TTC's 2020 budget includes "most significant investment" in Toronto's history: Tory

Jan 23 2020, 2:43 pm

The TTC’s 2020-2029 Key Capital Investment Priorities was released on Wednesday, outlining a $4.6 billion recommended increase for new transit vehicles, as well as the expansion of the Bloor-Yonge subway station.

The report, which will be considered by the TTC Board on January 27, includes $500 million for the Bloor-Yonge Station capacity improvement, $3.09 billion for subway state of good repair and capacity improvements (including new track and switches, traction power systems, tunnel liners and the installation of an automatic train control (ATC) signalling system on Line 2), and $1.14 billion towards the purchase of new vehicles including 80 subway trains, 1575 buses, and 60 streetcars.

“The 2020 budget includes the most significant investment in upgrading our transit system in the city’s history,” Mayor John Tory said in a statement.

“The 2020-2029 TTC capital plan is $ 11.9 billion — almost double last year’s capital plan that was $6.5 billion. I led city council in approving the extension of the City Building Fund last month so that this investment would be possible – it helps raise the approximately $5 billion that the City of Toronto needs to invest in new subways, new subway signal systems, new buses, new streetcars, and station upgrades as our share of the almost $30 billion transit expansion agreement with the province.”

TTC CEO Rick Leary said the injection of additional funds means they can advance some of the critical work outlined in their Capital Investment Plan that was previously unfunded.

“The TTC’s needs over the next 15 years are a combination of maintaining what we have and preparing for future growth. The City Building Fund investment allows us to better plan for both.”

The TTC’s budget was released on the same day service came to a halt on Line 2 during rush hour due to a train derailment.

It took almost four hours for the TTC to get Line 2 back to service.

“As we saw this morning on Line 2, issues with our subway infrastructure can lead to significant delays for riders who rely on our system to get where they need to go,” said TTC Chair and Coun. Jaye Robinson.

“This funding from the city will be used to finance a once-in-a-generation, transformative subway infrastructure program.”

Robinson also said to address the climate crisis, “we need commitment from all levels of government to encourage the use of public transit as an alternative to personal vehicles.”

In Tory’s statement, he said that the city must buy new trains, buses, and streetcars, although it can’t make the purchases alone.

“The city has made it clear it has the funding to move forward on these purchases and I will be working non-stop to negotiate funding from the Government of Canada and the Government of Ontario,” he said, echoing Robinson’s sentiments.

“I believe all governments are committed to investing in transit, all governments know that increased, sustainable investment in Toronto is good for our region, our province, and our country, and I look forward to moving forward with these investments as soon as possible.”

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