November 25, 2016
Earlier this week (Nov. 21), the TTC Board met to consider the 2017 budget.
This was always going to be a tough budget. As with other City departments and agencies, the TTC was required to find sav¬ings equivalent to 2.6% of its 2016 subsidy, including absorption of all year-over-year cost increases. For the TTC, this meant a daunting opening budget shortfall of $231 million.
Over the summer, staff here looked at every possible way to close the gap without impacting customers. I was determined to achieve three objectives: to protect service; to protect the improvements that we have delivered over the past five years; and to minimize the need for a fare increase.
That said, the TTC only has two ways to balance its books: through fares and via City subsidy. If subsidy is unable to cover costs, then a fare increase has to be considered.
After a vigorous public debate on Monday, where many riders were heard, the TTC Board approved a budget and a 10-cent fare increase for 2017. The Board, it should be noted, also directed there be no fare increase in 2018.
I fully recognize that it is a big ask to have riders pay more, but you will see service improvements.
In addition to the ongoing rollout of PRESTO and new streetcars, a new signalling system for Line 1 Yonge-University and the Spadina subway extension are on the horizon. We also won budget approval to purchase nearly 800 new buses over the next two years.
The budget now goes to City Council to debate. I will keep you posted.
As the holiday season continues, let the TTC connect you to shopping and festive events around the city.
Toronto Christmas Market
When: Now until Dec. 22
Where: The Distillery District
How to get there:
From Line 2
Take the 504 King streetcar from Broadview Station to • Trinity St., walk south two blocks to the Distillery District
Take the 65 Parliament bus from Castle Frank Station to • Mill St.
From Line 1
Take the 514 Cherry streetcar eastbound from St Andrew • Station or King Station to Distillery Loop
Take the 504 King streetcar eastbound from St Andrew • Station or King Station to Trinity Street, walk south two blocks to the Distillery District.
From Line 1 – Union Station – Accessible Service
Take the 121 Fort York-Esplanade bus eastbound from • Union Station at Front and Bay Sts. to the intersection of Mill and Cherry Sts.
Cavalcade of Lights
When: Sat. Nov. 26, 7 – 10:30 p.m.
Where: Nathan Phillips Square
How to get there: Take Line 1 to Osgoode Station and walk 5 minutes east or to Queen Station and walk 5 minutes west.
Weston Santa Claus Parade
When: Sun. Nov. 27, starting at 2 p.m.
Where: Weston Rd. and Lawrence Ave. W.
How to get there: From Keele Station, take the 89 Weston service to Weston Rd. and Lawrence Ave. W.
A number of holiday events will also cause TTC bus and streetcar routes to divert for short periods of time throughout the weekend.
For diversion routing and information, visit our Service Advisories page
This Saturday only, Line 3 Scarborough will be closed for TTC track and signal work. Shuttle buses will run frequently, stopping at all stations along the route.
Wheel-Trans buses will operate between Kennedy and Scarborough Centre stations customers who need it. Simply speak with any TTC employee to request the service.
PRESTO is not yet available on all shuttle buses. Customers should carry tokens, tickets or cash in case the bus that arrives is not yet PRESTO-equipped.
Regular service resumes Sunday at 8 a.m.
Name: Errol Harrison
Years of service: 15
I work all around the subway system, but I prefer the downtown core because it’s busier and I’m someone who really likes meeting people. At a busy station the customers are all so different, I get to speak with customers from all over the world, and customers are really appreciative when you help direct them around the city. This is such a phenomenal job. I’m looking forward to the station transformation next year, when I’m able to interact with customers on a much more personal level through direct face to face interaction as customers go throughout their days. It tends to alleviate a lot of stress when customers can talk to a TTC employee one-on-one.
Feel the Freedom
Weekly Customer Service Report
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