TTC Board approves 2016 TTC Budgets

The Board approved the TTC’s 2016 Operating, Wheel-Trans and Capital Budgets. The budgets will be forwarded to the City of Toronto for submission to the City Budget process and for confirmation of the 2016 operating subsidy level. Here is what was approved:

2016 Operating Budget

Board members approved expenses totalling $1.76 billion, with an assumed operating subsidy of about $475 million. To balance its budget, the TTC would need a total subsidy of $515 million. The TTC is projecting a ridership level of 553 million in 2016, while maintaining its cost-recovery rate at 71 per cent – one of the highest in North America. The Operating Budget is facing a $40-million shortfall.

The Board approved a 10-cent increase in the price of a single Adult token ($2.90 from $2.80) and proportionate increases to other fares, and a 25-cent increase in the Adult Cash fare effective Jan. 3, 2016. Board members also approved a price freeze on Metropasses as well as a price freeze on all Senior and Student fares (including Cash) pending the City-led review of the Framework for Transit Fare Equity report due in the first quarter of 2016.

The Board also approved a series of motions, including:

  • Approve the additional 2016 service improvement initiatives recommended by the TTC Budget Committee, as follows:
    • Endorse the implementation of earlier Sunday subway service for 2016 and approve the implementation of earlier service on connecting bus and streetcar routes.
    • Bus Service Reliability.
    • Streetcar Service Reliability.
    • New and Enhanced Express Bus Service.

In addition, the Board approved forwarding the remaining service initiatives to the City’s Budget Committee for possible funding, including: Subway Service Reliability; Line 1: Three-minute-or-better Service; and New Streetcar Service on Cherry Street.

  • That TTC staff report back on establishing fares that provide the same trip multiple for Adult, Senior and Student Metropass purchasers; and that TTC staff employ a singular trip multiple approach to future PRESTO-based transit fare scenarios.
  • The TTC Board direct TTC staff to begin discussions with the Toronto Parking Authority regarding:
    • Ways to maximize revenue for the TTC from TTC parking lots.
    • Any additional partnership opportunities that might exist between the two organizations that could result in improved service for TTC customers, new or enhanced revenue streams, and any potential operational efficiencies for the TTC.
    • Report back to the Board in third quarter of 2016 with the results of these discussions.
    • Request that the TPA present to the TTC Board regarding their role in improving mobility in Toronto.
  • That the Board request TTC staff, and staff of the Transportation Services Department, City of Toronto, to provide a joint presentation to the TTC Board in six-months’ time on the parking and traffic management initiatives in use, and those being looked at, to improve transit service on routes affected by the scheduled subway closures.
  • The TTC Board direct TTC staff to report back in second quarter of 2016 on a long-term strategy for dramatically increasing non-fare revenue that includes, but is not limited to:
    • Clearly defined annual and long-term revenue targets, including an ongoing Board reporting schedule.
    • The designation of a member of TTC staff tasked with the mandate of increasing non-fare revenue.
    • Options for licensing and merchandising strategies that would promote and enhance the TTC brand while generating additional revenue.
    • A review of advertising, licensing and merchandising programs at the New York MTA, London Underground and other systems for best practices and strategies that could be adopted by the TTC.
    • A menu of potential customer amenities and services that could be introduced in stations and throughout the system that would improve the customer experience while generating additional revenue.
    • A review of the performance to date of the current advertising contract.
    • A review and lease expiration timeline of all current contracts for service providers that generate non-fare revenue including, but not limited to, retail concessionaries, newspaper providers and commercial lease holders.

2016 Capital Budget

Board members approved a total of $1.17 billion for the 2016 portion of the 2016-2025 Base Capital Budget. The budget continues to provide for state-of-good-repair projects and legislated requirements (92 per cent of the total in the 10-year envelope). The 2016-2025 Capital Budget is worth $9.3 billion, of which $3.9 billion (or 42 per cent) is dedicated to the purchase or overhaul of the revenue and non-revenue fleets.

Based on current funding assumptions, there is sufficient funding available to cover 2016 budgeted expenditures. But over the next five-year period the TTC is facing a $873-million shortfall; over the total 10-year-period the shortfall grows to $2.8 billion.

