Councillor James Pasternak joins TTC Board

TTC Chair Maria Augimeri began the TTC Board Meeting by welcoming new Commissioner James Pasternak, Councillor for Ward 10 York Centre. He replaces Councillor Peter Milczyn, who was elected to serve as MPP for Etobicoke-Lakeshore on June 12. Pasternak was sworn in by TTC Head of Legal, Brian Leck.

McNicoll Bus Garage Draft Environmental Project Report approved

After hearing numerous deputations from Scarborough residents concerning the TTC’s proposal for a new bus garage, the Board approved the McNicoll Bus Garage Draft Environmental Project Report. Board Members also approved several motions, including:

  • Exploring the possibility of a “land swap” of parking lot properties with the neighbouring church to create a continuous property for the Scarborough Chinese Baptist Church and the TTC facility.
  • Consulting with City Planning, the Toronto Board of Health and the Toronto Atmospheric Fund to maximize greening initiatives and attempt to minimize the environmental impacts of the garage through a green roof in excess of the minimum standards; rooftop photovoltaic cells; maximizing the tree canopy on site; and minimizing or eliminating storm water run-off from the site.

Last April, Board Members received a presentation from TTC staff on the status of planning activities for the future garage at the corner of Kennedy Road and McNicoll Avenue. The new facility will have capacity to store and maintain 250, 12-metre (40-foot) buses. If articulated buses (18.3-metre or 60-foot) are maintained at the facility the number will be reduced. The new garage is required to add much-needed capacity for the TTC’s growing bus fleet that’s required to carry the TTC’s growing ridership.

McNicoll Garage will cost $181 million, but the TTC is currently facing a $101-million shortfall in the 2014-2023 Capital Budget.

Additional community outreach will continue in September and be reported back to the Board.

Wilson Subway Yard expansion

Board Members approved the award of a contract worth a total of $230.7 million to Bondfield Construction Company Ltd. for the expansion of the TTC’s Wilson Yard. Expanding the subway yard near Wilson Station is required to accommodate Toronto Rocket train storage and future service demands once the Toronto-York Spadina Subway Extension is in operation.

Eight additional storage tracks, expanded maintenance facilities, a new power substation and other utilities are necessary to serve Line 1 (Yonge-University-Spadina).

Bus servicing and cleaning contracts extended

Board Members approved contract amendments worth a total of $38.5 million to Topnotch Building Maintenance Ltd. ($23 million) and Hallcon Corporation ($15.5 million) for bus servicing and cleaning services at the TTC’s seven bus garages (approximately 1,800 buses). The three-year contract extension expires at the end of 2017.

Handholds and exterior door chimes

As a result of the positive customer feedback from in-service testing, the Board approved a purchase order amendment to retrofit the Toronto Rocket train fleet with low-ceiling handholds and external door chimes. The cost of the retrofit, after taking advantage of available commercial credits, is $464,000.

Next meeting of the TTC Board

The next scheduled TTC Board Meeting at City Hall will be on Tue., Aug. 19. It’s the last Board Meeting scheduled until the Oct. 27 municipal election. Board Meetings will resume on Dec. 9.