Editorial Archive

TTC Board approves budgets; next stop City Council

2/6/15 6:00 AM

This week, the TTC Board voted unanimously to approve the budget that my team drew up to enhance service across the TTC network.

Building on the proposals that we first tabled last fall, our submission sought funding to restore all day, every ‎day bus service that was cut in 2011 and to reduce wait times and crowding on services across Toronto that were affected by further subsidy cuts in 2012.

Our plans also include the introduction of additional express bus services in off-peak times; adding up to two more subway trains on Lines 1 and 2 during morning and afternoon rush hours; and expansion of the Blue Night Network to improve service for shift workers and late-night revellers.

When added to the increased funding for further measures to improve service reliability, this budget constitutes an unprecedented investment in service and the culmination of three years’ worth of lobbying for increased, sustainable funding for the TTC.

While TTC subsidy per rider remains by far the lowest in North America, this additional funding does enable us to accelerate work to improve the quality, reliability and punctuality of your service. Since 2010, the subsidy that we receive has actually declined by 15 per cent in real terms, but we have nevertheless focused all our efforts on making do with what we were given and on getting better at the basics of running a transit service.

Details of the timing of the introduction of additional service, on top of restoring previously cut service, will now be developed by my team. The final step in the approval process will come in mid March when City Council considers the subsidy request.

Investment in these new and restored services does come at a cost, not all of which can be covered by increased subsidy. So we will need to increase the price of a token by 10 cents and to adjust the cost of the Adult Metropass – something that we did not do lightly.

But, coupled with the Mayor’s initiative to introduce free travel ‎for children aged 12 and under, I believe this is a very positive package of improvements and a major step forward in our goal to transform service and give you a transit system that makes Toronto proud.

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