Editorial Archive

TTC Board approves 2021 TTC Budgets

TTC tokens 12/24/20 6:00 PM

This week, Commissioners unanimously approved the TTC’s 2021 Operating Budget for Conventional and Wheel-Trans Services, and its 2021-2030 Capital Budget and Plan on December 21, 2020.

These budgets preserve and enhance our services under a global pandemic with the goals of: providing a safe, seamless and reliable transit service; being an inclusive and accessible service provider; striving for financial sustainability; and innovating for the future.

I’m grateful to Board members for protecting services where they’re needed most, while preserving our flexibility to adjust services should demand increase as projected over the coming year, and post-pandemic. In fact, we’re anticipating a slow and gradual recovery in ridership in 2021.

Under our Demand Responsive Service Plan, we’ll see bus service returning to pre-pandemic levels, while subway and streetcar service levels are maintained at current levels until at least next fall. And with new lockdown regulations introduced by the Province, staff will be monitoring the impacts very closely through the City’s budget process, which kicks off in January 2021.

The 2021 Operating Budget keeps the cost of public transit affordable for customers by freezing fares next year, while at the same time maintaining the City’s subsidy at last year’s level, with zero increase. This was the responsible approach given the economic impact on riders and residents across our great city.

In addition to keeping transit flexible to match demand where needed, the 2021 Operating Budget includes numerous service initiatives, including:
> Enhanced safety response to address COVID-19.
> Vehicle maintenance programs to ensure repairs are completed proactively prior to failure.
> Diversity and inclusion initiatives contained in the Embrace Diversity Action Plan.
> Improvements to call wait times for Wheel-Trans customers.
> Opening McNicoll Division/Garage.
> Accelerating the 5-Year Fare Policy and 10-Year Fare Collection Strategy.
> Planning for Line 5 Eglinton LRT operations.

As Chair Robinson stressed in her remarks, despite the hardships the coronavirus has caused us all, TTC employees continue to work hard at building a world-class transit system for the citizens of Toronto, not just for today or the next five years – but over the next 25 years.
On the capital side, as a result of the amazing work undertaken during the budget process by our Finance staff, under the leadership of interim CFO Josie La Vita, the TTC is able to fund an additional $1.11 billion in unfunded capital priorities within the existing funding envelope, 95 per cent of which is devoted to state of good repair works.
Thanks to Josie for an informative presentation to the Board, and to her entire team in Finance for their incredible due diligence and expertise.

During the meeting, we expressed our appreciation to provincial and federal partners for providing essential emergency relief funding to help us through the pandemic.

We also thanked our transit-minded Mayor and Council for their support during an unprecedented time, as well as our Commissioners whose guidance and leadership over the last year has been unparalleled.

Please read the highlights of Commission decisions approved on December 21, 2020 (see below). Finance’s presentation and reports to the Board are available at ttc.ca.

I’d like to encourage everyone to take a moment through the holidays to call or message a co-worker or retiree that you haven’t spoken to in a while and wish them all the best in 2021 – our centennial year!

On behalf of the Executive Team and senior management have a Happy New Year and please stay safe.

Richard J. Leary
Chief Executive Officer
December 24, 2020

Commission seal

TTC Board Meeting Highlights (December 2020)

TTC Special Board Meeting December 21, 2020

TTC Board unanimously approves TTC 2021 Budgets

The Board unanimously approved the TTC’s 2021 Operating, Wheel-Trans and Capital Budgets. The budgets will be forwarded to the City Budget Committee and the City Manager as the official submissions for the TTC. Here is what was approved:

2021 Operating and Wheel-Trans Budgets

> Commissioners unanimously approved the recommended 2021 TTC Conventional Operating Budget of $2.034 billion in gross expenditures, revenues of $562 million in revenues and a net funding requirement of $1.472 billion, inclusive of the $794.6-million TTC Conventional COVID-19 financial impact;
> Commissioners unanimously approved the recommended 2021 Wheel-Trans Budget of $118.6 million in gross expenditures, $4.3 million in revenues and a net funding requirement of $114.3 million, inclusive of the $1.8-million Wheel-Trans COVID-19 financial impact;
> Request City Council to authorize a special contribution to the TTC Stabilization Reserve, equal to the proceeds to be received from the anticipated settlement with Metrolinx in order to provide a funding source for LRT construction disruption service; and
> Approved a 2021 year-end workforce complement of 16,313 positions, reflecting an increase of 69 positions to support service delivery and 77 positions for capital project delivery.

