Opening Remarks from the New Chair

In her opening remarks at the first meeting of the new board of Commissioners, TTC Chair Karen Stintz outlined her top priorities: to continue to make public transit the preferred choice of travel in the city, sharpen the TTC's customer-client focus to improve the riding experience, re-align transit expansion plans and simultaneously address the significant capital budget pressure for state-of-good-repair work, and invest every dollar wisely as the TTC improves service delivery and expands the system.

Essential Service Declaration

Commissioners voted in favour of a motion brought forward by Commissioner Cesar Palacio to formally request the province to declare the TTC as an essential service.

Transit Service to Variety Village

Commissioners received a TTC staff presentation outlining steps being taken to improve service to Variety Village, which include: extending Community Link hours until 10 p.m. starting on Jan. 3, 2011, improve frequency to every 30 minutes, and better promote the service. City Transportation is also exploring steps to improve accessibility to Variety Village.

Contract for Sheppard West Subway Station, Tunnel Boring

Commissioners approved the award of a contract worth $279 million to Aecon Construction Group Inc. for the construction of the Sheppard West subway station, and approximately four kilometres of subway twin tunnels from the current Downsview Station to the future Finch West Station for the Toronto-York Spadina Subway Extension. Construction is scheduled to begin in January and end early 2014.

Contract for Union Station 2nd Platform, Concourse Upgrades

Commissioners approved the award of a contract worth $161.5 million to EllisDon Corporation for the construction of a new subway platform at Union Station to the south of the existing centre platform, and for the reconfiguration of the concourse level to improve customer flow. Construction is scheduled to begin in January 2011 and end in April 2014. Funding for this project is provided by the Toronto Waterfront Revitalization Corporation.

New ACAT Members Welcomed Aboard

The Commission welcomed five new members to the Advisory Committee on Accessible Transportation (ACAT): Brayan Bratanov, Dorothy Creaser, Lori March, Valdo Tammark and Howard Wax. They begin their three-year terms on Jan. 1, 2011. The board thanked the following outgoing members who complete their terms on Dec. 31: Dr. William Castor, Adam Cohoon, Susan Davidson, Angela Marley and Marian McDonell. ACAT member Garnett Martin, who died last August, received a posthumous honour. ACAT represents the needs and concerns of people with disabilities and seniors who use TTC services.

2011 Commission Meeting Schedule

Commissioners approved the schedule of meetings at Toronto City Hall for 2011 as follows (held at 1 p.m. unless otherwise indicated): Wednesday, February 2, Tuesday, March 1, Wednesday, April 6, Wednesday, May 11, Wednesday, June 8, Wednesday, July 6, Wednesday, August 17, Wednesday, September 21, Wednesday, October 19, Wednesday, November 23 and Wednesday, December 14.