David Quarmby told CBC News he can recall being a young transit planner in the 1970s, when he looked to Toronto as a place for inspiration.
"It was a place we all looked up to, we thought: 'Wow, it’s really happening in Toronto,'" he said in an interview.
In 2000, Quarmby helped design Transport for London, an organization that oversees the city’s transit system, as well as its roads and traffic signals.
He believes a similar agency is needed in Toronto today. Transit planning around Toronto is overseen by Metrolinx, though that agency has no authority over roads and highways.
"It can be quite difficult, I think, to get things done, to get the good decisions made if you have a fragmented governance," Quarmby said.
He said the agency was able to help reduce car use and increase bus ridership by dedicating special lanes.
Quarmby is due to speak to the Toronto Region Board of Trade on Wednesday morning.
Click on the video above to see a full report from the CBC’s Steven D’Souza.