Villain: The TTC Budget Crisis
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Villain: The TTC Budget Crisis

Torontoist is ending the year by naming our Heroes and Villains of 2007––the people, places, and things that we’ve either fallen head over heels in love with or developed uncontrollable rage towards over the past twelve months. Get your dose, starting Boxing Day and running into the new year, three times a day––sunrise, noon, and sunset.
The TTC’s operating budget has never been all that huge over the past few decades, so we’re used to things like soaring fares and limited service. Ever since more costs were downloaded by the Harris government, things have been on a slipperier slope. With nigh-constant talks of a city budget crisis, it was not a huge surprise that huge, sweeping cuts to the TTC were proposed in the wake of the initial defeat of David Miller’s two new taxes. Most of the proposed cuts were merely scare tactics to get support for the taxes, but the proposal to limit service, raise fares, and even shut down the little-used Sheppard subway line raised the ire of a lot of commuters. The taxes eventually passed, but there’s still a danger of service cuts, even though we had to deal with yet another fare hike—and that’s after we already had one of the highest transit fares in the world. The service cuts and fare hikes were supposed to call attention to the TTC’s need for provincial support for their operating costs and not just for capital, but the issue of TTC funding was all but ignored during the provincial election. While a lot of the city and province’s big transit expansion plans are exciting, they won’t do us any good if the TTC doesn’t have a decent operating budget.
Photo by votreceinture from the Torontoist Flickr Pool.