TTC budget proposes increased services for more riders11/13/15 6:00 AM
Earlier this week, the TTC Board Budget Committee met to debate the proposed 2016 TTC Operating and Capital Budgets, including a range of fare options and service improvements that my team has worked on throughout the summer.
Our objective was to propose an operating budget that offers material improvements to your service, accommodates further predicted ridership growth and minimizes additional cost so as to limit any fare rise and/or subsidy ask to as low a figure as possible.
On the capital side, we highlighted the ongoing deficit between what we need to finish off our work of modernizing the TTC and the available funding over the next 10-year period – there’s a gap of around $2.7 billion.
We came up with a package of proposals for Board subcommittee members to discuss, including a way to open the subway an hour earlier on Sundays (from 8 a.m., as supported by the Mayor), additional streetcar and bus service to serve ever-growing ridership and a range of fare scenarios to meet the associated increased costs.
The committee broadly supported our proposals and these will now go forward to the full Board and Council to debate. Crucially, Council will determine the level of subsidy that we will receive and I hope this will recognize the benefit that effective transit brings to the city.
Ideally, we would not seek any fare rise, but with additional service comes additional costs. The higher the support we receive through general taxation, the less we will need to find through the farebox.
Since the day I came into this job, I have called for affordable, sustainable increases to TTC funding. It was good, therefore, to receive committee support for our draft budget – in addition to the record budget increase that we secured for 2015.
By improving service, focusing on the basics of service delivery and driving up customer satisfaction, the case for transit funding becomes evermore compelling. We will continue to advocate on your behalf.
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