Message from the Executives
2019 TTC Budget Update
Today, we released our Operating, Wheel-Trans and Capital budgets for 2019. While you will undoubtedly hear a lot about the proposed 10-cent fare increase, the story is actually much bigger than that. Yes, we are recommending this fare increase as part of a budget that protects and builds on the service improvements we’ve made over the past couple of years, improvements that have had real benefits to our customers, including:
- Two-Hour Transfer
- Capacity Improvement Initiatives
- Kids Ride Free
- 10-Minute Network
- All-Day-Every-Day Bus Service Restored
- Expanded Express Bus Network
- Expanded Blue Night Network
- Early Sunday Opening
- PRESTO Implementation
A fare increase is a last resort to make up the budget shortfall that staff identified. But keep in mind that we are among the least subsidized transit systems in North America and that this increase, when balanced with the freeze last year, averages out to lower than the rate of inflation.
In addition, for the first time, we released Making Headway, Capital Investments to Keep Transit Moving, a 15-year look-ahead at our capital needs. I urge you to read the plan, an honest and frank assessment of the projects and programs that need to be funded if we are to meet the challenges presented by aging assets, a growing city and new and emerging mobility options for our customers.
We engaged every part of the organization to put the plan together, and the result is a clear overview of the state-of-good-repair and growth investments that the TTC needs to make over the next 15 years in the areas of subway, streetcar, bus, stations and Wheel-Trans, with the cornerstones of accessibility, safety and security, and sustainability.
I urge you to read the plan (see high-level summary/highlights on pages 12 and 13).
Some people may be tempted to link a large capital needs assessment to the subway uploading issue, but work on the document actually began almost a year ago. Regardless, I want to take a moment to let you know where we are at with that. At this point, we have been directed by City Council to work with the City Manager to negotiate a joint Terms of Reference to guide any discussion and/or information exchange process between the Province and the City on the issue.
Council also authorized us, along with the Mayor, City Manager and other staff, to engage in discussions with the Province, subject to the development of these Terms of Reference. The City Manager has also been directed to retain a third-party validator for the City to determine all asset values. The City Manager will provide an update to Council in the first quarter of this year, and I promise to keep you posted as discussions progress.
In the meantime, our priority continues to be putting out the best service we can – the service we advertise – and I thank you all for your work and your dedication to our customers and to the TTC.
Richard J. Leary
Chief Executive Officer
January 18, 2019