A report from the TTC reveals staff have requested an additional $4.56 billion in funding for new capital investments, including the Bloor-Yonge expansion and new streetcars, subway cars, and buses.
The TTC’s 2020-2029 Key Capital Investment Priorities report, which was released Wednesday, also recommends the TTC should put this money toward repairing and upgrading transit infrastructure to ensure it’s in a “state of good repair.”
Mayor John Tory says this budget includes “the most significant investment in upgrading our transit system in the city’s history.” If approved, Tory said the plan will make the needed investments in subway trains, buses, streetcars, and the state-of-good-repair for the city’s transit system.
My statement on the TTC’s 2020-2029 Key Capital Investment Priorities Plan. pic.twitter.com/lViUJ0618w
— John Tory (@JohnTory) January 22, 2020
According to the report, the $4.56 billion comes from the increase in the City Building Fund levy that was announced on December 17, 2019, when city council approved the incremental tax levy dedicated to providing sustainable funding for community housing and transit.
The TTC said if the budget is approved it plans to allocate the funding to different projects, including $500 million to the city’s share of the Bloor-Yonge expansion, $3.1 billion to critical subway infrastructure, including Line 1 and Line 2 state of good repair and capacity improvements, and $1.14 billion to new vehicles, including 60 new streetcars, 62 trains for Line 2, and 614 new buses.
The report comes as riders continue to deal with constant service shutdowns due to infrastructure issues, including the partial train derailment on Line 2 that caused commuter chaos on Wednesday morning.
Councillor Jaye Robinson, the chair of the TTC board, released a statement on the report on Wednesday, saying the “landmark investment” from the City of Toronto would go a long way to ensure the city’s transit network continues to meet the needs of the Toronto’s growing population.
“A majority of the additional capital funds must be committed to the maintenance, repair and improvement projects required to keep our subway running, ” said Robinson.
“While it’s not glamorous, this work — replacing cables, repairing tunnels, rehabilitating tracks, and asbestos removal — is critical to the safe operation of our subway network.”
Robinson also commented on Wednesday’s service shutdown on Line 2, saying “issues with our subway infrastructure can lead to significant delays for riders who rely on our system to get where they need to go.”
“This funding from the City will be used to finance a once-in-a-generation, transformative subway infrastructure program. Investing in critical state of good repair and capacity improvement projects on our core subway lines is the responsible thing to do,” said Robinson.
“Our professional TTC staff have made it clear that failure to invest now will have disastrous consequences for our transit service in the future,” said Robinson, adding, Torontonians will begin observing major service impacts as soon as 2026.
My statement on the TTC’s Key Capital Investment Priorities: pic.twitter.com/o59Wkir4mk
— Jaye Robinson (@JayeRobinson) January 22, 2020
Mayor Tory said he will work “non-stop” to negotiate the funding needed from both the provincial and federal governments in order to carry out the vision in the report.
“We must buy new subway trains, new buses, and new streetcars but we cannot make these purchases alone,” said the mayor in his statement.
The report will be considered by the TTC commission board next week.