And so it begins. Earlier this morning, Ontario Transportation Minister, Jeff Yurek announced the PC government is moving forward with their TTC takeover plan.
According to Yurek, negotiations with the city are already underway and new legislation will likely be introduced in the spring.
During his election campaign, Ontario Premier Doug Ford was vocal about his plans to “upload” Toronto’s subway system, converting it into a regional system. Ford said the reason the province would be taking it on was due to the struggle to improve transit in the city.
Since then, Ford has talked about expanding the TTC out to the suburbs.
Both Yurek and Ford have argued that the province is “helping” the city by taking on the planning, building and maintenance of Toronto’s transit system.
If the changes go through. As they likely will. Day-to-day maintenance and operations for the TTC would still fall under the jurisdiction of the city. The city of Toronto would also continue to collect fare revenue from the transit system.
According to the Toronto Star, city council is powerless to stop a provincial TTC takeover.
In a four-page legal document written by the city’s legal department, it is noted that “The province can by legislation take over ownership of subway assets, including real property and other assets, and can do so without compensation to the City of Toronto or the TTC if the legislation expressly provides that no compensation shall be payable.”