Message from the Executives
Highlights from the TTC Board’s April meeting
I began my remarks at this month’s meeting by advising the Board that we’ve changed the tone and look of the CEO’s Report. The 68th edition of the report more closely reflects our new Corporate Plan and improves the overall readability and comprehensiveness of our reporting. It’s posted on the TTC website and intranet and I hope you take some time to read through it. We will be introducing a new quarterly financials piece later this spring.
A very noteworthy highlight to this month’s report was the signing of a federal-provincial agreement on March 14 that will provide $15.6 billion in public transit investments over the next 10 years. It’s anticipated that $8.9 billion of that total will be directed to the City of Toronto, based on a funding formula of 70 per cent for ridership and 30 per cent for population. This will include $660 million for the Scarborough Subway Extension.
On top of this, the Province has committed to additional funding over and above the Investing in Canada Agreement in order to support the construction of priority transit projects. The Province will work in partnership with a number of municipalities to nominate potential priority projects, such as the Relief Line, Waterfront Transit Network, Yonge North subway extension and SmartTrack.
Bombardier continues to improve on their performance. They’ve achieved their target delivery tally in the first quarter of 2018, and reliability is improving with the average performance of the new low-floor streetcars up by 62 per cent over the same period last year.
While we’re approaching 70 new cars in service, the original schedule would have seen twice that many vehicles in service by now. After discussions with the Board last fall, TTC staff issued a Request For Interest (RFI) to determine the potential for other light rail manufacturers to provide vehicles to the TTC. After the RFI was released, a tour of Leslie Barns was conducted last October with about 10 manufacturers and suppliers participating. We’ll be providing a report to the Board in June outlining a go-forward recommendation that will take into account the challenges these companies would face in meeting the technical requirements of our network and the critical timeline for delivering vehicles to meet demand.
Board members unanimously approved proceeding with the Donlands Station Easier Access Phase III/Second Exit property acquisitions, which will eventually see the station become accessible with two elevators and see the construction of a new second exit/entrance building at 17/19 Dewhurst Blvd.
The 2018 Accessibility Plan Status Update, which was also approved by Commissioners, contains the most current Easier Access schedule. Five stations are currently under construction with St Patrick scheduled to be the next accessible station by year’s end, giving us a total of 45. TTC Chair Josh Colle added a motion that TTC staff request CreateTO to prioritize the redevelopment of Islington and Warden stations to allow the completion of the Easier Access network at these locations and meet the 2025 legislated deadline under the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act.
The Board also approved the award of a contract worth $19.5 million for Chester Station Second Exit and Easier Access work that will include two elevators, new stairs to both platforms and an underground corridor to a new second exit/entrance building.
Commissioners endorsed the April update on the Wheel-Trans 10-Year Strategy. Several critical goals are scheduled to be accomplished this year, including: the final phase of the Family of Services pilot, a new Customer Experience Strategy as well as the delivery of an additional 60 Pro-Master vehicles to join the 20 new buses that are currently in service.
The Board approved the Stakeholder Engagement – Fitness For Duty report with a motion from Chair Josh Colle stating that “the Board re-affirms its support for the introduction of federal and provincial legislation requiring mandatory drug and alcohol testing in safety-sensitive workplaces like the TTC, and that the Board’s continued support of legislative change of this nature be conveyed to all stakeholders directly involved in this critically important public safety issue.”
Given the federal government’s intention to legalize cannabis, the TTC is part of a coalition of Canada-wide employers engaging the feds on the need to legislate random testing in safety-sensitive industries.
And special note to Subway Transportation and Stations staff working out of Danforth Division. An update on the master plan for our Danforth Garage property was approved by Commissioners. The four-acre property is deemed large enough to accommodate TTC existing and future requirements along with a consolidated 54/55 police division and Toronto Public Library. The Board requested our staff continue to work closely with our partners and to advise City staff of the priority requirement for TTC uses.
Richard J. Leary
Chief Executive Officer (Acting)
April 17, 2018