Editorial Archive

TTC’s Budget request set for debate next week

1/24/14 6:00 AM

Next week is an important one for the TTC – both for the success of our Five-Year Corporate Plan to modernize the city’s transit system and, ultimately, to provide better service to you, the customer.

On Jan. 29, City Council will consider the 2014 Budget, which includes a TTC request for additional subsidy to enable the TTC to add service to match ever-rising customer ridership. In addition to the extra fuel and workforce (both to operate and maintain the network) that the increased service requires, we are also re-introducing on-street Route Supervisors to tackle bunching of buses and streetcars to actively manage the service in order to drive up reliability.

We will also be tackling fare evasion this year, and beyond, with more fare inspectors. It is not right that the vast majority of customers and taxpayers effectively subsidize those that seek to avoid paying their way.

In our Capital Budget request, the TTC has requested funding for a new communications system on buses and streetcars to improve customer information across the network. As well, the TTC still needs more subway cars, streetcars and buses to reduce existing levels of crowding as ridership continues to grow.

None of this is cheap. But, as I stated in a recent speech to the Toronto Region Board of Trade, if we are to modernize the TTC and to keep a growing Toronto moving, both the value and cost of public transit needs to be understood.

During the question period at next week’s Council meeting, I will defend the TTC’s budget requests in the name of improved service for our customers.

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