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Province Refuels Public Transit - TTC gets $355 million over next three years.

The provincial government has announced that it will top up municipal transit agencies across the province to the tune of $680 million over the next three years. This article on the Toronto Star has the full details.

Transportation Minister Harinder Takhar and Municipal Affairs Minister John Gerretsen announced that 78 transit systems in 105 Ontario communities will receive funding, but the lion’s share, $355 million over the next three years, will go to the TTC. This year alone the TTC will receive $81.5 million in quarterly installments.

The split represents a 70/30 funding formula, with 70% of the new funds being allocated by ridership and 30% per capita. Toronto Mayor David Miller had asked for a 90/10 split, which would have favoured the TTC, but the per-capita money will help growing communities outside Toronto establish and build up transit systems, especially in the outer GTA where transit’s share of commuters lags well behind the automobile. Ottawa will receive $18.9 million this year; Waterloo Region will get $4 million.

The province is citing this money as part of its commitment to turn over two cents of the provincial gas tax to municipal transit systems.

The Star Article does not detail the reaction of TTC officials or Mayor Miller, so we won’t know until tomorrow whether or not this money will cover the TTC’s immediate capital and operating needs. Most officials are sure to say that the money is a step in the right direction, and provincial officials are saying that this announcement is a means of encouraging the federal Liberals to follow through on their promise to turn over five cents of the federal gas tax to municipalities.

This article by the Star talks about how this money might be used…

TTC Okays Weekly Pass

The Toronto Sun reports that the Toronto Transit Commission has voted to develop a weekly pass for adults, seniors and students. The passes will be available starting the first week of May 2005. The adult pass is expected to cost $28.75.

Also on the first week of May 2005, the TTC’s Family Day Pass will now apply to Saturdays as well as Sundays and holidays.

TTC reports suggest that these initiatives could cost the TTC $4.3 million in annual revenues, but ridership is expected to increase.

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