The 2.5 Billion Question

The Mega Map

Full resolution here:

Playing the role of the Minister of Infrastructure and Communities, our intent was to research and understand the transportation infrastructure of our society so that we may suggest solutions for a more efficient travel within the GTA. We wanted to develop solutions that reduce travel time and cost for people, while promoting clean energy and improving social infrastructure.

Mandate letter

“ After many fiasco related to ineffective public transit projects, local governments would probably avoided investing in such infrastructure in the future. The solution to upgrade or retrofit the transit system sure cost a lot of human resources and is usually cast aside as mere consideration, as they eat into government funding with little payoff. However, we thought that if we focused more on the green infrastructure aspect, where it would not only be an incentive for local government, but it would be cost-effective for national funding as we can save more on importing fuel, which Canada won’t have to import from other countries. Our overarching goal would be to begin to rebuild Canada for the 21st Century. This would require significant new investments in public transit, green infrastructure, and social infrastructure"

The elephant in the room

Growing communities rely on well-maintained roads to transport raw materials for constructions, that is a given. However, what good is a road with nobody to travel on it, or ineffective roads that congest easily because there is no flexibility considered in its design? 

Commuters without personal transports are forced to take buses that often lead to drop off points far away from their destination, making public transit unappealing during harsh weathers. We cannot keep using cars either, and we cannot ban people from having cars. At one point our road infrastructure will decay to the point where it won't be able to answer the ever growing demand for personal transport, and the situation will be a transportation nightmare. No amount of roads will satisfy the never ending need to travel faster and more efficiently.

Below is the conceptual process we went through to begin visualizing our problems and target audience

Events throughout 1970 - 2010 that contributed to today's infrastructure problems
Empathy map of a student
Empathy map of a government worker

Research method

We used exploratory research which is a type of research conducted for a problem that has not been clearly defined. The results of exploratory research are not usually useful for decision-making by themselves, but they can provide significant insight into a given situation.

Findings and Solutions

A 2.5 billion dollar solution cannot come up overnight, and the proposed solutions aren't solitary, but meant to work in conjunction with others, all the while avoiding unethical practices. Since our knowledge of the state's inner workings is limited we could only propose the following 3 solutions: We wanted to trade foreign stocks. 

The Big Move is consisted of the most recent revenue strategies approved by Toronto Council, only 2.2% is needed from average household annual spending to support it

Aside from abandoned regressive ideas, the biggest obstacle to Toronto's funding options from what we've seen is ethical issue, which reduced the original 12 options proposed by Toronto Council down to 4. We will also want to diversify our investment in not one but multiple industries, and by doing that we spread the risks involved to different investment types, industries and geography. However this may increase the unease and of domestic worker front where jobs are sent abroad, therefore we propose a second solution to patch the first. 

Strategic investment is key

According to the concentric zone model the working class zone encapsulates right next to the business central while the commuter zone is separate by 3 other zones. We will improve public transit in the working family zone first where we can focus on one aspect instead of juggling everything in a wider berth of area. We cannot create jobs that is a given, however by appeasing the workers back home we can safely pursue foreign endeavors. 

We found out that the great concentration of residence in Downtown are mostly hotels

Housing prices are jacked in Toronto

Back to the issue with housing market, a semi-detached house in Toronto cost around $1 million CAD, a price spike originated from long running unlawful gains. The available housing list from 10,000 to roughly 5000 in just a year. This means someone out there are buying up the available houses to make the housing market more scarce, effectively increase pricing to resell them for more. This makes it impossible to move somewhere close to work even if you live Toronto, especially older workers. When traveling means are limited, people eventually seek to working at home.

Available positions vary from customer service and sales representatives to tech support, finance and real estate services which makes a lot of people work at home outside the office for more than half a week. They would then seek to improve their living condition which also becomes their working condition, but with renovation cost doubled and apartments keep getting outbid, growing families have to spend hundred thousands out of their pockets just to get basement dug for example. 

Some would argue that working at home is the answer to shorter commute time, traffics and such, but it also brings health risk from isolation, inactivity and other. This means the issue with commuters still isn't fixed. Even stopping at the transit point a health hazard especially in the winter, even more so to old workers. Doubling down with crushing commute time will drain the energy of any commuters coming from work to home, which can make menial tasks taxing. 

Everyone in Toronto pays the same transit fare, including thousands of people living and working in low-paying jobs, every single day. With Canada's fares being the most expensive in the world, this begs the question of whether or not public transit is still benefiting the Toronto people, or is it leeching them off?

There needs to be an investigation on who are buying all the houses in Toronto to jack up the prices, question their motive and put a stop to this practice if it proves self-serving. This can only be done internally so we cannot hope to understand the step-by-step of this task, however people won't have to pay out of their pocket anymore just to dig their own basement, therefore more dispensable income, which will make transit fares more bearable.

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Address: 1456 Whiteoak Blvd, ON
Phone: (905)-399-9845