Light Rail

TTC Will Operate New Toronto LRT Lines After All

By Ryan McGreal
Published October 03, 2012

Good news for transit in Toronto: the Toronto Transit Commission will operate Toronto's new LRT lines. The announcement came today after weeks of private wrangling and public sabre-rattling between the TTC, Metrolinx and the Ontario Ministry of Transportation.

The Province is funding the full $8.4 billion capital cost to construct 52 kilometres of new LRT lines, and recently warned that the operation of those lines would be contracted out to a private company.

However, the TTC famously runs one of the most cost-effective transit operations in the world. In 2011, it generated 66.4% percent of its operating revenue from passengers and other revenue streams, with only 27.7% funding from the City of Toronto and 5.9% funding from the Ontario Gas Tax Transfer.

TTC Operating Revenues, 2010-2011
Revenue 2010 ($000s) 2011 ($000s) 2011 % of Total
Source: TTC Annual Report 2011 [PDF]
Passengers 934,889 976,015 62.6%
Advertising 18,904 15,815 1.0%
Outside City Services 17,679 17,813 1.1%
Property Rental 18,488 19,339 1.2%
Miscellaneous 7,554 7,700 0.5%
Total Operating Revenue 997,514 1,036,682 66.4%
Ontario Gas Tax 91,600 91,600 5.9%
City of Toronto 386,108 431,836 27.7%
Total Operating Subsidy 477,708 523,436 33.6%
Overall Operating Revenue 1,475,222 1,560,118 100.0%

Operating buses, Articulated Light Rail Vehicles, Rapid Transit vehicles, streetcars, subways and Wheel-Trans vehicles, the TTC carries around 1.5 million riders a day, or half a billion riders a year.

Ryan McGreal, the editor of Raise the Hammer, lives in Hamilton with his family and works as a programmer, writer and consultant. Ryan volunteers with Hamilton Light Rail, a citizen group dedicated to bringing light rail transit to Hamilton. Ryan wrote a city affairs column in Hamilton Magazine, and several of his articles have been published in the Hamilton Spectator. His articles have also been published in The Walrus, HuffPost and Behind the Numbers. He maintains a personal website, has been known to share passing thoughts on Twitter and Facebook, and posts the occasional cat photo on Instagram.


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By otnorot (anonymous) | Posted October 03, 2012 at 15:13:44

Toronto provides $431,836,000 to TTC--from chart above. But a stunning number in Globe today: with all the fooferah about Toronto's zoo and how Big Rob the mayor wants to sell the Toronto Zoo to raise money (for streetcars? See David Rider's new post at for Ford interview with Matt Galloway this AM on CBC Radio Metro Morning)--for all that, number in Globe this AM, to zoo? $11 million. That's it. From the Ford blather, you'd 'a thunk ten times that. "Toronto contributes about $11-million to its operations annually."--Globe--

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By see also (anonymous) | Posted October 03, 2012 at 15:18:32

See also e CBC interview Mayor Rob Ford cites wrong figure on Jarvis St. commute delay caused by bike lanes
Published on Wednesday October 03, 2012

and to read CBC and listen,

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By Anon000 (anonymous) | Posted October 04, 2012 at 11:37:35

The number is $431,836 for the contribution for the TTC. Toronto contributes over 20x that to the Zoo.

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By read! (anonymous) | Posted October 04, 2012 at 14:46:07 in reply to Comment 81415

Did you actually think Toronto city contributes <1/2 million dollars to TTC??

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By seancb (registered) - website | Posted October 04, 2012 at 12:48:50 in reply to Comment 81415

that chart has numbers in $000s

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By Chevron (anonymous) | Posted October 09, 2012 at 07:05:45

GTA residents divided on best route for transit funding: poll
Adrian Morrow & Kelly Grant
Globe & Mail, Oct 9, 2012

Residents of Greater Toronto and Hamilton are torn about paying new fees or taxes for improvements to public transit and roads, leaving policy-makers in an uncertain political position as they struggle to deal with the region’s ever-worsening congestion.

