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Toronto's 2011 budget: transit highlights



Toronto City Council approved its 2011 budget on Friday, February 25. Council approved a budget that cuts “no major services” and does not require the City to increase property taxes — this year. For the most part, the budget maintains services at 2010 levels.

The TTC will not raise fares in 2011, although passengers should expect fares to increase in 2012, since City staff expect a significant shortfall in the budget next year.

This budget process also re-affirmed the TTC’s earlier decision to cut late-evening and weekend service along 41 routes, starting Sunday, May 8. The TTC will “re-allocate” the resources — meaning the drivers and vehicles that it uses to provide this late-evening and weekend service — to improve service Mondays to Fridays during rush hours, starting Tuesday, September 6.

The 2011 operating budget increases funding for TTC conventional services by 4.7 per cent to $64.972 million, mainly from:

  • $15.665 million for the cost of salaries, resulting from the impact of the current collective bargaining agreement for the first quarter of 2011;
  • $17.825 million for the cost of benefits and $4 million for contributing more to employee pensions;
  • $3.629 million for the cost of maintaining vehicles, resulting from new buses with more complicated systems ending their warranty period;
  • $3.644 million for the cost to maintain TTC facilities including equipment and structures.

Since more passengers rode the TTC last year than staff forecast during the 2010 budget process, the TTC’s revenue from fares increased by $53.050 million. This increase in revenue partially offsets the increase in the operating budget.

The 2011 operating budget allows the TTC to:

  • provide 8.3 million service hours, at the current service standard of 6 a.m. to 1 a.m. Monday to Friday for most bus routes to serve 487 million riders.
  • hire 22 new station managers on the subway system.
  • provide more customer service training to front-line TTC staff.
  • continue to increase subway station cleanliness and appearance initiative.

The TTC is also increasing the number of employees by 337 positions. Most of these new employees are drivers, who will help the TTC manage an even higher number of passengers in 2011. The TTC expects the number of riders to increase by 25 million — from 462 to 487 million — in 2011.

Council also approved the City’s 2011- 2020 capital budget plan on February 25. The plan

  • invests in priority capital projects that make sure that the City delivers key City services;
  • uses the economic stimulus program funding from the Federal and Provincial governments to renew the City’s infrastructure that support City services; and
  • maintains the City’s existing infrastructure in a state of good repair.

The key driver for the TTC’s capital spending in 2011 is the ongoing project to extend the Spadina leg of the 1 Yonge - University - Spadina subway, requiring $510 million.

Highlights of the TTC’s capital plan include:

  • buying 420 new subway cars (70 train sets) to replace current subway cars and increase subway capacity by 9 per cent starting in 2011 (2011-2020 $426.222 million).
  • buying 375 new buses to improve service by 2016 (2011-2020 $125.441 million).
  • buying 204 low-floor, accessible light rail vehicles to replace current streetcar fleet (2011 - 2020 $1.0 billion).
  • designing and redeveloping the Six Points Interchange in Etobicoke (the intersection of Dundas and Bloor Streets West with Kipling Avenue) to simplify the road network, create more attractive and safe environment for pedestrians and cyclists and improve access to the Kipling Subway Station (2015-2018 $40.548 million).
  • continuing to improve accessibility features and make the TTC fully accessible by 2025 (2011-2020 $91.415 million).
  • continuing to install state-of-the-art signaling systems on the 1 Yonge - University - Spadina line to increase train capacity by allowing trains to run more frequently and closer together (2011 - 2020 $184.698 million).
  • continuing to build the Union Station second subway platform (2011-2020 $51.114 million).

In approving the budget and capital plan, Council recommended that the TTC work with the City to secure funding partnerships with the provincial and federal governments.

With the help of all three levels of government, the TTC can fund other projects to maintain facilities and vehicles in a state of good repair, replace older vehicles and accommodate growth, while maintaining current service standards. The federal and provincial governments must not only share in the cost of expanding the system to meet future ridership but also in maintaining the current system for current riders.

Read:

  • Mississauga’s 2011 budget: transit highlights, here.
  • Brampton’s 2011 budget: transit highlights, here.
  • Oakville’s 2011 budget: transit highlights, here.