In addition to a fare freeze in 2021, the operating budgets include funding for:
> Flexible, demand-based service.
> Vehicle maintenance programs to ensure repairs are completed proactively prior to failure, to maintain strong, safe vehicle performance.
> Diversity and inclusion initiatives contained in the Embrace Diversity Action Plan, including enhanced training for all employees and diversity outreach programs designed to ensure that the TTC’s workforce is representative of the community it serves.
> Improvements to call wait times for Wheel-Trans customers through the implementation of call overflow service.
> Provision of capacity for business continuity and emergency management operations.
> Preparation for ModernTO and cybersecurity implementation.
> Preparations for Line 5 Eglinton LRT operations, which opens in 2022.
> Other initiatives, such as work on service integration with regional partners and an automated shuttle service, helping ensure the TTC is ready for, and resilient to, changes in the future.

TTC 15-Year Capital Investment Plan and 2021-2030 Capital Budget & Plan

> Commissioners unanimously approved the recommended TTC 2021-2030 Base Capital Budget & Plan of $11.689 billion; and
> Approved the staff recommended TTC 2021-2030 Capital Budget & Plan of $217.781 million for Transit Expansion Projects, including: the completion of the remaining scope for the Toronto-York Spadina Subway Extension, SRT Life Extension Overhaul for Line 2 Subway Extension (formerly Scarborough Subway Extension) and Waterfront Transit.

Highlights of the 2021-2030 Capital Budget & Plan:
> Adds $1.11 billion in previously unfunded capital projects, with 95% allocated to State of Good Repair capital works.
> Establishes steady-state funding for essential safety and state-of-good-repair capital works.
> Accelerates critical capital works to leverage lower ridership levels in 2021.
> Ensures funding to meet legislative requirements within timelines Aligns with the Board-approved Fleet Procurement Strategy.
> Continues business modernization, such as SAP, Maximo, Vision, Wheel-Trans and Stations Transformation.
> Maintains funding to complete ATC Line 1 and adds10th year funding for ATC Line 2.
> Reflects revised timing of requirements for Line 1 and Line 2 Capacity Enhancements and Bloor-Yonge Capacity Improvements based on early works.
> Adds COVID-related capital works, some of which have been submitted eligible for provincial funding.

The 10-year Capital Budget & Plan also includes $217.781 million for the following transit expansion projects included in the TTC’s Capital Works Program:
> SRT Life Extension Overhaul: $19.644 million in 2021 and $27.544 million between 2022 and 2026 remains from the original budget to extend the life of the SRT fleet based on the original planned operations for the Line 2 East Extension;
> Waterfront Transit: $49.976 million in the 10-year Capital Plan to complete the preliminary design for the Exhibition to Dufferin Gate Loop, as well as the East Bayfront Area 1 Concept design with funding of $49.976 million between 2021 and 2023 included in the 10-year Capital Plan.
> Toronto-York Spadina Subway Extension (TYSSE): Following the successful opening on December 17, 2017, $55.629 million will be spent in 2021 and an additional $64.988 million between 2022 and 2023 to support project closeout commitments. This funding is consistent with prior budget approval and does not reflect any additional project funding.

The capital program builds on the critical work that began in 2020, which includes:
> Implementing a Fleet Procurement Strategy and Plan to procure vehicle replacements with the City’s $1.1-billion in new funding for: 13 of 60 streetcars; 300 of 1,422 buses; 181 of 512 Wheel-Trans buses and planning for future subway train procurement;
> Planning and early works for the Bloor-Yonge Capacity Improvement; Line 1 and Line 2 Capacity Enhancements and the ATC Line 2 capital projects.
> Accelerating critical asbestos removal to ensure ATC Line 1 installation is completed on schedule.
> Speeding up critical subway track and other state-of-good-repair through a period of reduced ridership.

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