That is the conclusion of a new Toronto Board of Trade/Globe and Mail/Nanos Research poll that suggests 34 per cent are outright against paying extra to upgrade transportation, while 28 per cent are outright in favour. Others fell somewhere in between, leaving the door open for further debate.

“This is a conversation the public is ready for – they’re a bit ahead of the politicians,” said Carol Wilding, president of the Toronto Board of Trade, arguing that the results put the onus on politicians to come up with ways of making it happen. “It’s a very encouraging moment. We need leadership from all three levels of government.”

The poll results are being released on the same day the city of Toronto’s executive committee – a cabinet-like panel chaired by the mayor – is scheduled to tackle a new report that floats 10 different methods for raising an additional $2-billion per year to fund a massive region-wide transit expansion. In June of next year, meanwhile, Ontario transit agency Metrolinx must provide a plan outlining how it will pay for future expansions to the transportation network.

And the discussion will certainly be fraught.

“What [the poll] shows is that this is actually quite a divisive issue. I’m not sure if there’s really a political win when you wade into something like this because even when you look at the different regions, most of the regions are split,” said Nanos Research president Nik Nanos.

The numbers suggest a few ways forward. If forced to pony up new cash to upgrade infrastructure, 27.1 per cent of respondents named road tolls as their first choice for revenue collection. An increase to the gasoline tax ranked second, with 15.8 per cent selecting it as their preference, followed by a hike in transit fares at 12.1 per cent.

That indicated a preference for charging drivers and transit riders directly, rather than spreading the pocketbook pain around with a traditional tax hike, Mr. Nanos said.

Paul Bedford, Toronto’s former chief planner, said the region is so far behind in transportation infrastructure that no single method could realistically raise enough money on its own to fix the problems. Instead, a combination of avenues will be necessary.

And if members of the public are reluctant to fork over more money to fix the problems or politicians are jittery about imposing fees or hiking taxes, he said, there will be severe consequences for not taking action. The average commute, for instance, will jump from 80 minutes a day to 109 in 20 years.

Even though residents across the region agree gridlock is worsening, respondents ranked investments in transit and roads (14.5 per cent) as much less urgent than spending on health care (56 per cent) or education (27.2 per cent.)

Those figures illustrate how difficult it could be for Premier Dalton McGuinty’s minority government to implement roads tolls, new fees or tax hikes to pay for expanded public transit, a choice they will have to face next year when Metrolinx’s report is due.

“The difficult thing is when we get into transportation issues and transit and investing in infrastructure, those are things that people naturally believe can be delayed, even though many times they can’t be delayed,” Mr. Nanos said. “But making sure that they have access to health care and that the education system is strong, those are more immediate priorities.”

The random telephone survey of 1,000 residents of the Greater Toronto and Hamilton areas was conducted between Sept. 29 and Oct. 4. The poll, which used live operators and included cellphone numbers, is considered accurate to plus or minus 3.1 percentage points, 19 times out of 20.

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By Chevron (anonymous) | Posted October 09, 2012 at 11:16:36

And some added perspective from yesterday's G&M...

Toronto residents uninformed about Metrolinx transit plan
By Adrian Morrow
The Globe and Mail, Oct. 8 2012

Four years ago, the provincial agency Metrolinx came up with a comprehensive plan to deal with congestion in Greater Toronto and Hamilton by building more transit. Titled the “Big Move,” it envisions vastly improved GO Train service, several new LRT lines, expansions of the subway system and several bus projects. But barely anyone knows about it.

In fact, close to 90 per cent of respondents in the Nanos Research survey said they had never heard of the plan, suggesting the province has a lot more work to do to bring the public on side. Toronto Board of Trade president Carol Wilding said people might be more willing to pay extra for better transit if they know there is a plan in place.

“It’s important that the province drive discussion, drive debate and drive a solution,” she said.

Paul Bedford, a former Metrolinx board member, said the region needs more public discussion and debate to move beyond simply being frustrated by the problem.

“People need to understand that, yeah, we’ve got a mess, it will only get worse if we do nothing and there are the choices … and there are consequences for each of those choices, and we’ve got to make a decision,” he said.

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