TTC Budgets approved, but more still needed for public transit11/22/13 6:00 AM
On Wednesday (November 20, 2013), the TTC Board approved the 2014 Operating and Wheel-Trans Budgets, and the 2014-2023 (10-year) Capital Budget. The subsidy request for the Operating Budget, as well as the Capital Budget request, must now be ratified at City Council in January.
These budgets are critically important for a number of reasons:
> They enable the TTC to expand service to keep pace with ever-rising customer numbers, predicted to reach an all-time record high of 540 million rides by the end of 2014.
> The Operating Budget also sees a break in the two-year freeze on the subsidy received from the City each year. That, in part, will allow us to continue to deliver increased customer essentials and satisfaction via our Five-Year Corporate Plan.
> Finally, vital capital funds have been secured for 2014 to allow us to maintain the system in a state of good repair.
My aim at the start of this budget round was threefold:
1. To make a compelling case to the City for increased TTC subsidy.
2. To limit any fare increase to the rate of inflation.
3. To highlight the need for $9 billion over the next 10 years to address critical infrastructure improvements and the purchase of more vehicles to address ever-growing demand.
These aims were largely achieved. Against a very tight financial backdrop, the City has agreed to an additional $27-million operating subsidy to meet part of the cost of providing more service, and more vehicles with greater capacity. The fare increase has been limited to five cents, plus an increase to the trip rate of the Adult Metropass to close the gap between our costs and revenue. Even then, we will need to find further savings throughout the year.
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