Editorial Archive

Building transit capacity goes hand-in-hand with building funding momentum

3/28/14 6:00 AM

In last week’s column, I referred to the need to secure sustained, affordable, guaranteed funding to enable the TTC to offer the improved service that Toronto needs and that customers rightly demand.

We need to convince all three levels of government of the compelling case for increased funding for transit, namely that if the TTC functions well, so does Toronto and, by extension, Ontario and Canada. Efficient, reliable transit has a proven link to the economic viability and vitality of successful cities and we cannot continue with the hand-to-mouth, stop-start funding that the TTC has had to live with in recent years.

For the TTC to deliver its vision of a transit system that makes Toronto proud, and for us to be able to modernize all aspects of our operation, we need to achieve a fairer mix of funding that redresses the balance between general, tax-funded subsidy and the amount that we ask riders to pay.

We’re grateful that our Provincial and Federal partners have come to the table with essential contributions, and we aim to continue building on that momentum in order for our great city – and our neighbouring communities – to cut through traffic gridlock and fast track our economic prosperity.

Specifically, we need to convince the Province to restore shared funding of the cost of operating the TTC and to persuade Ottawa of the economic benefits of part-funding the $2.7-billion hole in our capital budget.

Increased, sustainable funding will give certainty to our plans and allow us to reduce crowding and improve service reliability more quickly – in addition to enabling us to expand service to keep pace with ever-rising demand.

In the face of competing demands for scarce funds, we can’t just sit back and expect to be given what we need. So I will shortly lead a task force to Ottawa and Queen’s Park to advocate for the TTC and to seek long-term funding to enable us to transform public transit in our city.

> Happy birthday to Canada’s First Subway! On Sunday, March 30, the original Yonge Subway turns 60. Back on March 30, 1954, the TTC officially opened the 7.4-km Yonge line and its 12 stations: Eglinton, Davisville, St Clair, Summerhill, Rosedale, Bloor, Wellesley, College, Dundas, Queen, King and Union.

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