The 2017 TTC Preliminary Budget was presented for the first time at City Hall today and it has given us new insight into what’s in store for riders in 2o17.

The take home message is transit riders will be paying more for worse service in 2017.   

Here’s the details.

  • Transit riders will be getting a 10 cent a ride fare hike in 2017.  This will be our sixth fare hike in six years.  We’ve already got one of the most expensive monthly passes in North America, and fares are going up way faster than inflation.  There are way better ways to pay for transit than punishing riders who are doing the right thing.
  • Service in 2017 will not be as good as service in 2016.  Here’s three reasons why.
    • 1)The TTC wants to provide about the same number of service hours in 2017 as it did in 2016, even though about 6M more riders are expected to use this system.   That means more overcrowding.
    • 2) Service on many TTC routes is already violating overcrowding standards. As reported by the Toronto Star, the TTC is quietly violating overcrowding rules on a quarter of all surface routes.  Instead of increasing service on these 43 routes to match ridership demand, as they are required to do so, the TTC is allowing these routes to remain overcrowded. At the same time, the TTC cut service in November and January on up to 27 routes the TTC says are under-crowded.  Even if City Council finds the $61M to make the shortfall and gives the TTC the $545M its requesting, The TTC will be doing nothing in 2017 to fix this overcrowding problem.
    • 3) Funding for bus maintenance has been reduced, and the TTC’s request for funding for subway reliability has, at this point, not been funded.  Yes, that means there will likely be more breakdowns and delays.
  • John Tory likes to say these service cuts have nothing to do budget cuts but this is not so.  The TTC Commission voted to reject $1.5 million in scheduled service improvements in September because ridership levels didn’t justify the increase (even though there is overcrowding) and the agency needed to meet City Council’s request to cut the TTC’s budget by 2.6%.
  • The TTC still needs the City to give it about $61M just to break even in 2017.  If City Council fails to give the TTC its requested $545M subsidy and forces the TTC to cut even further, it will be forced to make some drastic moves.  Some of the options being considered include:
  1. Imposing another fare hike
  2. Elimination of some fare discounts for seniors and students
  3. Elimination of free TTC for kids under 12
  4. Reductions to peak and off-peak service
  5. An end to the 10-minutes or better service on certain bus routes
  6. Here is the list of drastic options the TTC is considering to find the $61M it still needs to balance its budget.

Riders deserve great transit and affordable fares, and that requires more funding.  We want the TTC to be funded at the North American average rate of $2.60 a ride so service can be increased, and rider-friendly fares can be introduced, including a two-hour fare transfer and a fair pass discount for riders earning less than $22,000.  The TTC gets the least amount of government support per ride compared to all major transit systems, making it the most underfunded system in North America.

January 5, 2017
Scarborough Civic Centre
3:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.; and 6:00 p.m. onwards

January 5, 2017
Etobicoke Civic Centre
3:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.; and 6:00 p.m. onwards

January 9, 2017
East York Civic Centre
3:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.; and 6:00 p.m. onwards

January 9, 2017
North York Civic Centre
3:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.; and 6:00 p.m. onwards

January 10, 2017
City Hall
9:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.; and 6:00 p.m. onwards

January 10, 2017
York Civic Centre
3:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.; and 6:00 p.m. onwards

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