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  #1  
Old Posted Feb 9, 2007, 2:26 PM
miketoronto miketoronto is offline
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For city, TTC's a big-ticket item

From the Toronto Star. This is good.
However one thing. Look at spending on roads at the bottom of the article. It seems roads do cost alot less to keep going then public transit.

----

For city, TTC's a big-ticket item

Toronto's capital budgetHalf of capital budget earmarked for public transit

Feb 09, 2007 04:30 AM
Paul Moloney
City Hall Bureau

The Toronto Transit Commission's appetite for new vehicles and repairs and upgrades to its facilities will swallow half of the city's capital budget this year, council's budget committee was told yesterday.

City finance staff have pencilled in the TTC to receive $717 million of the $1.4 billion capital plan for 2007. That's a little less than the transit system has asked for: $747 million. Council is to approve the final capital budget March 7.

"With these recommendations, I think it can safely be said that this is a transit budget," said Councillor Shelley Carroll, budget committee chair.

That's the problem, said Councillor Kyle Rae (Ward 27, Toronto Centre-Rosedale). Rae fears that with transit soaking up so much of the budget set aside for repairs and upgrades to the city's physical assets, other needed capital projects may be getting pushed aside.

"My heart fell," he said, after seeing the breakdown. "We're no longer operating as a city. We're now operating as a transit authority with a little bit of stuff on the side. We're not able to sustain our other divisions, other departments."

Mayor David Miller said the city needs more financial support from senior levels of government for transit, to take pressure off city finances.

"Our debt has increased significantly," Miller told the Star in Ottawa, where he's gathered with big-city mayors from across the country to push for a national transit strategy and a one-cent share of the federal GST for struggling municipalities.

"We haven't been able to expand the system as we need to, because we're too busy struggling to survive."

Miller said requesting action from the federal government is not unusual in the industrialized world.

"Every other country in the G8 has a national transit strategy, and I'm here in Ottawa to talk with other mayors to fight for just that. We need permanent, sustained, significant funding for transit."

Chief financial officer Joe Pennachetti said the city faces repair backlogs in roads, parks and recreation, plus big-ticket costs for garbage disposal.

The estimated $220 million cost of buying the Green Lane landfill, near London, Ont., is not in the budget, Pennachetti said, adding that he will report this spring on options for financing the purchase.

"Councillor Rae has a valid point that there are significant pressures in what would normally be called core municipal services," Pennachetti said.

Last year, the transit budget, at $552 million, took up 44 per cent of the overall $1.26 billion capital budget.

Major items in this year's transit request include $222 million for 320 new buses; a $104 million down payment on 234 new subway cars that start arriving in 2010; $64 million for track work; $66 million for new subway signals and $31 million for a new bus garage that will open late this year.

The TTC's message? Get used to big requests.

From now through 2011, the transit system expects to seek more than $800 million annually.

"It's subway cars, it's buses, it's streetcars," said interim chief general manager Gary Webster. "It's a 55-year-old system and it costs money to maintain it."

While transit is seeking a lot more, road repair spending will remain about the same as last year, at $246 million.

But Carroll (Ward 33, Don Valley East) said the city is planning a robust road-repair schedule.

"Are we investing? Yes, we are. You can bet that every councillor will get complaints this year in the month of May, when we begin to rehabilitate 16 bridges and resurface and disrupt 124 kilometres of road," she said.

With files from Jim Byers and John Spears
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  #2  
Old Posted Feb 9, 2007, 2:52 PM
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waterloowarrior waterloowarrior is online now
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it's hard to compare these costs directly... for example, transit gives the city direct revenue, but roads do not. also there's issues about capital vs operating budgets (eg clearing the snow from the roads isn't a capital project).

Last edited by waterloowarrior; Feb 9, 2007 at 3:51 PM.
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  #3  
Old Posted Feb 9, 2007, 3:35 PM
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  #4  
Old Posted Feb 9, 2007, 4:11 PM
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and the most important thing is that there is lots of room in Toronto to add more to the transit network, add more buses, and extend subway lines etc (this is the capital budget you are talking about, afterall), but there is not really room to have more large-scale suburban development or new roads (as there is in places like Brampton)
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  #5  
Old Posted Feb 9, 2007, 4:32 PM
raisethehammer raisethehammer is offline
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I'd like to see the total amount of money spent in Toronto over the past decade on roads vs. transit.
It's probably laughable. That's why the TTC is in such a mess. Keep in mind, the billions spent by upper government levels to surround Toronto in highways, sprawl and gridlock. In the GTA, transit recives a fraction of the money that roads and highways do, especially since the province and feds are more willing to pump millions into roads than transit. Remember, there's only 1 taxpayer.
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  #6  
Old Posted Feb 9, 2007, 5:20 PM
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Helping the TTC is the equivlent of Helping Toronto.... which is death in politics.

