Editorial Archive

TTC determined to protect service in 2017 budget

8/12/16 6:00 AM

Next year’s TTC budget is the biggest challenge I’ve had to tackle since becoming CEO almost five years ago.

In that time, we have set about to modernize the TTC: upgrading vehicles, processes and the organizational culture, as well as increasing our focus on getting the basics right, such as system cleanliness and improved customer information. The service cuts imposed in 2011 have been reversed and we successfully lobbied for increased funding from City Hall.

Customers have noticed the difference. The TTC is enjoying record levels of customer satisfaction, subway punctuality has increased, and we have delivered sharp decreases in the number of short turns on our buses and streetcars – material improvements that have taken time and effort to achieve.

Next year, the City faces a large gap in the opening position of its 2017 budget and all City departments and agencies are required to deliver a 2.6-per-cent cost reduction to help close that gap. City budgets must be balanced. Given that transit is one of the biggest line items in the budget, the TTC needs to find efficiencies as part of this exercise and this means finding around $17 million to meet the 2.6-per-cent reduction – a target that has been met.

Overall In total, the TTC must find a total savings of $231 million, as it has been asked to flatline its 2016 budget for next year. For a transit system that is already the lowest subsidized in North America, that is a herculean task and will not be easy. We are determined, however, that the progress made over the past five years will not be affected.

I will keep you updated on our progress.

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