The 2016 Budget also includes $320 million for the construction of the Spadina Subway Extension and $142 million for the Scarborough Subway Extension.

The Board also approved a series of motions, including:

  • Accelerate plans for TTC head office consolidation and report back with an accommodation strategy that includes an inventory of all existing TTC office locations and leases, a consolidation timeline, an overview of organizational office needs and potential sites for consolidated head offices.
  • Accelerate plans for TTC warehousing consolidation and report back with a warehouse strategy (including the same components as listed above).
  • Consult with Build Toronto and the Toronto Real Estate Services Division on the TTC’s head office and warehouse needs.
  • Report quarterly in the CEO’s Report to the Board with status updates on the head office and warehouse consolidation acceleration plans.
  • Report back in third quarter of 2016 with a list of all unused, vacant and non-TTC occupied properties and lands owned by the TTC and after consulting with Build Toronto and the Toronto Real Estate Services Division identify any properties, which would be deemed surplus by the TTC. 
  • Initiate discussions regarding the long-term plans for the leased commuter parking lot at Yorkdale Station and any cost and revenue benefits of replacing the parking capacity at a different site and/or monetizing the value of the current lease.
  • Direct staff to prepare the 2017 TTC Capital Budget for presentation to the TTC Budget Committee and Commission in late spring 2016 to allow for a due diligence deeper dive into selected areas.

2016 Wheel-Trans Budget

Board members approved expenses totalling $123.7 million, with an assumed operating subsidy of $116.7 million. The funding will maintain a 24/7 specialized service and a customer unaccommodated rate at 0.5 per cent. Wheel-Trans is planning improvements to its Community Bus service as well as upgrades to its reservations, booking and scheduling system, and to its call centre telephone system. Total ridership in 2016 is projected at an all-time-high of 3.7 million trips, with revenues at $7 million.

Crosstown station renaming

Board members voted to support changing the proposed name for Lebovic Station to Hakimi Station and requested Metrolinx to also support the name Hakimi Station. The Board also approved renaming Eglinton West Station to Cedarvale Station. Metrolinx is building the Eglinton Crosstown LRT (Line 5) and three of the LRT stations will integrate into the existing TTC subway stations.

TTC approves contract for diesel fuel

Board members approved the award of a contract worth $182.5 million to Suncor Energy Products Partnership for the supply and delivery of No. 2 Clear-Diesel-Refined fuel for a two-year period from Jan. 1, 2016 to December 31, 2017. This will ensure an uninterrupted supply of fuel for the TTC bus fleet (based on 91 million litres each year). The current contract with Suncor expires Dec. 31, 2015.

Contracts for pre-boarding announcement equipment

Board members approved the award of a contract worth $11.7 million, inclusive of all applicable taxes, to Bombardier for the design, prototype installation and supply of all materials for the installation of external pre-boarding announcement equipment on all subway and SRT trains. The Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA) requires all transportation agencies to equip their public transit vehicles with electronic systems that externally announce the route, direction, destination or next major stop as a pre-boarding announcement to intending passengers at stops.

A second contract worth $5.6 million was awarded to Luminator Holding, H.P. for the installation of external pre-boarding announcement equipment on all TTC buses.

Video recording policy amendment

Board members approved an amendment to the TTC’s Corporate Policy governing digital video recordings in public areas of the transit system. The retention policy has been updated to retain video images for 72 hours on buses and streetcars (excluding Wheel-Trans vehicles) from the previous 15 operational hours.

Contract awarded for Dupont Station elevators

Commissioners approved the award of a contract worth $10.1 million to Bondfield Construction Company Limited for the installation of three elevators and associated easier access features at Dupont Station. Construction is scheduled to begin next spring.

Upcoming Board meetings

The next scheduled regular TTC Board meeting will be on Wed., Dec. 16 at Toronto City Hall, starting at 10 a.m., with the public session starting at 1 p.m. The public meeting will be live-streamed on the Official TTC YouTube channel Link opens in Youtube. The Nov. 23 meeting was the first to be broadcast on YouTube.