Mayor Tory, Chair Colle announce major investment in transit to cut congestion: Kids to ride free on the TTC, significant expansion of bus routes and more subway trains during rush hour

Toronto Mayor John Tory and TTC Chair Josh Colle today announced a $95 million investment that will significantly expand and enhance transit service, reduce wait times and crowding, and make using the TTC more affordable for families by eliminating fares for children 12 years and under.

“We need to get Toronto moving and investing in transit is an essential part of that,” said Mayor Tory. “The package we are announcing will not only make a difference in commute times and crowding on the transit system, it also provides financial relief for Toronto families.”

TTC staff has been working hard over the last several weeks to present options for a budget that includes new buses, storage and the reinstatement of service. To help balance the TTC budget, Mayor Tory asked the City to increase the TTC’s subsidy to nearly $479 million, an increase of more than $38 million from 2014. Effective March 1, as well, a 10-cent proportionate fare increase will apply to all TTC fares except for cash fares, investing an additional $43 million in revenue to pay for new services that will meet an increasing ridership, estimated to be 545 million in 2015.

These new investments will provide the following enhanced services to Toronto commuters:
• Restoration of all day, everyday bus service that was cut in 2011
• Ten-minute or better bus and streetcar service on key routes from 6 a.m. to 1 a.m. six days a week (9 a.m. on Sundays)
• Reduced wait times and crowding at off-peak times
• Reduced wait times and crowding on 21 of the busiest routes during morning and afternoon rush hours
• Proof-of-payment and all-door boarding on all streetcar routes
• Expansion of the Express Bus network, adding four new routes to a network that serves 34 million rides annually
• Expanding the Blue Night Network, adding 12 routes to the 22-route network that serves 4 million rides annually
• Adding up to two additional subway trains on Lines 1 and 2 during morning and afternoon rush hours
• Route management improvements designed to reduce short-turns, bunching and gapping of bus and streetcar routes
• Additional resources to focus on subway reliability around signals, track and communications systems

This investment in TTC service also includes 50 new buses and a temporary storage facility to allow for the Express Bus network expansion, reduction of wait times and crowding on some peak-period routes, as well as the need for spare buses during maintenance.

"Making transit more affordable for families and delivering the services that riders need is at the heart of this proposed budget,” said TTC Chair Josh Colle. “If approved, this significant investment in the TTC will have a noticeable impact for TTC riders across the city, with expanded routes, and more frequent and reliable service."

“This is an investment in families and a much needed jumpstart towards easing congestion,” said City of Toronto Budget Chair Gary Crawford. “I’m confident the City’s $479 million subsidy, coupled with the $43 million in revenue from the fare increase, is the balanced approach everyone can appreciate.”

Timing of the introduction of additional service, as well as the restoration of service, is being developed by staff now. Financial details of the new services will be detailed in the February 2 budget report to the TTC board.

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