Thursday, May 30, 2024

TTC’s proposed 2023 budget invests in safety and cleanliness, adjusts service to meet new ridership patterns

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The TTC today released its proposed 2023 operating budget – one that would see millions of new dollars invested in system safety and cleanliness while delivering service based on new, post-pandemic ridership patterns.

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The budget also recommends a 10-cent fare increase on single cash and PRESTO rides while freezing fares for seniors, Fair Pass program users and those with PRESTO monthly and annual passes. Revenue from this fare increase, in addition to the City’s proposed subsidy to the TTC of $958.7 million – a $53 million increase from 2022 – will go towards a number of measures to ensure the transit system is reliable, safe and accessible for all Torontonians.

The $2.38 billion combined operating budgets for both conventional and Wheel-Trans services represents a 4.2 per cent increase over the approved 2022 budget (exclusive of COVID costs) and includes:

• More than $4 million for safety, security and cleanliness. This includes hiring 10 additional Streets to Homes outreach workers, adding 25 new Transit Special Constable positions and filling 25 vacant positions, and introducing enhanced daily streetcar cleaning.

• Nearly $3 million dedicate to service improvements in routes serving Neighbourhood Improvement Areas and expansion of the Fair Pass Program to an additional 50,000 lower income Torontonians.

• Almost $43 million to cover the opening of Line 5 Eglinton-Crosstown and Line 6 Finch West, and the bus replacement of Line 3 Scarborough RT.

• A commitment to deliver 91 per cent of pre-pandemic service levels even as ridership is predicted to reach just 75 per cent of pre-pandemic norms at the end of the year.

“This proposed budget reflects the needs of residents, of TTC workers, and of the transit system itself,” said TTC Chair Jon Burnside. “I’m confident that with these investments and focused improvement of services, we are setting up our transit system to be safer, more reliable, and more accessible for all. I want to thank TTC staff for their hard work to prepare this budget and look forward to discussing it at our Board meeting next week.”

“Investing in our transit system is one of my top priorities for the next four years,” said Mayor John Tory. “While this is a challenging year for the city, we are investing to keep transit safe, improve service, and support seniors and low-income residents. Protecting nuts and bolts services residents rely on and expect us to deliver is my priority throughout the 2023 budget.”

“As we come out of the pandemic and our ridership patterns evolve, the TTC is positioning itself to keep Toronto moving and to be there for those who need us most,” said TTC CEO Rick Leary. “This proposal balances our need to deliver safe service while contending with lower revenues and increased operating costs associated with inflation and new transit lines.”

This year’s share of the $12.5 billion 2023-2032 capital budget plan is approximately $1.34 billion, comprising $800 million for infrastructure and state of good repair projects, $455 million for vehicle purchases and overhauls and $88 million for transit expansion-related work.

The capital budget report also updates both the TTC’s 15-year, $38 billion Capital Investment Plan (CIP) and Real Estate Investment Plan, a 15-year strategic roadmap that supports the CIP.

Highlights of the TTC’s 2022-2031 Capital Budget and Plan include:

• Funding for essential safety and state of good repair capital work to ensure safety and reliability of our system.

• Funding to meet legislative requirements related to full accessibility of the system by 2025.

• Advancing delivery of the fleet procurement strategy for the procurement of 60 Streetcars, hundreds of hybrid and battery-electric buses and 70 Wheel-Trans vehicles.

• Continuing work on three major capacity improvement projects (Bloor-Yonge, Line 1 and Line 2).

The TTC Board will hold its meeting regarding the 2022 Operating and Capital Budgets on Mon., Jan. 9, 2023. The meeting will begin at 10 a.m. and will be livestreamed on the Official TTC YouTube Channel.

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