April 1, 2014

The Toronto Transit Commission this morning released a new explainer video that describes a funding proposal that will see the TTC save some money - and inconvenience a few - but also secure new funding for both its operating and capital budgets. See the video on our official Youtube channel.

As chief customer officer, Chris Upfold, explains to head of communications, Brad Ross, the TTC proposes closing its quietest subway stations, like Chester Station, to save money on ongoing operating costs. The TTC will then sell the common space to meet pent-up community demand for things like billiard halls and Internet cafes. Then, most importantly, the TTC will sell the platforms for conversion into high density underground living space, garnering the transit agency "hundreds of dollars."

The TTC, of course, is not shuttering any of its subway stations. This is its second annual April Fool's Day video that carries with it a more serious message for viewers. In 2013, etiquette and being considerate of others while riding the TTC was the theme of the "Personal Car" video.

This year's message is about funding. The TTC's 10-year capital budget does have a very real shortfall of close to $3 billion. Ridership growth of 2.5 per cent annually also means the need for greater subsidy to meet that increased demand. In short, North America's third largest transit system requires long-term, sustainable and predictable funding.

A task force made up of the TTC Chair, CEO and Chief Financial and Administration Officer, as well as the City Manager and CFO, will be making the case for a new funding deal for the TTC to Queen's Park and Ottawa later this year.

View all articles from April