Making more Highways is something "that seems" to benefit the entire province. When it really doesn't- It makes more gridlock.

They should focus on Ontario Wide Transit so they dont have to play favorites.
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  #7  
Old Posted Feb 9, 2007, 7:06 PM
ssiguy ssiguy is offline
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Its unfortunate that its a one or the other scenario.
That said I think the TTC has its priorities wrong. Before new bus/subway cars, anything, the priority should be on replacing the streetcars.
They have to be replaced soon anyway, good and efficient people movers, zero emission but also they need to bring them up to accessibility standards.
Making sure that the elderly and wheelchair bound patrons should be priority one so that all Torontonians can have accessible transit and ensure that that all citizens can fully participate in their city. People {like myself} may be bitch about poor services and packed buses/subways/streetcars but can you imagine that some in areas of Toronto have no access to transit at all.
Wheel-Trans are VERY inconvient, expensive, and have very limited service and require planning to use them. Not an option.
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  #8  
Old Posted Feb 9, 2007, 8:10 PM
LordMandeep LordMandeep is offline
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i think that thier next year plan.

IMo the subway cars are in pretty good shape. I thought they would have garbage and spray paint tagging all over.
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  #9  
Old Posted Feb 9, 2007, 8:20 PM
raisethehammer raisethehammer is offline
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I don't live in Toronto, but I don't understand why they would build more subways.
Street-level LRT with modern streetcar vehicles in their own right of way is a whole lot cheaper and accomplishes basically the same thing without tunneling.
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  #10  
Old Posted Feb 9, 2007, 8:28 PM
LordMandeep LordMandeep is offline
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well one plan was put down thier throat by the province (subway to york U)

I think they should get new subway cars as some of them are quite old.

Well there is one streetcar line being made, and plans for others. I think the city will really go after that.
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  #11  
Old Posted Feb 10, 2007, 5:52 AM
mariokarter mariokarter is offline
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Ya the TTC is a big ticket item this year and in the coming years, but only so because it has been starved so much in previous years.

Do you guys remember a while back when they had the add campaign where the subway posters had pictures of subways, buses, and streetcars, and the vehicles displays read 700 or whatver, and the botom of the poster read "the cost of maintaining toronto's existing streetcar system over the next 10 years" or whatever.

this article reminds me of that campaign.
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  #12  
Old Posted Feb 10, 2007, 8:23 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by raisethehammer View Post
I don't live in Toronto, but I don't understand why they would build more subways.
Street-level LRT with modern streetcar vehicles in their own right of way is a whole lot cheaper and accomplishes basically the same thing without tunneling.
Damn, all those cities all around the world like New York, Paris and Berlin wasted so much money on there subway system, they should have just built streetcar lines instead since it is basically the same thing anyway.
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Old Posted Feb 10, 2007, 3:48 PM
zerokarma zerokarma is offline
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What it doesn't mention in that article is that their Union Labour takes up like more then half of the entire TTC budget. Its these over paid union workers that are really draining the TTC budget.
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  #14  
Old Posted Feb 10, 2007, 9:12 PM
Junctionist Junctionist is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by raisethehammer View Post
I'd like to see the total amount of money spent in Toronto over the past decade on roads vs. transit.
It's probably laughable. That's why the TTC is in such a mess. Keep in mind, the billions spent by upper government levels to surround Toronto in highways, sprawl and gridlock. In the GTA, transit recives a fraction of the money that roads and highways do, especially since the province and feds are more willing to pump millions into roads than transit. Remember, there's only 1 taxpayer.
It's quite amazing that we spend so much yet the system is only struggling to get by. We have to improve efficiency. Reloadable cards instead of tickets, automated trains are ways of saving money. As I read in the Toronto Star, in Hong Kong, their transit authority is a publicly traded company. It has to make money. It functions as a real estate developer. I'm not saying that's the solution in Toronto, but let's see some entrepreneurship, not the same old "we need another x billion dollars over the next few years" and we'll raise fares by a dollar in a matter of years...
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  #15  
Old Posted Feb 10, 2007, 10:51 PM
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Originally Posted by zerokarma View Post
What it doesn't mention in that article is that their Union Labour takes up like more then half of the entire TTC budget. Its these over paid union workers that are really draining the TTC budget.
What the hell are you talking about? Operating costs (which include fuel costs) make up less than 1/3 of the TTC budget, how can labour costs alone make up 1/2? Unless of course you count the gross costs instead of net costs, which there is no reason to do unless you want to be misleading.
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  #16  
Old Posted Feb 10, 2007, 11:51 PM
miketoronto miketoronto is offline
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This money being spent on the TTC has nothing to do with with the unions of running the system. All this money is for CAPITAL improvments, like new buses, streetcars, subways, etc.

