Editorial Archive

Statement by TTC Chair Jaye Robinson on Toronto-Ontario agreement on transit expansion

TTC Chair Jaye Robinson 10/16/19 3:26 PM

The following statement by TTC Chair Jaye Robinson was issued on October 16, 2019:

Today is a good day for our TTC and the future of transit in the City of Toronto. While the process that we’ve taken to get here has been less than ideal, what matters is that we’ve secured the outcome that Toronto needs – more transit expansion and dedicated investment in the existing TTC network.

The report from City Manager Chris Murray charts a path forward that protects our existing transit system from being uploaded, commits the Government of Ontario to investing in major transit expansion projects, and frees up funding to begin to substantially address the TTC’s growing state-of-good-repair backlog. The Province has also committed to reimburse the City for the sunk costs invested in earlier transit planning work.

This report presents an opportunity to move forward with a rapid transit line that was considered to be Toronto’s top transit priority long before the Provincial election. The Yonge-University Line needs urgent relief and the Ontario Line builds upon the City’s existing plans while delivering direct transit access to more Toronto neighbourhoods. That said, we must continue to work closely with our government partners to refine and improve the initial plans in close consultation with the residents of Toronto.

Most importantly, the other levels of government will invest nearly $30 billion in new transit for Toronto. This will allow the TTC and City to focus on operations and tackling the upkeep of our current system, which will benefit from City funding previously allocated to transit expansion.

Last February, TTC staff reported that Toronto’s transit network would require $33.5 billion in capital investment over the next 15 years to keep the system operational and meet growing ridership demands. Until today, more than $24 billion of our 15-Year Capital Plan was unfunded. The City Manager’s report clearly acknowledges that we cannot fund transit expansion at the expense of our core service.

The TTC will now have an additional $5 billion for investment in urgently needed capital projects to improve capacity and enhance service on the existing network. The importance of this historic capital investment in Toronto’s transit infrastructure cannot be overstated. Without this funding, we would be looking at a growing state-of-good-repair backlog and list of unfunded capital needs eventually leading to service delays, declining reliability, and eventually, concerns for passenger safety.

As Chair of the Toronto Transit Commission, I would like to sincerely thank the City Manager, the CEO of the TTC, and all other TTC and City officials who played a role in securing this outcome on behalf of Toronto. I would also like to thank our Provincial partners for maintaining an open dialogue as we work together to deliver the best possible outcome for the residents of Toronto. After months of hard work, it’s time to put the discussions and delay behind us. It’s time to get moving.

Office of TTC Chair Jaye Robinson
October 16, 2019

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