected bike lanes, while preserving safety and curb access for seniors and the disabled through universal design wherever possible. Do road maintenance, such as snow clearing, first on sidewalks, bike lanes and bus lanes.
- Give bike lanes, bus lanes, patios and green space priority over street parking.
- Add protected walking paths, trails or multi-modal facilities for pedestrians, and enhance with green space where possible.
- Convert surplus publicly owned parking lots into community-use spaces, or affordable housing.
- Establish fossil-free zones and car-free days.
- Make eliminating deaths of pedestrians and cyclists from collisions a key priority:
- Implement Vision Zero.
- Install traffic calming measures around schools, hospitals, shopping areas and other busy pedestrian areas.
- Enforce bike lanes, to prevent drivers from forcing cyclists into dangerous road traffic.
- Redesign roads to reduce motorists’ speed in areas that are a particular danger to pedestrians and cyclists, and eliminate hazards such as slip lanes.
- Reduce speed limits to 40 km/ hour on urban arterial roads, and to 30 km/hour on local roads.
- By 2023, require heavy vehicles to install a speed governor so that they comply with applicable speed limits.
- Reduce bike theft:
- Require secure bike parking and e-bike charging to be provided in new and existing multi-unit buildings, in surface parking lots and at all government buildings.
Greatly Improve Transit
- Triple public transit trips by 2030 by making transit clean, convenient, frequent, fast, safe, affordable and accessible.
- Triple dedicated bus lanes by 2025, and then double them again if needed.
- Add 4,000 electric and fuel-cell buses by 2030.
- Make off-peak transit use cheaper and more popular with time-of-day pricing.
- Integrate transit with on-demand systems, especially in suburbs.
- Grant all municipalities the same powers as the City of Toronto to levy a local municipal vehicle registration tax, provided that the funds raised be dedicated to transit and to active transportation.
- Restore the 50% provincial cost-share for transit operations.
- Stop provincial funding for purchase of diesel buses by 2025.
Increase zero-emission vehicles
Make zero-emission vehicles cheaper and more convenient than fossil fuelled vehicles:
- Make the upfront price of zero-emission vehicles lower than the price of fossil fuel vehicles with feebates.
- Adopt a zero-emission vehicle mandate to ensure that a wide range of zero-emission vehicles are available for purchase and short- and long-term rental in Ontario.
- Make low-cost financing or rentals readily available for zero-emission cars and e-bikes.
- Provide an incentive, geared to income, for the purchase or rental of an e-bike or electric vehicle.
- Phase out the sale of new gas and diesel-fueled passenger vehicles, light-duty and medium-duty trucks, and buses by 2030.
- Support the conversion of existing buses to zero-emission buses.
- Phase out the sale of new diesel-fueled heavy-duty vehicles by 2035.
- Phase out the sale of gasoline and diesel fuel for passenger vehicles by 2040 and for all vehicles by 2045.
Greatly increase access to Electric Vehicle charging:
- Require every 400 series highway rest stop to host a fast-charging station by 2023.
- By 2023, require all new or re-surfaced parking spots (public and private) to install EV charging.
- Require existing parking lots and garages (public or private, above ground or below) to install access to EV charging in 25% of spots by 2024, in 50% of spots by 2030, and 75% by 2035.
- Amend the building code to require new homes to have EV charging equipment installed.
Support research and development of fossil-fuel alternative vehicles to make them more widely available, including:
- Increase the availability of low-cost, low-carbon, low-hazard vehicles on urban streets by adding a new city class of low-speed zero-emission vehicles that don’t have to be built for highways.
- Scale up research, production and use of zero-emission fuels and of zero-emission vehicles for specialized uses such as agriculture, firefighting, and construction.
- Increase regulatory requirements for low-carbon content in liquid fuels.
Set a good example by:
- Making low carbon transport the default.
- Eliminating fossil fuel vehicles from the government fleet by 2025.
- Support research into vehicle fuels (primarily for those uses where electrification is impractical, e.g. and long-distance aviation, maritime and road transport) made of sustainable agricultural and forestry materials (e.g. compressed natural gas or RNG/ CNG).
- Provide tax credits for farmers who grow sustainable biomass feedstocks.
Improve low-carbon mobility in rural and remote areas
- Work with the federal government to increase the frequency of passenger rail service.
- Establish an affordable, convenient, low-carbon intercity mobility service, including investing in Ontario Northland.
- Work with municipalities, community groups and small businesses to increase access to rural and remote EV charging.
- Enhance broadband in rural, remote and low-income areas to allow more people to work remotely without commuting.
Grow our clean transport industry
Build on Ontario’s strengths in mining, in innovation, in financing and in auto manufacturing to build a strong Electric Vehicle manufacturing strategy and electric transportation industry supply chain.
- Lighten freight’s footprint by:
- Supporting local low-carbon delivery systems.
- Using road pricing to help move long-distance freight back on trains.
- Reduce pollution from airplanes by:
- Ending fossil-fuel subsidies (tax breaks) for airplane fuel.
- Requiring purchase of double offsets for all flights paid for with public funds.