Message from the Executives
Highlights from the TTC Board’s May meeting
We started this month’s Board meeting with a moment of silence for the victims of the April 23 attack that took place on Yonge Street. The room stood in solidarity for the 10 people that perished and 16 others left injured, and the Chair acknowledged the admirable actions of first responders, several of whom were our own employees attending to the injured on scene.
I introduced Dan Wright, our new Chief Financial Officer, who joined the TTC in April. Board members approved Dan’s appointment as a TTC Pension Fund Observer while Stephen Conforti, our Head of Finance, was appointed as the Pension Fund Society Director. Their roles will be reversed effective in November.
The TTC received notice on April 20 from ATU Local 113 that stated the Union would no longer agree to allow overtime beyond 48 hours for its members. Employees were able to work up to a maximum of 64 hours a week as approved by the Ministry of Labour. This provided employees with the ability to earn the overtime while the TTC was able to save on certain costs, as agreed to by the Union.
Although regular service has not been impacted by this decision, the overtime work is needed for subway closures, and the decision has resulted in the cancellation of some weekend work to date. I advised the Board that our staff will continue to monitor the impact on the subway closure schedule.
Bus procurement for the first quarter of the year was on target. The first of 78 new buses for delivery in the second quarter start to arrive next week. In April, TTC Operators and staff had the opportunity to examine three models of all-electric buses. The next steps will be to complete commercial and technical negotiations and award contracts for the vehicles and associated electrical upgrades and infrastructure at Arrow Road, Mount Dennis and Eglinton garages, where the buses will be maintained. The TTC will be working with Toronto Hydro on the infrastructure work at these garages.
Strategy and Service Planning’s Jacqueline Darwood and Mark Mis provide the Board with an excellent presentation on our strategy for improving capacity on our busiest routes and lines. It resulted in unanimous approval of the Capacity Improvements on Bus and Subway Services report. Starting this fall, we will be introducing major service improvements to address crowding on Line 1 Yonge-University and on 34 of our busiest bus routes across the city. These measures will move more customers more reliably.
Thanks to additional operating funding approved for the TTC by City Council, these capacity improvements will benefit up to 90 million customer trips a year, and are estimated to attract approximately 848,000 new customer trips in 2019. It will also mean 84 new operations and maintenance positions.
The TTC will tackle overcrowding by implementing four major measures, on routes and at times, where needed most. Starting as early as September, the TTC will: improve service reliability on Line 1 with more trains, relieve peak crowding on 20 bus routes, relieve off-peak crowding on 14 bus routes and introduce seven new trial express services in the peak times.
The Board approved the award of a contract worth $20 million for geotechnical and hydrogeological consultant services for the Yonge Subway Extension (YSE). This is for preliminary work to determine soil, rock and groundwater conditions along the alignment for a future extension.
Metrolinx and York Region are responsible for all costs associated with the preliminary design of a 7.4-km extension of Line 1, from Finch Station to Richmond Hill Centre at Highway 7. The TTC is responsible for the project management and delivery of the YSE. We will also operate and maintain the subway infrastructure. It was strongly noted that the TTC’s and City’s first priority remains the Relief Line.
Commissioners authorized additional works required to extend the fleet life of our SRT cars, which will need to continue operating during the construction of the Scarborough Subway Extension. The line is scheduled to open in 2026. TTC crews will work jointly with Bombardier Transportation on the complete reconditioning of all 58 vehicle trucks and new suspension components.
We’re buying a new workcar. Our crews in Subway Operations will be glad to hear that the Board authorized us to purchase a new diesel-electric-battery tri-mode locomotive at a cost of $6.7 million. The new RT vehicle will be essential for the increased maintenance work to keep Line 3 operating beyond its design life. The workcar can then be reconfigured to subway gauge after Line 3 is decommissioned. The car will be designed and built in St. Thomas, Ontario.
Richard J. Leary
Chief Executive Officer (Acting)
May 11, 2018