TTC asks for increased subsidy to help offset added costs from subway extension
Chris Fox, CP24.com
Published Tuesday, November 14, 2017 3:15PM EST
Last Updated Tuesday, November 14, 2017 3:19PM EST
The TTC is asking the city for more than $37 million in additional funding, partly due to increased costs associated with operating the Toronto York Spadina Subway Extension.
In a report that will be considered by the TTC's budget committee on Friday, staff request a total operating subsidy of $727.1 million for 2018, which equates to an increase of $37.6 million on the subsidy it received last year.
The report says that the requested subsidy increase would help to offset the cost of operating the Toronto York Spadina Subway Extension ($25.3 million) once it opens in December as well the continued implementation of PRESTO ($8.2 million). The report says that the subsidy increase would also allow the TTC to replenish funds that were withdrawn from reserve accounts last year ($14 million).
The report does note that if staff were directed to again dip into their reserve funds in 2018, the necessary subsidy increase would be reduced to $23.6 million.
Either way, the requested subsidy increase would go against a directive from council, which asked all city programs and agencies to base their operating budgets on the expectation that they would receive the same funding in 2018 as they did in 2017.
TTC staff, however, say that “line-by-line” reviews of the budget have allowed them to reduce the shortfall from $86 million in June to $37.6 million as of today.
Some of the savings identified by staff include $11 million in bus maintenance that won’t be required due to the replacement of aging vehicles and $5.7 million in reduced benefit costs that are partly due to efforts the TTC has undertaken to eliminate fraudulent claims.
TTC staff say that the requested subsidy increase will allow them to keep fares frozen in 2018 and maintain current service levels.
The TTC budget will be considered as part of the city’s rate supported operating and capital budgets, which will be finalized by city council in February.