Editorial Archive

Federal funding announcement is good news for TTC, riders

4/15/16 6:00 AM

Last week, the TTC was honoured to host the Federal Minister for Infrastructure and Communities, Amarjeet Sohi, at our Hillcrest Complex. In his speech, Minister Sohi reiterated his government’s intention to invest in cities and transit infrastructure, which was good news for the TTC and Toronto as we tick both of those boxes.

Most encouragingly, the minister described how allocation of the funds available for transit projects will be calculated by ridership, not per capita, as has traditionally been the case. With a 26-per-cent share of national public transit ridership, this means that the TTC can look forward to a sizeable injection of funds, once the final calculations have been made.

This is very good news, not least because the TTC has argued long and hard for increased, sustainable and predictable funding, so that we may tackle a legacy of decades of underinvestment in critical infrastructure projects, and begin to address a $2.7-billion shortfall in what is needed over the next 10 years to keep the existing network in a state of good repair.

Coupled with our successful call for increased operating subsidy from Toronto City Council, we are making headway in our campaign to get the TTC the funding it needs to provide the safe and reliable service that you deserve.

One of our most pressing infrastructure projects is the renewal of the subway signalling system to radically improve service reliability and to enable us to run more trains. Line 1 (Yonge-University) resignalling is underway, and I recently visited the facility in Rochester, N.Y. where our new signal system is being tested and manufactured. It was good to see state-of-the-art equipment, labelled up for dispatch to the TTC and ready to be installed over the coming weeks.

The new system will be introduced in several phases from the fall of 2017. Once Line 1 is complete, at the end of 2019, we will turn our attention to Line 2 (Bloor-Danforth). That project is currently unfunded so you can be sure it will feature prominently on our shopping list, given the good news that we heard from Ottawa last week.

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