When it comes to operating the transit system the TTC happens to be the most efficiant transit system in the western world. So I don't know what you guys are talking about with this money going to unions or that we need automated trains to reduce costs.

The TTC pays for over 80% of operating costs from the fare box. So when it comes to the actual operation of the system, the rider is paying largest share.
Larger then any transit system in the western world.

In Europe which everyone loves to use as an example, less then 50% of operating costs are covered by fares in most cities.

So at 80% Toronto is tops. In Canada as a whole, riders pay for 60% of the operating costs from fares. Highest fare recovery in the western world, again beating out European countries, the USA, etc.

Canadian transit does not cost alot to run.

So remember, this money is for CAPITAL funding, not OPERATING

Also TTC's high fare recovery rate is not always looked at as a good thing. The high fare recovery often points to underfunding, overcrowding, etc.

A note on Hong Kong. The transit system only makes money because they own land and sell it off to developers. But the actualy rapid transit network loses money, and would need gov subsidy if the MTR had no land to sell off.
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  #17  
Old Posted Feb 11, 2007, 12:03 AM
miketoronto miketoronto is offline
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This money being spent on the TTC has nothing to do with with the unions of running the system. All this money is for CAPITAL improvments, like new buses, streetcars, subways, etc.

When it comes to operating the transit system the TTC happens to be the most efficiant transit system in the western world. So I don't know what you guys are talking about with this money going to unions or that we need automated trains to reduce costs.

The TTC pays for over 80% of operating costs from the fare box. So when it comes to the actual operation of the system, the rider is paying largest share.
Larger then any transit system in the western world.

In Europe which everyone loves to use as an example, less then 50% of operating costs are covered by fares in most cities.

So at 80% Toronto is tops. In Canada as a whole, riders pay for 60% of the operating costs from fares. Highest fare recovery in the western world, again beating out European countries, the USA, etc.

Canadian transit does not cost alot to run.

So remember, this money is for CAPITAL funding, not OPERATING

Also TTC's high fare recovery rate is not always looked at as a good thing. The high fare recovery often points to underfunding, overcrowding, etc.

A note on Hong Kong. The transit system only makes money because they own land and sell it off to developers. But the actualy rapid transit network loses money, and would need gov subsidy if the MTR had no land to sell off.


Following is a report from the TTC on operating funding.

----------------

Subsidy in Canadian dollars. Subsidy in millions. Riders in millions for the year.

City--------Subsidy-------Revenue/Cost Ratio---Riders-----Subsidy/Rider

TTC---------148---------------81%-----------418-----------35¢

Montreal----254---------------56%-----------348-----------73¢

Vancouver--254---------------54%-----------129-----------$1.97

Chicago----653---------------52%------------283-----------$2.31

Cleveland---260---------------22%-----------64------------$4.09

New York---1,768-------------61%---------1.691-----------$1.05

Philadelphia--597-------------50%----------216------------$2.76
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  #18  
Old Posted Feb 11, 2007, 2:21 AM
Junctionist Junctionist is offline
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I'm happy to hear that miketoronto. Hopefully that planned capital comes quickly. The hybrid buses are nice
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Old Posted Feb 11, 2007, 3:12 AM
miketoronto miketoronto is offline
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From the Canadian Urban Transit Association.

Canada’s transit systems invest $3.9 billion annually in operations, including staff salaries, fuel, parts and maintenance. Most of this investment is funded by passengers, whose fares pay for 61% of operating needs. This is an extraordinary level of cost recovery from customers that exceeds recent rates in the United States, Sweden, Italy, the Netherlands, France and many other countries

The extraordinary efficiency of Canadian transit systems was confirmed by a recent comparison of five large Canadian transit systems to 47 others in the United States, Europe, Australia and Asia. The Canadian systems’ average overall cost of providing a passenger-kilometre of transit service was lower than that of the Australian, European and American cities, and almost as low as that of Asian cities like Hong Kong and Tokyo.

Doing more with less
Between 1996 and 2001, provincial governments reduced their annual investment in transit by more than
two-thirds. They now fund just 5 percent of transit’s annual $3.2 billion operating costs, and about 15 percent
of its $900 million capital costs. The federal government contributes relatively little—in fact, Canada remains the
only G-7 country without a meaningful program of direct federal investment in transit.
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Old Posted Feb 11, 2007, 4:44 AM
d_jeffrey d_jeffrey is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by raisethehammer View Post
I don't live in Toronto, but I don't understand why they would build more subways.
Street-level LRT with modern streetcar vehicles in their own right of way is a whole lot cheaper and accomplishes basically the same thing without tunneling.
Well, to accomplish that, you need free land, which is not easy to find in Toronto, add expropriation to the costs, and surely a subway would basically cost the same... So subway it is.


Ottawa Transit group
http://www.ottawatransit.ca/
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