TTC to purchase more 12-metre, low-floor buses

The TTC Board approved the award of a contract worth $32.6 million to Nova Bus (a Division of Volvo Group Canada Inc.) for the purchase of 55, 12-metre (40-foot), low-floor, clean-diesel buses for delivery in 2015. The additional vehicles are required to improve customer service and vehicle reliability, and address future ridership growth. Funding for the purchase is included in the 2014 Capital Budget.

TTC Board approves Accessibility Plan

Board Members approved the 2014-2018 Accessibility Plan and recommended TTC staff advise the Minister of Economic Development, Trade and Employment that, owing to a capital funding shortfall, the TTC cannot meet the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act requirement that all subway stations be made accessible by 2025. The Board also requested the TTC Chair and CEO, as part of the City-TTC Transit Funding Task Force, seek reinstatement of full funding for the TTC’s Easier Access (accessibility) program. The report will be forwarded to the City of Toronto, the Ontario Ministry of Economic Development and the Ontario Human Rights Commission.

The reduction of $240 million in the 2014-2023 Capital Budget for Easier Access initiatives means that funding is not available for elevator installation and other accessibility improvements at 17 stations.

Update on the future McNicoll Bus Garage

Board Members received a presentation from TTC staff on the status of planning activities for the future McNicoll Bus Garage. The TTC is planning on starting construction of a new bus division/garage at the corner of Kennedy Road and McNicoll Avenue in Scarborough in 2016. The new facility will have capacity to store and maintain 250, 12-metre (40-foot) and 18.3-metre (60-foot) buses.

A new garage is required to add capacity for the TTC’s growing bus fleet, which is needed to carry increasing numbers of riders. The new garage will cost $181 million, but the TTC is currently facing a $101-million shortfall in the 2014-2023 Capital Budget. Community consultations began last fall. The next public consultation meeting is scheduled for May 14.

Customer service staffing levels

Board Members approved a motion by Chair Maria Augimeri for TTC staff to report back at the next Board Meeting on customer service staffing levels since 2011, response times to customer inquiries and other front-line service indicators, including Wheel-Trans.

Eglinton Crosstown impacts

The TTC Board approved a motion by Commissioner Alan Heisey for TTC staff to request Metrolinx to provide to the TTC a quantifiable impact analysis on the commuting time benefits and/or impacts for TTC riders and motorists alike associated with full road closures versus partial road closures for the Eglinton Crosstown project as a whole, and at key locations (i.e. Allen Road). TTC staff is also to report back at a future Board Meeting on the impact of the Eglinton Crosstown Line construction on bus service and passengers and what the TTC’s plan is for addressing it.

Improving service levels

Board Members approved a motion by Chair Maria Augimeri for TTC staff to report back in January 2015 on the cost (for consideration in the 2015 Budget process), including capital costs, of:

  •  Improving service levels and quality in the form of more frequent service and reduced crowding, broken down by period of operation (i.e. morning peak period, weekday midday, etc.).
  • Introducing new and improved services, such as more express bus service or the previously discussed network of 10-minute-or-better bus routes.
  • Any other service innovations or improvements, which TTC staff believes warrant consideration by the Board and/or Council, including the possibility of extending the life of the current streetcar fleet or provide additional service. The report should include discussion of the impact on capital projects and funding of any such decisions.

Next meeting of the TTC Board

The next scheduled TTC Board Meeting at City Hall will be on Wed., May 28.